Affordable Webcam Options Like the Logitech Brio May Help Facial Recognition Logins Go Mainstream

Logitech Brio could help bring facial recognition into the mainstream.

You’ve got a face that can open doors and grant you access to a world of opportunities.

You just don’t know it yet.

Facial recognition technology can empower you to bypass security, lines, and financial red tape online, the same way a Beyoncé or Tom Hanks gets shown the VIP entrance offline.

The technology is growing both in accuracy and availability, and will soon be a part of the way a large portion of the internet’s three billion users navigate online.

We’re actually at a point of pre-deluge with facial recognition. The potential can be seen, and in part has been demonstrated, but users and the market haven’t quite evolved enough to trust it, nor have they found the perfect vehicle through which to use it.

But it’s coming. Facial recognition will create an online world we navigate entirely within a live video call, one where we use cyber passports to instantly gain access to all our secure data.

Windows Hello and Facial Recognition

Facebook and other social media apps have long been using a basic version of facial recognition technology to identify the faces on our shared photos, and to put names to people we only faintly recognize.

Windows 10, however, and its Hello facial recognition feature is the product we may one day come to recognize as the launch point of the technology. As we’ve written before, Hello is the first example of facial recognition put to work as a practical feature of an operating system. It’s that kind of mass exposure that piques interest in a new technology, and readies an audience for what may come next.

The emphasis is currently placed on using the tech as basic security for your computer, as it can lock and unlock your desktop or laptop, but Microsoft has enabled it to be used on the web through its Edge browser.

The problem is there are only a few places where the technology is accepted, and unless you have a state-of-the-art laptop or tablet you can’t easily access the Intel RealSense camera 

Thankfully, another option has emerged on that last front.

Bringing Facial Recognition to a Wider Audience

The first step toward broadening the use of facial recognition technology is to make it more accessible. The launch in early February of Logitech’s new Brio camera is a step in that direction.

In addition to its 4K visuals, high-dynamic-range video, and enhanced low-light functionality, the webcam also features an infrared camera capable of the 3D scanning needed to power Hello’s facial recognition tech.

The real key, though, is that it is portable and compatible with PCs–few of which currently ship with Intel RealSense cameras, at least within a price range affordable to the average user.

The Brio costs $200, putting it in the higher end of the affordable section of the webcam market, but it’s still cheaper than buying a whole new PC, and more convenient than having to switch to a tablet. And if it helps increase the number of people using facial recognition technology it puts pressure on websites to make more services available.

Opening Up New Ways of Being Online

It may not even be Microsoft that finally cracks the facial recognition code. The company has some history of getting the idea right, but the delivery wrong. It beat Apple to the tablet punch, but had to watch in horror as their big rival pitched the business tool as a fun consumer product, gave it better packaging and presentation, and started a revolution.

If they keep their eye on the security front, the same may happen with facial recognition. The thrill of the technology isn’t the way it keeps people out, it’s the way it’ll let people in.

With an easy-to-operate webcam as a vehicle, web surfers could instantly gain entry to online shopping, banking, travel, and social sites with just a quick, live streaming introduction.

We may, in fact, spend all our time online within a video call, with facial recognition and real- video chat with company reps becoming the norm. We’ll use interactive conversation everywhere we go.

You could create a web passport that resides online like a third-party customs agent, and is able to be checked automatically against your real-time appearance by any site currently requiring a login. Think of it like Paypal for ID–a public repository of faces that can be verified by an impartial third-party.

Users could login to an online retailer with their face, pay for goods by linking to their bank the same way, and then go brag about the successful bargain hunt on Facebook with the same ease of access.

It may turn out we have to wait for the “Apple iPassport” before facial recognition browsing becomes the next big thing, but in the meantime, we can demonstrate a market for its services by pushing the boundaries on what Microsoft is currently offering.

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