Your face is the key to your future financial security.
And that’s not meant in the same way David Beckham’s face guarantees his financial security.
Rather, your face could soon replace your password, keys, passport, or even birth certificate as the primary way you prove who you are in the world.
And that makes perfect sense. How else do the people who actually know you, recognize you? Facial recognition technology is the natural extension of how we visually-dominant creatures make sense of the world around us.
Pairing the technology with the leading visually-dominant communication form of today, video conferencing, could create a powerful new way of proving your identity online, paving the way to a more secure world of internet banking.
Facing the Future of Video Conferencing
Put simply, facial recognition technology is a just a very sophisticated game of snap. Computers reliant on massive databases and precision cameras try to match incoming images with the potentially billions they hold.
Be it an active search for a certain face within a crowd, or a passive search matching a supplied image, that’s all that’s going on. Now, that search is guided by some very detailed facial mapping that keys on dozens of features common across human faces which serve as coordinates. These include the depth of eye sockets, the width of a nose, and the distance between features.
This facial map is the fingerprint of the digital age. And once it’s on file it can be used in any number of ways.
Facial Recognition Security
The most immediate example is border security. Travelling through immigration at an airport is the most common way people are asked to stand and smile next to a photo of themselves to prove who they are.
Facial recognition technology has been trialled at Washington’s Dulles airport, and at the pedestrian border crossing between the U.S. and Mexico at Otay Mesa, San Diego. Both trials use random selection processes, as the technology is currently too slow to process the near 19,000 passengers who pass through Dulles each day. The trials make sure the person holding the passport has the same face as the person pictured in it, which gives us a glimpse of how future immigration security will work.
The technology has also been used in a variety of other ways. An application has been created to allow churches to monitor who attends their services. Another device lets safety teams at mining sites monitor the faces of heavy machinery drivers to test for signs of fatigue.
And there are even fears facial recognition software could lead to the advent of robot hitmen.
But setting these developments aside (if it’s even possible to set aside thoughts of robot hitmen) there’s one industry that is begging for the application of facial recognition technology.
Banks Become Safer with Video-Based Face Recognition
Most online bank accounts are accessed and protected by a username and password. In the age of online hacking, that’s equal to making your money free charity. Fusing video conferencing with facial recognition creates a much stronger defense.
By supplying your bank with a recent mugshot of yourself when creating an account–or opting-in to such a security upgrade on an existing account–you could add a level of personal detail to your basic security method like a password and username.
Now when you go to log in to your account you could be greeted with an automated video chat window that will ask you to stare into the void for a few seconds while the bank confirms your identity. This system could work on a native, browser-based video conferencing link that removes the need for you to match video providers with your bank.
You could take this a step further and rule out the chance of someone assuming your identity by reproducing a photo of you by including voice recognition to the protection. Some government agencies currently use voice recognition security to match callers to their accounts during phone calls.
As a working model, you could be asked to pre-record video of yourself reciting a personalized greeting or random phrase when you establish the account. Now when you login you’ll be promoted to repeat the phrase into the bank’s automated webcam.
This means that in order to break into David Beckham’s hypothetical, futuristic bank account, for example, you’d have to guess his pre-recorded greeting, and then be both fortunate enough to look like him, and unfortunate enough to sound like him.
Image Source: Flickr CC User Steve Jurvetson