Despite the controversy that continues to surround its use in public forums, facial recognition online continues to be tested, tried, and even utilized in many public forums. Retail businesses, in particular, are beginning to understand the value of facial recognition technology in curtailing retail crime in brick and mortar businesses, especially during the busy holiday seasons.
In the UK, for example, facial recognition technology was tested by police forces several days ago on the hectic streets of London. The technology was used to scan the faces of Christmas shoppers, with police using information compiled in this way to spot wanted criminals. The use marked the seventh time the UK capital’s police force tested the product in public.
Previously used in 2016 and 2017 at the Notting Hill Carnival and again at Remembrance Day, cameras were fixed to lampposts and vans to measure the structure of passing faces. Once scanned, the image was compared to a database of known criminals’ faces in mugshots. Such information was used to determine whether or not to stop the individuals, all of whom are informed that they are subject to being scanned while walking in certain areas.
For retail businesses during holiday shopping, the system can be invaluable. It can be used to see what type of products consumers browse, but do not purchase. And utilizing the system means security professionals can instantly identify recognized shoplifters, retail criminals, or people who commit fraud when they enter any retail establishment. The advanced biometric analysis allows security officials to rely on real-time data, rather than outdated methods of posting photographs in loss prevention offices within businesses.
Using artificial intelligence and sophisticated algorithms, images of these people can be captured and compared against databases of known criminals so that loss prevention security can be quickly notified when a potential threat enters the store. Relying sole on intuition and memory will be a thing of the past when deciding who to watch, and it can also improve the processes employed when approaching criminals to keep shoppers, employees, and the public safe.
In the US, a retail consultant in Minneapolis, Adrien Weidman, indicated that most stores, whether they are bodegas or shopping malls, already have most of the technology in place to track consumers entering their stores. Security cameras, as well as cameras inside digital signs and kiosks, can do more than just determine whether a browsing customer is a potential threat. These cameras also allow retailers to show whether or not shoppers are paying attention to ads. Weidmann stated, “It’s the same lens. All it takes to upgrade is a piece of software.”
Agnostic to cameras, the platform is generalized and operable with any camera, limiting the need to invest in the replacement of current camera systems that stores may already have in place. It runs on an existing chip, allowing it to perform efficiently without modification of existing hardware. Because of its “plug and play” facet, it will be immediately operational and scalable for use in your current business.
The availability of such data can help companies and businesses looking to understand more about what types of advertisements draw the attention of visiting consumers and streamline their marketing campaign to target certain types of consumers, based on gender, age, and other demographic information. This will allow companies to improve their Social Gone Viral strategies for the company’s social media marketing and advertising.
Even if retailers are e-commerce businesses, facial recognition software can be useful. Perfect for validating an online consumer’s identity and facilitating secure transactions for e-commerce business, facial software will find utility. Face scans will likely replace ATM/debit cards completely in mainstream business transactions eventually, but face recognition software can currently be used to ensure that individuals using credit and debit cards online for purchases are who they say they are.
Mastercard is researching ways to replace the credit and debit card with a selfie, increasing the level of prevention against fraud and identity theft, as well as eradicating the need to remember passwords or personal identification (PIN) numbers. Many financial services companies are already utilizing systems that enable customers to do things like order meals and use face-scanning as a payment option.
Looking for security in your retail business? It is clear that face recognition software such as FaceFirst and platforms like Better Tomorrow can be easily leveraged for a retail business’ many security needs.
What are some ways you would like to use facial recognition software in your business model? Let us know in the comments section.