What is Facial Recognition Access Control?

Biometrics have become an integral part of personal and professional life. Eighty percent of phones in North America, Western Europe and the Asia Pacific have enabled biometrics. Furthermore, 53% of business professionals in a recent survey agreed that biometric technology will be the key enabler for anchoring digital identity.

Enterprises are using a range of biometric solutions, including fingerprint readers, face recognition and palm vein to increase the efficiency of physical access control by creating additional layers of verification at the workplace.

In fact, facial recognition, a technology that allows people to use their faces to unlock gates and doors, has become a mainstream access control solution since the accelerated adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions.

This article provides a quick overview of facial recognition technology and its advantages and disadvantages.

Are Biometric Access Control Systems the Future?

Not all biometric access control systems are the same. While fingerprint systems require users to touch the access reader to unlock the door, technologies such as facial recognition and palm vein are contactless.

Many enterprises are moving away from fingerprint access control because of the COVID-19 pandemic and hygiene concerns. They want to implement contactless technologies that authenticate users without requiring them to touch doors, card readers and surfaces.

Though facial recognition access control is contactless, property managers are adopting a wait-and-see approach due to broader implications such as regulatory restrictions and privacy concerns.

With a global market size of $3.86 billion, the facial recognition access control market has seen high growth rates over the past few years. However, the availability of alternative touchless access control technologies, new regulations and privacy concerns may restrict the adoption of facial recognition.

Though facial recognition can streamline the physical access control of a building, it may not be the perfect choice for enterprises that want to meet the expectations of all stakeholders.

Advantages of Facial Recognition Access Control

Facial recognition access control offers many advantages, including the prevention of fraud, protection of vital assets at the building premises, and the prevention of disease transmission.

Facial Recognition Can Help Prevent Fraud

Employee theft is the biggest concern for enterprises of all sizes. Seventy-five percent of employees, in a recent survey, admitted to stealing at least once from their employers. The average loss of employee theft for retail organizations is more than $1,500. Enterprises can integrate a high-definition video surveillance system with facial recognition technology to authenticate worker identity from a long distance or at an unusual angle. Similarly, a supermarket chain may want to use a facial recognition access control system that can send notifications to security administrators when a known shoplifter enters any of its branches across the world.

Facial Recognition Access Control Can Be Used to Protect Important Infrastructure.

Protecting critical infrastructure is vital for enterprises, hospitals and schools. Physical intrusions at these properties can lead to service disruptions, equipment failures and violent crimes.

Facial recognition works well in protecting critical infrastructure. Additionally, integrating video surveillance with facial recognition access control will help property managers safeguard their facilities through live video feeds. It can translate the data into real-time insights for informed decision-making.

Facial Recognition Can Prevent the Spread of Disease

Facial recognition technology is hands-free. Unlike legacy biometric technologies, such as fingerprints, facial recognition does not require users to touch card readers while attempting to gain access. It detects the facial characteristics of people from a distance and authenticates their identity. Since face recognition technology is contactless, enterprises can prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and rare skin diseases.

Disadvantages of Facial Recognition Access Control

Though facial recognition technology can provide frictionless access, it is expensive and raises privacy concerns. The cost of implementing and managing facial recognition access control is higher than mobile access control. Additionally, these systems raise doubts about the privacy of users as they capture and store the faces of people, from a distance, without their consent. 

Though facial recognition security solutions have improved dramatically over the years, they still aren’t error-free. Many studies, including the NIST’s Face Recognition Vendor Test, confirmed that modern-day face recognition algorithms can achieve high accuracy of around 99.97%. However, these results are possible only in ideal conditions such as adequate lighting and consistency in face positioning.

In another study, conducted on captured videos in airport boarding gates and sports avenues, NIST found that the facial recognition algorithms had accuracies between 36% and 87% in liveness detection depending on the camera position. Facial recognition technology is also criticized for its lack of accuracy in face mask detection and temperature detection.

Genea is Your Solution for Touchless Access Control

Genea is an access control provider that offers the following touchless access control technologies:

  • Mobile access control: It allows people to use their BLE or NFC-enabled smartphones rather than physical key fobs or ID cards to unlock doors.
  • A touchless visitor management system: It enables visitors to pre-register through a mobile application before arriving at the building, fill out a health questionnaire, and receive access credentials in the form of a QR code. While this QR code gives touchless access to designated places for the visitors, it allows security administrators to track the movement of the visitor on the building premises in real-time. 
  • Cloud-based access control: It offers a globalized dashboard that helps security administrators assign access credentials to users and monitor their access activities from a remote location.
  • Video management:  You can integrate Genea Security with video surveillance systems such as Rhombus Systems, Cisco Meraki, AVA and Eagle Eye Networks to monitor access activities in real-time through live video feeds and generate video analytics for informed decision-making.

Book a demo to learn more about how Genea’s touchless access control technologies help you streamline the user experience.  

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