Big Brother is going to get smarter

A new report has revealed that the facial recognition market is set to explode in the coming years and advances in 3D scanning will mean that a company knows who you are and what it can sell you before you walk through the door.

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Facial recognition has a number of advantages. It doesn’t require physical contact or the subject to stand still in front of a scanner. As the technology improves then facial recognition can work its magic from an increasingly long distance.

It can work with cameras that companies already have as a matter of course and technically different systems can communicate with each other and create a vast library of information that is constantly cross-referenced.

Facial recognition software is getting better

Legal eagles want their eyes in the sky

That means it’s an attractive option for law enforcement agencies, but it also has applications in marketing and advertising. Targeted marketing is set to become big business and with everyone’s details already out there on social media, it’s relatively simple to scan their face and present them with relevant, geo-specific advertising.

Business intelligence is also an underserved market right now, but by 2022 we will have the capacity to scan people as they enter a building, link up to their social media profiles and know everything about them before they are through the gate. That is going to be the economic driving force that turns facial recognition into a huge business.

It could even be used as a foolproof form of biometric identification at a cashpoint or shop, which could slash the amount of fraud at a stroke. We just wrote about a law enforcement agency 3D printing a murder victim’s fingers to crack their smartphone, too. If this happens more often, then the public and industry at large might lose faith in the trusty fingerprint and that will further boost facial recognition’s cause.

Even the consumer market will drive development as smartphone apps are already out there and there will come a point where we’re casually scanning people we meet in a bar to make sure they’re on the level.

You’re on candid camera in any city

Of course, surveillance technology is already everywhere and it’s virtually impossible to walk through any major city in the civilised world without being caught on camera. If wanted criminals can be picked out of a crowd by software, then it will be a powerful tool for the police.

A number of different systems are currently on the market and they are separated into 2D, 3D and analytic software that picks out specific features and creates its own model. 2D’s days are surely numbered as now we have Cloud computing power and better scanners then the 3D software has advanced to such an extent that it has already left the 2D alternative in its wake.

The report covers probable advances in hardware, from handheld scanners through to drone-mounted cameras, which will advance at a breakneck pace in the coming years. 3D printing has taken massive strides and 3D scanning is just as important on a number of levels.

3D scanning needs to catch up

In some ways the scanning industry needs to catch up and that creates opportunity, which will attract investment. Progress is inevitable, then, and soon we could have software packages that can make full use of the cameras and connected devices that we all carry round with us.

So we can combine facial recognition with other cues and we will soon live in a fully connected world thanks to the Internet of Things. Then there simply won’t be any doubt and we’ll have a perfect facial recognition system that means somebody knows where we are, all the time.

If you want to know all about the next generation Big Brother, then get your copy of the report here.