5 Weird Uses of Facial Recognition Technology

Facial recognition technology is becoming ever more familiar. There are some out-of-the-box uses, however, that you may not have heard of.

26.06.2019 | by Kezia Parkins
Photo by Charles ?? on Unsplash
Photo by Charles ?? on Unsplash

Facial recognition technology is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday lives. We can use it to enter buildings, get past airport security faster and now even pay for things, meaning that in many ways it is making life more efficient.

However, there are quite a few peculiar uses of the technology that you may not be aware of. Here’s 5:


Identifying Pets

Face recognition can now be used to identifying the breed of your pet — if you were not sure already. Additionally, this capability makes it possible to find missing pets too. Apps such as Finding Rover and PIP allow you to upload your missing pet’s selfie to their database where found pets pictures are uploaded as well. The face recognition tech will scan your pets face to see if it matches with any pets that have been rescued. 


Finding love

Finding one’s potential soul-mate online has become a popular practice in this fast-paced world that seems to see us interact more online than we do in real life. Badoo, a London-based dating app, is now using AI and facial recognition technology to let users find a match that resembles anyone at all, including their ex or celebrity crush.

Dating apps are also using facial recognition and AI to protect users from people posing as others and from unsolicited lewd pictures — an occurrence that is reported all to often from those on dating apps. 

Badoo’s founder, Andrey Andreev, and Bumble’s founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, are in the process of launching a new feature, named Private Detector, to rid the dating world of these types of images. 


Identifying problem gamblers

Casinos use facial recognition to spot potential cheaters in their establishments. The tech is also being used to stop those suffering with gambling addiction from entering. When a person self-identifies as a problem gambler, they can fill out a form and volunteer to have their photo taken by the casino. The casino then instructs its staff and security team to be on the lookout for that person, and if caught in the casino, the problem gambler could be escorted out or even arrested for trespassing. Facial recognition is now being rolled out for this purpose in casinos around the world to improve their ability to keep problem gamblers away.

However, there have been reports of those trying to cheat the system by showing up in multiple disguises. 


Stop toilet paper thieves

In China, toilet paper theft in public restrooms is a big problem and to address it the government has installed machines in public restrooms that scan people’s faces before releasing toilet paper. Toilet users will need to scan their faces and they will be dispensed 90cm of toilet paper. If the same person wants more, they will have to wait for 9 minutes to go by.


Automated jaywalking fines

In China, where surveillance is more present than anywhere else in the world, police now wear glasses equipped with face recognition technology in public places. 

Jaywalkers are automatically fined and notified through SMS when identified by Face recognition-equipped surveillance technology and are then named and shamed on public screens.

However, this jaywalking detection technology may have some time to go. Recently in the city of Ningbo, a camera caught a jaywalker at an intersection on Jiangxia Bridge East, but it turned out to be merely the face of famous businesswoman, Dong Mingzhu on the side of a bus.

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