From identifying your friends in Facebook photos to protecting your home from burglaries, facial recognition is adding a new level of efficiency to our everyday lives. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision are behind many of the current technological advances in this field.
Here are six of the world’s top startups shaping this revolution.
Founded by Dr Li Xu (徐立), Hong-Kong based SenseTime (商汤科技) is one of the top AI startups in the world. The company has raised over $2.6 billion to date, with investors such as Alibaba and Qualcomm behind it. SenseTime is playing a major role in the surveillance plans, protocols and systems of the Chinese government, and its technology is even being used in police smart glasses to catch jaywalkers.
Founded by Yin Qi, Yang Mu and Tang Wenbin, Megvii has raised a total of $1.4 billion in funding and earned $750 million in May of this year. The Beijing-based company focuses on providing businesses and developers with data services and solutions using emerging technologies. Megvii is largely known for Face++, the world’s most advanced facial recognition technology. Face++ is used by many of the world’s financial institutions and corporations, such as CITC, PingAn Bank, Uber and Alibaba. Using its original deep learning system Brain++ as a base, the company is aiming to create an AI engine. Megvii is also constructing an operating system for AIoT.
Israel-based Orcam Technologies is using artificial intelligence and facial recognition to aid those who have lost or are losing their vision. The company’s MyEye 2 is the world’s most advanced wearable assistive technology incorporating for the blind and visually impaired, being able to recognise faces, identify products and barcodes, detect colours, and more. The MyReader 2 has been deemed to be the most advanced artificial intelligence technology for the blind and visually impaired, functioning as a surface reader. Blind Israelis have used the company’s technology to vote in the country’s recent elections without assistance.
Clarifai uses artificial intelligence to identify and analyse images and videos via computer vision, machine learning and deep neural networks. The NYC-based company was founded by Dr Matthew Zeiler and has received over $40 million in funding. Clarifai’s General Model 1.5 can recognise 11,000 concepts from object detection, including factors such as mood or theme. The facial recognition technology has also evolved to identify faces that are at different angles, far away from the camera and partly obstructed.
Based in Silicon Valley, Faceter raised over $28 million through an initial coin offering, the only company on our list to use blockchain to accomplish its goals. Its also designing a decentralised system of real-time video surveillance through facial and body recognition. The startup’s facial recognition technology is being used for workplace attendance and analytics, home security systems, customer behaviour in retail environments and entreprise-level solutions. Object detection and real-time video content analysis are also offered through the platform.
Italy-based Cynny is behind MorphCast, a mobile platform that offers facial recognition in a smartphone without the need for an app or plugin. The company has raised about $14 million in funding. Cynny can customise videos and marketing initiatives based on the user’s facial features. Morphcast can identify gender with 95 percent accuracy, emotions with 97 percent accuracy and figure out a user’s age within seven years.