3D facial recognition technology on brink of breakthrough

Creative Industries | Latest News | South West | Start-up | Technology

A 3D facial recognition system could be used commercially in the UK for the first time as part of a Government-backed project.

The University of the West of England has teamed up with leading British facial recognition company Customer Clever to develop a ground-breaking solution for high security UK and global commercial uses. Customer Clever, based in Nottinghamshire, is already successfully pioneering face recognition solutions for customers in a range of sectors, including retail.

Joint funding of £170,000 has been allocated for the two-year project by Innovate UK to drive innovation and creative thinking in the rapidly developing sector.

The project will be supervised by experts from UWE’s Centre for Machine Vision, which has been developing 3D facial recognition systems in its laboratories for more than 10 years.

Lyndon Smith, Professor of Computer Simulation and Machine Vision at the Centre for Machine Vision, part of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, said: “This funding is for us to go ahead and commercially implement the technology. We think it’s on the verge of becoming really big.

“Facial recognition technology is a powerful technique with many security applications. It might be that you are running a retail store or restaurant chain and there are certain customers you don’t want entering the premises.

“Potential uses are increasing all the time but first we have to iron out problems with how the technology performs. Things which are easy for the human eye to deal with, like changes in background light and people looking in different directions, are big problems for this technology.

“There’s a difference between making the system work in the laboratory and doing so in a busy supermarket, where there are changes in lighting conditions and people walking around in the background.”

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