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Home > Tech News > Are we wearing masks? Or do we want to use face recognition? This is a problem
Are we wearing masks? Or do we want to use face recognition? This is a problem

Are we wearing masks? Or do we want to use face recognition? This is a problem

By  Ariella Riley 2020-02-05 283 6

Face recognition is a very convenient and fast function, such as 3D face recognition on mobile phone, Face ID and other functions have run through mobile phone unlocking, mobile payment, program download and other applications, you do not even need to do other operations to quickly complete authentication. In addition, face recognition is also widely used in airports, railway stations and other scenes to make our travel more efficient.


It is precisely because of the rapidity of face recognition and to a large extent replacing the role of the original fingerprint unlocking, which is why some netizens think that as long as there is reliable face recognition on mobile phones in the future, fingerprint modules can make room for other components. But no one thought such a thing would happen in 2020.

Due to the prevalence of the new coronavirus, masks have almost become standard for people all over the country to go out, and some even wear goggles. Because of blocking the key facial information, the facial recognition function can not be used normally, which has a great impact on mobile phones or devices that have only one way of facial recognition.

Facial recognition is a little shrunken

This may be the first time I think face recognition is a very troublesome thing. On January 26, I wore a mask and went out to the nearby supermarket to buy essential food and daily necessities. At this time, I had not thought of what would happen next.

When I needed to unlock and pay, the words "unable to recognize facial information" on the phone screen left me "at a loss" at that time. When I slightly raised my hand to the mask, wondering whether to pull it down for face recognition, the cashier took a step back subconsciously. I know she's serious about this. So I honestly use the password to unlock and pay.

 
Forced to use KN95 face mask because he couldn't buy a mask

The next few days were like a repeater, repeating the plot as long as I was shopping outside, but I was also a face-sweeping "spoiled" person, and it was hard for me to use a password to unlock it as I did in 2011. Finally, I turned off the face and password of my phone, leaving only the passwords of Wechat and Alipay. But the use of mobile phones without the protection of faces and passwords will more or less increase the risk of privacy.

Although this is a bit of a "current account" life story, but we can see that in this special period, mobile phone face recognition does not apply to a certain extent. By contrast, my mother's phone with fingerprint recognition is much happier to use. Fingerprint recognition uses fingerprints for unlocking or other operations, regardless of what you wear on your face, and this is the first time that I am so deeply aware of the importance of fingerprint recognition that even if I find it troublesome, it is excellent as a backup unlock. Of course, some manufacturers are aware of this.

 
Vice President of Huawei Mobile Product Line 

Here I would like to tell you a tip: if you are a "notch display" iPhone user, you can click the word "face ID" in the middle of the screen to enter the password input interface directly to improve the unlocking efficiency.

It is worth noting that the "disobedience" of face recognition on mobile phones is probably just a microcosm, because this function is not just used on mobile phones.

At the railway station, at the airport, dare you take off your mask?

On January 23, at Beijing South Railway Station, I finally embarked on my journey home.

In order to improve the travel efficiency of passengers, the security check and ticket checking equipment of Beijing South Railway Station all use face recognition technology, and the improvement of this efficiency can be really felt. But this year, unlike in previous years, I had to wear a mask all the way home. As I wrote above, I had to take off the mask twice to pass security check and identity verification because it was impossible to recognize because the mask blocked the key information on my face.

 
Waiting in line to check in at Beijing South Railway Station

On the same day, Beijing South Railway Station was as crowded as ever, with nearly 200000 passengers in recent days, according to a report on the China Youth Network on the same day. Although the vast majority of passengers wear masks, the overall environment may be relatively safe, but at this point in time, I still have a lot of psychological pressure to take off my mask and scan my face to pass the security check.

At that time, I also happened to find an old man who did not wear a mask. He was probably used to the old ticket brushing machine or manual ticket checking. He looked a little rusty in the face of the new ticket brushing machine using facial recognition, and stayed at the ticket checking office for a while. Fortunately, with the help of the staff and volunteers of the South Railway Station, he was able to cross the border quickly. Such a phenomenon is actually very common, but now people can't help but worry about it.

On January 30, I encountered the same problem when I passed the security check at Sanming Shaxian Airport. I also had to take off my mask to pass the security check. Although there were not many people at that time, there was still some psychological burden.

Unlike the simple inconvenience of mobile phones, in crowded places such as airports and railway stations, asking me to take off my mask will inevitably increase my health risk. Of course, no one thought this year would be such an emergency.

There are always more ways than difficulties to keep your mind from slipping

Whether it is the inconvenience of using mobile phones or the psychological pressure caused by face recognition in public places, the essence of face recognition is still the "failure" of face recognition under some specific conditions. But it is unrealistic and unnecessary to ask mobile phone manufacturers or Beijing South Railway Station to cancel face recognition equipment. In most cases, face recognition still plays a very active role.

 
Face ID

In 2019, for example, the face recognition system at Beijing South Railway Station helped police catch fraud suspects who had absconded for 16 years. Of course, the advantages on the mobile phone are needless to say, the unlocking speed is fast, and you don't need to move your fingers like fingerprint recognition to unlock it, achieving a similar "senseless" feeling of operation. Individual unlocking schemes can also achieve payment-level security, which is why 3D face recognition and Face ID can be favored by most consumers.

 
Vivo APEX 2019

The problem of development can only be solved by the way of development, and fingerprint identification, which we are very familiar with, has been improving all the time. Take screen fingerprint unlocking as an example. Previously, vivo APEX 2019 was equipped with full-screen fingerprint unlocking, which can be successfully unlocked no matter where you press the screen. You don't have to move your finger to a specific area like the current unlocking method. Although the scheme is still a long way from being fully commercial, it is also a matter of time. The current physical fingerprint unlocking, such as side or rear fingerprint unlocking, and screen fingerprint unlocking also have iterations at the technical level, which can also be guaranteed in unlocking speed and security, and can also be used in payment scenarios.

So for our own mobile phones, it's best to support as many recognition methods as possible, face + fingerprint + pattern + password, enough for you to deal with multiple conditions of use, and having a plan B won't be a bad thing. If your phone only has a face + password and does not have other biometric methods, I am afraid you can only be patient first, and of course, like me, you can only keep the payment password settings of the application.

 
Iris recognition

For public places such as railway stations and airports, is it possible to add iris recognition to the identification equipment in the future? To put it simply, it is "unlock and identify with your eyes". After all, when wearing a mask, the eyes are exposed. In theory, the safety of iris is a biological recognition feature second only to DNA. Iris recognition has previously appeared on Samsung Note7 and Samsung S8 series, and it also has the characteristics of fast unlocking speed and high security. With face recognition, it has a very excellent effect, and can ensure the success rate of unlocking even in dark scenes. Previous iris recognition requires users to look directly at the recognition device, which is not far from the human eye, and may not be so friendly to users who wear glasses, yes, you need to take your glasses off. In addition, if iris recognition is used in scenarios with large traffic, whether it will encounter other problems needs to be verified. Although this is my personal idea, but I think it will be a good application direction.

 End

An epidemic not only let us see the glory and ugliness of human nature, a mask, we can see the limitations of some common technologies under certain conditions, as well as the psychological changes and invisible pressure brought about by them. Face recognition is still a very promising technology, and many people expect it to glow off the screen, but in the face of the complex and changeable actual situation, the combination of fingerprint and other recognition technologies will be more suitable.


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