Facial recognition technology has been floating around, loosely adopted, since the early part of the last decade.
Among its popular use cases today is in mobile phones and gadgets as a way for users to conveniently unlock their device. (Though plenty of users opt to disable the feature out of privacy concerns or to bypass a security requirement altogether.)
Payments, of course, is another area where the technology has been applied, removing the need for cards, phones, and touching. For example, Mastercard first rolled out its “selfie” pay technology in 2016.
Now, new life may be breathed into facial ID due to the coronavirus.
PopID is one of the companies whose product roadmap has been altered since the outbreak. Founded in 2016, the Los Angeles-based company provides solutions for verifying identity using an individual’s face. The technology was previously used mostly for payments and loyalty programs. Now, the platform could be used to help determine who can enter a business — especially restaurants — as society reopens by integrating thermal imaging information to take a person’s temperature at the door.
It can be used as a screening tool for employees coming to work, or as a broader way to ease the fears of potential restaurant patrons who are concerned about a return to sit-down dining.
The focus on how facial ID and thermal imaging can be applied in restaurants fits with PopID’s business structure, as a majority-owned subsidiary of a holding company focused on using technology to transform the restaurant and retail industries.
We’re generally upbeat about technology that can improve security and convenience — especially when it could be used to help us return to a world that feels a little more “normal.” But we’re cognizant of the legitimate concerns and questions surrounding facial technology. It’s been criticized for unreliability and inefficiency, there are hacking concerns if face data isn’t stored properly, and it’s a Wild Wild West in terms of laws about using the technology and storing its data.