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Facial recognition and border control: opening more doors

​The increased use of automated e-Gates in airports means more opportunities for harnessing facial recognition technology

First published on August 24, 2018

​Automated ePassport gates, otherwise known as e-Gates, are now a common sight at airports around the world. Biometric ePassports have opened the door – or should that be gate – to the widespread use of facial recognition technology when it comes to passport control at borders. 

By mid 2017 some 1,000 million ePassports were in circulation, and currently more than 150 countries have started issuing the electronic passport. The use of e-Gates is designed to streamline waiting times at borders and improve the passenger experience.

Facial recognition to the fore

Amid a climate where the use of automated border control (ABC) is increasingly prevalent, effective entry and exit management solutions at airports are in demand, and facial recognition – the most natural means of biometric identification – has risen to the fore. This is set against a backdrop of huge potential growth in the wider facial recognition market. 

A study in June 2016 estimated that the global face recognition market would generate $9.6 billion of revenue, allied to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) OF 21.3%.

Live Face Identification System

In March 2018, Gemalto's eGate facial recognition solution turned heads at the US Department of Homeland Security 2018 Biometric Rally, which was held at the Maryland Test Facility (MdTF)

Twelve companies were chosen from a pool of applicants to showcase their facial recognition technology. Selected companies were required to meet a number of requirements – including time constraints, unmanned operation and limited physical footprint – and were judged on three categories: efficiency, satisfaction, and effectiveness. 

The results that were published in May show that The Gemalto Live Face Identification System (LFIS) did exceptionally well and outperformed the average range for most metrics. Out of more than 300 volunteers 96% rated their satisfaction with the system as 'happy' or 'very happy', compared with an average satisfaction of 90% under the same formula. 

In another eye-catching statistic, the system also obtained a 99.44% successful face acquisition rate in less than five seconds, compared to an average of 68%. In terms of the percentage of transactions that provided correct identity within five seconds, the system also scored very highly, achieving a 98% true identification rate, making it one of just two companies which met the target goal. 

For more information, read the Biometric Technology Rally definitions and full results.  ​

TAGGED IN biometrics; innovation; transportation