Analysis: Facial recognition market should rebound

A noticeable improvement in the performance and reliability of face recognition biometrics in the past two years is likely to encourage further deployment of the technology, according to the consulting firm Frost and Sullivan of Palo Alto, Calif.

Problems with face recognition biometrics have fostered skepticism over its ability to meet the demands posed by emerging applications. But improved accuracy is boosting adoption in areas such as travel-related security, particularly in immigration and visa documentations.

Revenue from face recognition biometrics totaled $21.5 million in 2002 and is expected to reach $791.8 million by 2009, according to Frost and Sullivan.

Face recognition performs best in controlled conditions, such as proper lighting, consistent angle of image capture and facial orientation, but has performance issues in uncontrolled situations, the research company said.

"The passing of new, important legislation and standardization efforts by industry associations have given a tremendous impetus to the face recognition market potential," said Prianka Chopra, a biometric analyst with Frost and Sullivan.

Although government agencies demonstrated much interest in face recognition biometrics after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, very little implementation has happened, the research company said.

The immediate need is to educate consumers about the performance of this technology to give a more accurate idea of its abilities and dispel unreal expectations, Frost and Sullivan said. A marketing effort is needed from the major players and will entail making investments of time and money.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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