Is Facial Recognition The Next Boom Industry?


Source: Mashable

Over the past few years we’ve seen some impressive developments in the way we operate our workplaces. Whether these are industry specific, such as the potential 3D printing offers to manufacturing, Bitcoin to e-commerce, or more general industry trends, the rise of potentially market changing innovation in several fields has been hard not to notice.

If there’s one industry which seems to be holding immense potential, specifically due to it not being bound to any specific market, it’s facial recognition.


As alluded to earlier, the technology can be utilized on a generally wide range of services. Most people’s first experience with it was likely through Facebook. A few years ago the company took its first steps into the industry, applying the technology for both adding efficiency to the photo tagging process, along with verifying accounts, and other profile security related operations.

How accurate is it though? Very accurate.

Facebook’s DeepFace program claims that its system is reaching near human levels of recognition ability, operating with just over 97% accuracy, hence its current steady use by the company.

Niche Market

As far as business trends go, it seems that facial recognition might make its biggest impact fighting fraud. It’s also moving from being a trial technology, to a mainstay of the FBI’s digital crime fighting arsenal.

Kairos, a startup specializing in facial recognition technology, and one of the industry’s leaders, having won the Startup of The Year award from the Wall Street Journal in 2013, is directing the technology both to employers, along with retailers.

It works two-fold. For employers, Kairos is providing ability to have its ‘time clock’ system digitally recognize staff members both within, and outside their place of work for tracking optimization. As for retailers, Kairos allows them to compile customer faces into a database, something which can be put to use for varying purposes, but is seen primarily as a tool for deterring fraud, especially online.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a hit if the bigger players didn’t want to get involved at some point. While its positive traction through private markets remains impressive, the fact that the U.S. government, and specifically the FBI sees this as a vital investment for the future is indicative of the trust being placed into this type of innovation.

Specifically, the bureau claims to have reached full operational capacity on its own biometrics database, the largest such archive in existence, and one who’s composition includes facial recognition. The operation is a means of replacing the long running finger print based file, and offers real insight into the future of the field.



Set To Boom

The gap between an innovative, or even inspiring technology, and one which will ultimately be profitable though is bridged to a large degree on whether new entrants to the industry will be able to easily access capital. For that to happen, investors need to believe it, and for that, well, the growth outlook better look good.

That’s certainly the case here. From 2014-2019 the facial recognition market is set to expand by over 25%, with an expected market value of $2.19 Billion within five years.

Some services have natural competitive advantages. In the case of facial recognition it’s the adaptability it offers. Given the rate at which we build data through photos and videos posted online, there was bound to be a serious effort to assemble the data in an effective way. From there, facial recognition was the logical next step. The fact that the technology can be implemented through such a wide range of markets, for strikingly different uses, means that its value as a commodity is set to increase exponentially as it begins to extend its global reach through industries.

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