For last few years I have been carrying 2 cell phones. One is employer provided corporate phone and other one is personal. Current phone provided by employer has facial recognition technology and personal one has finger print sensor. Thankfully that reduces need to type password significantly (flip side of that is when you’re asked to type password once in a blue moon, struggle to remember it is real one!). This is why I always say technology is making us lazier (more than that some other time)…  

Beauty of phone with facial recognition technology is whenever the phone has notification all I have to do is lift and then rest of the stuff of unlocking of phone happens like a magic wand! When it comes to finger print one, you’ve to authenticate by putting finger on sensor and then go about business. So while at home (where we spend most of our time these days) this setup works great. However when you add current pandemic into equation, things become slightly complicated. Whenever I go outside the house, I am wearing a mask. And when you’re wearing mask, facial recognition doesn’t work! There you’ve type your password or key to unlock your phone. But finger print sensor works well.

In light of current mask situation I am starting to wonder about future of facial recognition in general. This problem of mask throwing off facial recognition is not limited to just smartphone unlocking. Few weeks back, I was pulled over by cop for routine paperwork check, he couldn’t match my face with mask to picture on driving license. Law enforcement agencies use facial recognition as well. COVID-19 pandemic and forced use of masks made facial recognition complicated. 

Franklin Roosevelt had famously said, “A calm sea never makes skilled sailor”. How would facial recognition technology reacts to this challenge of masks would go long way in defining technology strategies of future… 


1 Comment

Umakant Barhale · October 27, 2020 at 9:28 pm

How small chinu became big having on block. Proud of you.

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