AI-based Facial Recognition Technology - A New Standard for Today's Flexible Workspace

Boon Edam Blog | April 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining more and more popularity as society persistently relies on cutting-edge innovation to improve the security and livelihood of mankind. As the world changes around us (faster now than ever), technology continues to impact virtually every part of our lives, including our workplaces.

New Generation Safety and Security

AI within a standard work environment has been around for a few years now, but the level at which it is integrated is more vital now than ever before. Gone are the days of 9-5 workplaces, where an employee has a permanent desk or office. The workforce is shifting to a more flexible work environment. We see an increase in workspace hubs - such as WeWork and MindSpace popping up in major cities worldwide.

In addition to that, with the introduction of COVID, the concept of capsule or pod shifts have become increasingly popular as buildings have been forced to operate at a limited capacity. Ensuring their guests' health and safety and adhering to government rules and regulations are priorities for building owners and managers.

As a result, seamless security and access control, backed by AI-based facial recognition technology, has become a hot topic of discussion for office buildings and provides building owners and operators with a competitive edge in the current market.

Ease Through a One-to-Many Framework

How so, you ask? Look at it this way: Buildings that are still using (access cards) keycards or fingerprints require employees and visitors to perform an action before they can enter the building. This system makes the entry process more timely and almost certainly results in entry / exit bottlenecks and crowding. Also, using legacy systems for access control is not as safe and is more susceptible to hacking or theft. All you need to do to enter a building is to use someone's keycard. You also need to make contact with surfaces and, in a time where surface contamination is at an all-time high, reducing the need to touch anything is always safer for employees, staff, and visitors.

One of the more common places where facial recognition is implemented for access control is within speed gates. Your regular security barrier requires a keycard to be placed on the sensor and, if the keycard is recognised, the gate opens. In the short run, this works perfectly, but it does not actually tell you who was given access to the building, only which keycard they used.

By establishing a personnel list composed of registered employees, staff, and known visitors, all a guest needs to do is walk up to the speed gate. If they are in the system, the gate will automatically open. This form of access control ensures the right people enter and protects the privacy of every person who attempts to enter the facility. The system does not know who every person is - and it does not need to know. All it needs to know is who is allowed to enter and ensure that those who are not registered cannot gain access.

This seems like a rather complicated process, but it is actually quite simple to implement and works easily through a one-to-many framework. The system's database will include a reference image of each person who is allowed to enter the facility and when they have permission to be there.

For example, if I work in a capsule and must be present at the office every Tuesday and Thursday, the system will contain an image of myself that I provide and include my working schedule to know when I need to be there.

If I attempt to come to the office on Monday, the speed gate will not open as I am not permitted to be there on that day. However, once Tuesday comes around, I will be able to enter without even breaking stride.

A Clever Combination

The one-to-many framework operates by detecting the person who is attempting to enter and matching it to a person in the database. If there is a match, it then searches for that person's schedule and determines whether they are allowed to be there on that day and at that time.

This type of cutting-edge technology has only scratched the surface of what can indeed be done to help building operators. By combining facial recognition with automation technology, buildings can provide next-level experience for their visitors, such as changing the temperature according to who is in the office or calling an elevator to the correct floor, and so much more.

Frictionless AI Facial Recognition Entrances for your Shared Work Environment

Curious to learn more about how your workspace can benefit from recognition technology? Visit the 'Lifeline Speedlane Vision' page on our website, where you can find much more information and downloads. Alternatively, contact us for more information.

About the Author

Enrico Montagnino is SVP, Global Sales at AnyVision, responsible for all aspects of the company's go-to-market strategy and execution. A veteran software executive with more than 15 years of experience in the industry, Rico has spent his career bringing innovative technologies to global enterprises around the world.

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