Although relatively new, facial recognition technologies are already on the brink of a massive wave of change. Older techniques are being improved upon and new, groundbreaking systems and technologies are being launched. From facial recognition systems that can identify people in pitch darkness to the replacement of conventional passwords with face recognition tools to advertisements that are trigged based on the age and gender of a consumer, the possibilities currently seem endless and exciting.

The global facial recognition market has received an unprecedented boost from innovative technologies – a factor that will lead the market to report a CAGR of 9.5% between 2015 and 2022, says a report by Transparency Market Research. As of 2014, the global facial recognition market was valued at US$ 1,307.0 billion. While currently 2D facial recognition technologies are most widely used worldwide, the emergence of 3D technologies is exceptionally strong. As of 2014, government establishments made maximum use of face recognition tools and systems, but this could also change with the retail sector rapidly embracing this technology.

Surveillance, Electronic Security, and New-Age Marketing – The Three Most High-Potential Growth Areas for Facial Recognition

For the most part, facial recognition technologies are employed for military and government surveillance programs. This change has primarily been brought about because of a spike in the incidence of terrorist attacks as well as internal security threats and criminal activities across several nations. Given the relatively foolproof and discreet nature of facial recognition, governments are deploying such systems for border control and immigration checks. Market analysts expect that at some in the future, facial recognition technology could even replace conventional passports.

In the retail sector, where millions of dollars are lost to shoplifting and thefts each year, there has been an increasing interest in facial recognition technologies. The ability to spot and arrest undesirable customer behavior with unprecedented efficiency has piqued the interest of retail giants. For instance, in a pilot project in the United Kingdom, customers who walked into a store were identified using face recognition technology and were greeted by name by store staff.

The consumer electronics sector, also, has woken up to the many benefits offered by facial recognition technology. Companies such as Apple and Samsung have already begun toying with the idea of making facial-recognition-powered access to electronic devices.

Privacy Concerns Dog the Facial Recognition Market as Governments Intervene

Social networks such as Facebook have drawn much flak for using facial recognition and biometric software to prompt users to tag their friends in photos. This even caused regulators in Europe and Canada to intervene and order Facebook to shut off its facial recognition feature here.

Moreover, in view of facial recognition technologies now being adopted by several commercial companies, governments are setting up working groups to study the impact of such changes and also to draft privacy guidelines concerning the use of facial recognition technology. In the short term, these aspects could impede the growth of the global facial recognition market. However, in the long term, if companies are able to intelligently overcome these challenges, they will only emerge with new opportunities for growth.

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