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Opinion - The face is the key 

2020-08-18  Staff Reporter

Opinion - The face is the key 

Kehad Snydewel
Covid-19 has caused major disruptions to our lives. From work, school, play to interacting and everything in between. Modern, as well as time-honoured traditions, have suddenly fallen by the wayside and technologies that were being widely embraced and developed suddenly seem to be obsolete in the ‘new normal’. 

This is not an overstatement of fact but the absolute truth, just look at your own daily life and how it has changed. Nothing is the same any more…we don’t even shake hands any more. 
Life, however, must go on and we are all adjusting to the ‘new normal’ as best as we can. Smart companies, entrepreneurs and even governments are looking at ways in which adjusting to the new world can be done made easier, more efficient and create less hassle. Just look at how far sanitiser spray systems have come in just a few short months. We started off with bottles, wipes and sometimes jerrycans filled with water and soaps. 

Soon, ‘tippy-taps’ came into wider spread use, meaning that there was a ‘no-touch’ sanitation solution. We now have dispensers with electronic sensor systems that require no physical contact. The ‘no-physical’ contact has become an essential part of our daily routine and needs to be extended to all parts of our lives if we want the economy, schools and our lives to get back to some semblance of normality.
It all starts with us moving about and entering and exiting buildings, shops, schools and facilities without having to touch anything. Protecting ourselves and those around us by not coming into contact with surfaces, which will then be touched by others. This proves an immediate hurdle when we are asked to write our details in a register with a pen, have our fingerprints scanned to open doors or simply using door handles. One way of circumventing these issues and truly making entry and exit procedures contact-free is to use facial-recognition. A scan of the face can literally open every door. 

Facial recognition is a ‘no-touch’ and non-intrusive technology. Imagine kids trying to scan their irises and planting their whole faces one after the other on the iris-scanning machine. The chance of cross-infection is huge. The same goes for fingerprint scans. 
Besides, we recognise each other and ourselves not by looking at our fingerprints or irises, for example, but by looking at our faces. Our faces can be the key to allowing us access, opening automatic doors and registering relevant information.  

These automated systems identify or check the identity of individuals in mere seconds based on their facial features: spacing of the eyes, bridge of the nose, the contour of the lips, ears, chin and our temperature. It’s simple, fast and efficient and basically foolproof. The more we learn about Covid-19 the more obvious it becomes to use facial biometrics as the biometric scan of choice. Not just because of the ‘no-touch’ aspect but also because it’s easy to deploy and implement. 
There is no physical interaction required by the end-user. Moreover, face detection and face match processes for verification/identification are speedy.

This technology is no longer in the realm of Sci-Fi movies or hi-tech airports. Right here in Namibia, the technology is available and being rolled out. Simple one-time registration of personal details that are kept private according to the robust privacy laws in place ensures that facial recognition opens doors for you. 

The ‘Passcard’ facial recognition software is being rolled out in offices and is being demonstrated to be safe, secure and the quickest way to grant people safe entry and exit into buildings. 
Our ‘new normal’ world has become just a bit safer and less intrusive with facial recognition software. Imagine not having to register physically any longer with a pen and paper when wanting to go anywhere. A one-time registration is all it takes; your face does the rest. 

*Kehad Snydewel is the Managing Director of Green Enterprise Solutions

2020-08-18  Staff Reporter

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