Human image sensing technology makes big strides; Omron steps forward
Image courtesy of iStock
Biometric identification represents one of the most promising technologies for self-service kiosks, thanks to the speed by which sensors are able to identify users. According to the research firm Markets and Markets, the biometric system market is expected to nearly triple by 2022, posting a combined annual growth rate of 16.79 percent and reaching $32.73 billion.
While travel and immigration account for the largest share of biometric applications, use is also rising rapidly in the financial, retail and health care markets.
One of the most powerful biometric identification tools I have come across at trade shows recently is the HVC-P2 from Omron Electronic Components LLC, an image-sensing camera based module incorporating proprietary technology for recognizing human face expression, gender, age, gaze and blink into a camera module.
|Omron's proprietary image sensing camera uses wide angle detection. Image courtesy of Omron.|
The unit boasts a maximum recognition speed 10 times that of a previous model introduced in March 2014. The new technology makes it possible to detect a human body four times per second, keeping track of a person within its detection area. The company notes that the image sensing technology was developed on data from more than one million faces.
The embedded technology achieves 10 types of image-sensing functions that can recognize human conditions in various perspectives: 1) face detection, 2) human body detection, 3) hand detection 4) face direction estimation, 5) gaze estimation, 6) blink estimation, 7) age estimation, 8) gender estimation, 9) expression estimation, (this includes five facial expressions: neutral, happiness, surprise, anger and sadness) and 10) face recognition.
Recognition and presumption come out in the form of digital data including the number of detections, angles and age as well as text data including facial expressions and gender.
The unit also offers close range and long distance scanning by allowing the customer to choose from two different camera lenses, a long-distance detection type and a wide-angle detection type, depending on their specific application purposes.
A piece of equipment embedded with the HVC-P2 can detect and presume attributes and conditions of a user coming in its vicinity, without the user knowing the presence of a camera, making it possible to provide services deemed most suitable in view of the user's attributes.
Known identified applications that can utilize this technology include automated retail, retail, digital signage, POS, vending and ticketing. Marketing benefits include market analysis and advertising tailored to gender and age.
Customer benefits include privacy, as there is no need to send an image to the PC, just result data; high process speed; and low system cost, as there is no need to prepare a server for running image sensing.
The expansion of biometric technology will create new opportunities for self-serve kiosks to play a bigger role in verticals where identification verification is critical.
Ben Wheeler, known as The KioskGuy, is a long time kiosk industry executive who assists companies with kiosk solutions.www