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Biometric payments and background checks among new facial recognition applications announced


A wide range of new products and services are being rolled out with various forms of biometric facial recognition in different markets. While some recent announcements relate to familiar types of applications, others are novel or yet to reach widespread operation.

Retail intelligence

Israeli biometric facial recognition startup Preciate has partnered with retailer Fox-Wizel to provide identification of customers and information about their shopping habits, Calcalist Tech reports.

Fox receives an option on 20 percent Preciate’s shares, which valuates the company at $15.5 million, to be exercised by April 30, 2020, according to the report.

The technology identifies individuals in a crowd with 85 percent accuracy, and Co-founder Avi Naor, who also co-founded the Nasdaq-listed Amdocs, told Calcalist that he envisions Preciate being used to tell stores the size, favorite colors and styles, and shopping history of customers, as well as to make payments.

Subway fare payments

Global Times reports that Beijing’s subway system is trialing facial recognition for fare payment.

The trial is running on the airport metro line, but could be expanded to the entire system if successful. An analyst told Global Times the subway system may collaborate with a company that already has a large database, such as Alipay, in order to make a full-scale rollout work.

Background checks

Background check company First Advantage has developed a identity verification product using facial recognition to match individuals to their government-issued photo ID. RightID is intended to enable property managers and employers to mitigate fraud risk with real-time artificial intelligence-based identity corroboration.

“The fact is, the existing standard means of identity verification, such as those that are credit-based, are potentially fallible,” says First Advantage Chief Product Owner Charlie Oyler. “RightID delivers a more sophisticated form of ID verification that’s easier for applicants to use. By incorporating the most innovative technology, we’re able to deliver a multi-faceted solution that works for all of our customers, whether they’re looking at residents, employees, contractors, volunteers or vendors. RightID adds the extra layer of trust and safety organizations are looking for.”

Applicants can use their mobile devices to take a photo of their identification documents, along with a selfie for biometric verification.

RightID is built on First Advantage’s AI-driven mobile user experience platform, Profile Advantage.


Didi Chuxing has a new competitor for the Chinese ride-hailing market, offering biometric facial identity verification with a system built into the car to improve rider safety, Abacus reports.

T3 Chuxing is pitching its service as a safer alternative to Didi, which holds a 90 percent market share, but has suffered reputational damage after a pair of passengers were killed in separate incidents last year. The company was started by FAW Group, Dongfeng Motor and Changan Automobile, three of the country’s largest state-owned car makers, and is backed by Tencent and Alibaba.

Drivers for Didi Chuxing are supposed to be verified with facial biometrics through the service’s mobile app, but that reportedly did not happen in one of the cases, in which an unauthorized driver used his father’s account to pick up orders. Using cameras in the car would prevent one person from performing the authorization check, and another person taking the car.

The new company says it uses an “Internet of Vehicles” to ensure rider safety, and to take control of the car if necessary. The facial recognition system can also catch drivers dozing off or smoking while driving.

T3 has deployed 1,000 cars in the city of Nanjing, with plans to have 20,000 cars in operation by the end of the year, and millions in 2025.

Multi-modal suspect identification

Police in the Indian state of Maharashtra have launched an Automated Multi-Modal Biometric Identification System (AMBIS) to improve crime detection and conviction rates, the Times of India reports.

The state has trained roughly 2,500 police officers to operate the system in the populous state, which includes Mumbai. The system is designed for interoperability with other domestic and international databases and biometric systems, and can be connected to CCTV cameras, such as at airports, railways stations, and bus stops.

“Ours is the most advanced AMBIS in the world. It has a very refined ability to scan chance print and deliver results within seconds,” comments Inspector General of Police (Cyber) Brijesh Singh.
State Minister for Home, Law, and Justice Ranjit Patel the new system will reduce the need for manual collection and matching of fingerprints from crime scenes. The state holds a database of about 700,000 fingerprint records.

Mobile live scanners will be distributed to police stations, and the system has been developed to serve all police, including those in rural areas.

Remote pain diagnosis

Australian health company PainChek has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its pain assessment invention based on biometric facial recognition, MobiHealthNews reports.

The Australian government announced in May it will invest AUD $5 million (US$3.45 million) to facilitate the apps implementation in residential aged care centers around the country. The company is also on track to receive a pair of FDA De Novo regulatory clearances for the U.S. market in 2020, and has filed the same patent in Australia, China, Europe, Japan, and the UK.

“The PainChek technology effectively gives a voice to people who can’t verbalise their pain and this patent will further expand our commercial efforts,” says Philip Daffas, CEO of PainChek. “Our ongoing De Novo application confirms we are a first in kind from a regulatory standpoint and the granting of the U.S. patent confirms that we are first in kind from an intellectual property standpoint.”

Breathalyzer cheating prevention

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Soberlink Breathalyzer for medical use ensuring compliance with remote tests secured by facial recognition, Gizmodo reports.

The inclusion of facial biometrics and GPS location information allows people to confirm compliance with their rehabilitation regimes without a third-party being present to prevent falsification. The company says a new version of its device is smaller and faster, with faster and more accurate facial recognition. The device connects to a mobile phone and allows the test to be performed at nearly any place or time, through a partnership with Verizon.

So far, the device has been used for probation and family courts checks, but it is now also available for medical applications.

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