Yesterday, Intel released RealSense ID, a facial recognition technology based on its RealSense depth-sensing system (via Gizmodo). RealSense began as a touch-free connectivity Kinect-style camera, yet RealSense ID appears like Intel’s move to reposition its camera corporation first to stable, on-device facial recognition, while also possibly putting the company in the crossfire of contention.
With a neural network for recognizing faces, a specialized system-on-a-chip, and a protected element that encodes and manages user data, RealSense ID draws on Intel’s depth-sensing technology. Gizmodo writes that the device can learn and adjust to a face over time, operating around facial hair, a range of distinct skin tones, and face masks. The facial recognition technology is available on a module that can be inserted into other items or can be inserted into a device as a standalone peripheral.
For many years, Intel’s RealSense technology has been knocking around, popping up in strange, tech demo use situations such as putting your face into Fallout 4, and more beneficial ones such as opening a Windows Hello laptop. Intel indicates that in a variety of environments, such as ATMs, registers, and smart locks, this new application of RealSense may be used. What the firm does not discuss is the other common usage of facial recognition: monitoring and profiling individuals by governments and law enforcing departments.
By establishing a more dynamic sample of faces to train RealSense on, Intel has taken measures to counter the potential for bias in RealSense ID. Intel told at a media briefing for the new phone, “We’ve done extensive data collection of all ethnicities from Asia, Europe, Middle East Africa,” Intel claims RealSense ID has a one-in-a-million probability of recognizing somebody wrongly, but we’re going to have to wait and see if bugs are identified by outside experts.
Facial recognition technology is not the only potential for RealSense that Intel envisions. The company confirmed RealSense Touchless Control Software (TCS) for this year’s digital CES, which uses the RealSense Depth Camera from Intel to enable you to connect with a touchscreen by moving your finger over it instead of pressing it. The latest program, like facial recognition, makes a lot of sense for a globe still grappling with an epidemic, and shows that there is still some room for the history of RealSense’s motion controller.
The RealSense ID peripheral from Intel is now available for pre-order for $99, and the RealSense ID Module is accessible for $750 in a pack of 10. Intel expects to begin shipping both in March.