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In the era of digital transformation, more organizations are utilizing facial recognition technologies for a host of applications in public spaces. These systems have also been implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as the technologies can be plugged into larger surveillance networks to monitor mask compliance and more. Studies have shown that facial recognition systems are prone to false-positive identifications. In recent weeks, major players in the tech industry including IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon recently made waves by pulling their facial recognition systems from the market altogether or banning law enforcement agencies from using the technologies. Despite these moves by titans in tech, the future of facial recognition systems seems bright according to a new report from Global Market Insights.

By 2026, the organization estimates that the facial recognition market valuation will top $12 billion. For comparison, Market Research Future valued the global facial recognition market at $3 billion in 2016. Security concerns related to public safety in public spaces are expected to cause a surge in demand for these technologies in the years ahead. Across North America, the facial recognition market will be spurred by investments in retail, healthcare, defense, and homeland security.

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Major investments in security and surveillance are driving this particular market, according to the report. Currently, many organizations ranging from airports to large sporting venues are investing in surveillance systems leveraging these facial recognition systems alongside artificial intelligence, IoT sensors, thermal imaging cameras, and more. Companies are creating new software capable of fastidious integration with an organization’s existing technology suite to assist with identification and “attendance monitoring,” per the report.

Global Market Insights also predicts that facial recognition systems will revolutionize advertising and retail in coming years. The use of interactive “intelligent signage” will allow advertisers to better understand the demographics of their customers to more aptly deliver personalized advertisements to these individuals. The overall success rate of these advertising and targeted campaigns can also be measured using facial recognition systems.

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The report notes that facial recognition market growth will mainly be driven by 3D systems rather than more limited 2D systems. Comparatively, 3D systems offer more accurate information in lower light environments “as they use facial parameters, such as the depth of the eyes or the shape of the nose & chin of the captured image, for comparison with the available database of images,” per the report. More advanced 3D systems can also identify variables such as minute changes in the texture of skin and aging.