New facial recognition technology being tested on transportation in the UK could replace the need for tickets.
The technology, developed by the Bristol Robotics Lab, involves invisible lights flashing at high speed to capture the orientation, shape and texture of a person’s face.
The research and development is being partly funded by the government, as well as the private sector, the BBC reports.
If successful, the programme will be able to identify travellers, music fans and festival-goers without the need for them to stop walking.
Professor Lyndon Smith from Bristol Robotics Laboratory, told BBC Click: “You can imagine, for example, paying just by the means of presenting your face to a system rather than having to use the card and the pin, I think that’s probably the way for future payments. The face is the key to everything you want to do in the modern world.
“Everybody’s face is unique in three dimensions actually. Even identical twins are unique.”
The laboratory is currently working with US-headquartered firm Cubic Transportation Systems, who developed London’s Oyster Card system, which is an account-based service that is used on the city’s transport links.
Professor Smith said: “They’re (Cubic) interested in taking this technology forward and introducing gateless gatelines. Because, if you can imagine getting rid of gatelines at a place like Victoria Station (London), there’s a massive potential for increasing throughput.
“So we ran quite an interesting project for them which they’re now installing at their laboratory in Surrey. The aim is to move it on to the underground.”
The facial recognition technology is even smart enough to recognise people whilst they are wearing glasses. A picture of a person, due to its 3D scanning capabilities, also won’t fool the system.
“Currently we’re getting 95 per cent accuracy and as you increase the accuracy, the number of applications increases dramatically,” Smith said.