Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
July 7, 2015

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The State of Physical Access Control in EMEA Businesses – 2020 Report

Artificial Intelligence Powers Facial Recognition for the First Time: Meet FaceSentinel

facesentinel in actionFaceSentinel is a world first, according to its developer, Aurora.

Launched at IFSEC International 2015 the biometric access control authentication product is powered by ‘deep learning’.

The system, which can be integrated with existing access control systems, uses artificial intelligence and infrared light to achieve unparalleled speed, accuracy and reliability, Aurora claims.

The system serves as a reassuring, additional layer of security when traditional pass cards are vulnerable to theft. A registered user swipes his or her pass card or key fob and FaceSentinel simply verifies – in about a second or less – whether the person holding the credential is the same person registered within the organisation’s access permissions system.

A pioneering technique in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence ‘deep learning’ works by creating an artificial neural network. This blank ‘brain’ then gradually learns how to recognise faces, becoming more experienced, faster and more accurate than any human or, says Aurora, existing technology.

Infrared cameras help overcome fluctuations in natural light that have always dogged biometrics products.

Led by head of research Dr Tom Heseltine a team of six PhD facial recognition experts developed the innovative software at the Northamptonshire-based firm’s R&D facility.

“This is the first time the security industry has seen deep learning and artificial intelligence harnessed to create a fast, powerful and truly reliable access control product,” said Gary James, Aurora’s head of sales and customer relations.

“It’s unobtrusive – the user doesn’t need to present themselves to a finger or handprint scanner – and safe: only face templates are stored, not images of users.

facesentinel camera unit“FaceSentinel is Wiegand- and RS485-compliant and so can be added seamlessly to 90% of the world’s access control systems. For high security sites it provides true authentication and peace of mind.”

Aurora’s facial recognition products already match travellers to boarding passes at Heathrow and Manchester airports.

“The technology is highly efficient and reliable,” James says. “Now, with deep learning, it is amazingly accurate and consistent – and getting more so all the time.”

Ray Phillips, MD of Aurora’s first access control partner, Plan Access Control, said: “FaceSentinel is truly a huge evolutionary step for access-control authentication. It’s far and away the fastest, least invasive, biometric verification system we’ve worked with, and it makes a lot of sense for use in high-end access security applications.”

Aurora is seeking more access-control partners to work with FaceSentinel.

Continues James: “We believe FaceSentinel provides a truly compelling case for the use of biometric verification in high security scenarios,” says. “It’s the fastest, most accurate authentication available, and we’d love to hear from access control manufacturers who are interested in working with us.”


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