When an industry is entirely dependent on innovation as its sole way for surviving in a fast-paced world, technology becomes a mean for reaching success. That might be the quick answer for why so many marketing agencies are requesting the services of not only software developers but also psychologists to tailor their solutions in the best way to target users’ interest and engagement.
Variables to study
There is one thing we can attribute to cultural expressions like books and movies is the number of technological advancements that our society can enjoy as not only scientists but entrepreneurs sought a way to bring into reality all those fancy looking gadgets and fool-proof security services.
Is there a link between sci-fi movies and biometrics technology development? Undoubtedly, and we can check such interesting data in this infographic by Avatier.
Voice ID, retina scans, fingerprint authentication, are just conventional means of biometric identification these days, whose complexity will depend on the area in which these security means happen to be applied. You may say that such sophisticated services don’t take place in your daily routine, and allow me to refute that theory by stating the usage of not only fingerprint authentication and retina scans for unlocking our high-end smartphones, but also Voice ID integration in services like the popular Amazon Echo.
Facial recognition in smartphone applications
There are several apps that work with algorithms based on biometric data such as facial recognition. And no, we are not limited to just login interfaces, but entertainment apps such as smart cameras or smartphone apps geared towards photography prove to be clear examples of this point.
Let’s consider for a moment the app Perfect365. A popular app for women who seek to take the perfect selfie, with versatile tools that allow users to add makeup, change eye colour, whiten teeth and so on. In case you were wondering, there’s no need to use a brush tool with this app as adjustments are directly applied to the areas of the photograph that should be tuned; this is a direct application of an app using facial recognition parameters and displaying them in a neat way, so users don’t end up with confusing UIs that led to discarding the app altogether. Social media interaction allows us not only to save the edited photograph but also to directly upload the image to networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
3D Facial Recognition has also caused an uproar for authentication services as the app ZoOm allows users to log to their accounts via a video selfie, and, since its release, companies like Amazon, Ticketmaster, Expedia, Wells Fargo and many other banks are allowing the app as valid identification method, which can be reinforced with a fingerprint or PIN as two-step identification. A more than welcomed solution for credit card security!
Photo courtesy of Negative Space
A promising technology for the future: Yes or No?
There is another plausible scenario which comes as a natural consequence of our resistance to drastic changes. An app that has caused a true revolution in Russia named FindFace is finding its detractors in other parts of the western world.
The app works with an algorithm that allows users to locate people based on a cross-data service with social media services. Results are proven to be nearly 95% accurate, and its current linked network is the Russian social network VKontakte.
Twitter, on the other hand, firstly refused to implement such technologies to their networking services, denying a potential pool of more than 300 million accounts for FindFace. The reason behind this refusal and potential ban of facial recognition software are linked to API usage, as Twitter managerial area acknowledges such approach as a violation of their policies. Current news sources have announced a partnership between both companies as disputes in what regarded to users’ privacy and potential harassment were put to rest.
On what regards to Facebook, there are many hoaxes that led users to believe their accounts could be in a potential exposure risk, which so far has been denied by Facebook. It is expected that the mass social media network would put efforts in tailoring an app with similar purposes for their needs rather than granting access to third-party developers to their public API, although such development could be easily integrated into the current FB app, helping users to locate people, rather than creating a new app on its own.
Is biometrics slowly becoming a factor to consider for upcoming social media campaigns? So far, we cannot secure that. There is plenty territory to explore in what regards to the applications of biometrics towards technology, yet ethics will play a key role in defining when biometric data linked to social media services could be considered a benefit or a potential liability for users that are reluctant to share sensitive data through the net.