LP Magazine

SEP-OCT 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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" W e proved-out that the technology works phenomenally well. The technology is great." This effusive praise by an LP executive who oversaw a several-store test of facial racial technology is perhaps most noteworthy for the retailer's ultimate decision against implementation. More than ever, retailers have the ability to shift security upstream—to move from reactive strategies of catching or investigating criminals to identifying them before they ever have a chance to strike. But even if technology is now ready for retailers, are retailers ready for the technology? LP expert and consultant Walter Palmer CFI, CFE, is among those who see both potential and problems for facial recognition technology in retail. "Very few retailers are using it currently, but manufacturers are promoting it, and there are strong advocates among some LP leaders," said Palmer. "And I think it's clear why—the use case is brilliant. Truly. But the question is if we can get there. There are a lot of head winds." Facial recognition technology (FRT) and other identification technologies (see the sidebar on page 20) clearly have momentum. It has captivated mainstream press attention, has overcome multiple technological hurdles, and has largely addressed the mismatch between promise and performance that held it back in years' past. All this is leading to some significantly optimistic predictions for FRT. A Bright Future "FRT is fairly new for most folks. But we're getting lots of phone calls—from just about everyone you can imagine asking about what it does, how hard it is to roll out, so we're out there doing a lot of demos and pilots," explained Peter Trepp, CEO of FaceFirst, which launched Sentinel-IQ, a facial recognition platform for retail security, in June. "My perspective is that well over half of retailers are at least starting to take a look. They're beginning to understand the power that it has and learning that they're not going to be first to use it—because nobody wants to be first. But it's coming, and I see it accelerating." Charles Fleischman, COO at DeepCam, an artificial intelligence company, said he's seeing similar momentum. "We finished training at one client, and the head guy kept saying, 'Wow. How fast can you do another 100 stores?' That's where we're going very quickly." It's probably not just vendors' wishful thinking. Driven by improved accuracy, speed, and an increased need for enhanced surveillance and monitoring, the global facial recognition market is predicted to grow from $3.85 billion in 2017 to reach $9.78 billion by 2023. "Various applications like homeland security, criminal investigation, ID management, and physical security have made the demand for this technology increase," according to a market analysis report, Global Facial Recognition Market, 2017-2023. "The market has been growing at a tremendous rate, and the awareness on the benefits of using this technology is increasing," it notes. Among the various processes like 2D, 3D, or facial analytics, the 3D market holds the most significant share "due to its highly and most accurate face recognitions." High-profile installations are likely to feed interest in FRT. In August, for example, the executive director of security for the 2020 Olympics said the Games will be using a facial recognition system by NEC Corp. to monitor and speed checkpoint processing of accredited individuals, such as staff, athletes, and media. Madison Square Garden has already used FRT at events to compare individuals against a database of known security risks, according to a report in the New York Times. Momentum is particularly strong in the financial sector and at airports and stadiums, according to Trepp. Retail is not leading the way, but he thinks it's ahead of most sectors. It's also big overseas. Property developer China Overseas Land & Investment and JD.com recently announced plans to launch several hundred unmanned convenience stores throughout China that will incorporate facial recognition. In a survey by Opinion Matters of representatives from 150 retail stores in the UK, more than one-quarter said they Walter Palmer Peter Trepp Charles Fleischman Driven by improved accuracy, speed, and an increased need for enhanced surveillance and monitoring, the global facial recognition market is predicted to grow from $3.85 billion in 2017 to reach $9.78 billion by 2023. 16 SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM AN ABOUT-FACE FOR LP?

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