The airline industry dropped 60% in 2020 due to the covid and restrictions. While a year ago it seemed so easy and effortless to travel, then today things have changed. Not only that passengers are obliged to wear a mask and provide PCR tests.
In this interview, Praveen Gajjala, founder of Facedaper: shares his insights, solutions, and technology solutions that the Facedapter team currently working on.
Facedaper is an early-stage Startup that is working on a solution to make this world a safer place and solve problems we are facing today and in the deep tech, Such as identity fraud, onboarding customers, and match different camera domains( RGB, 3D, NIR, LiDAR, or thermal imaging sensors)
What is the idea behind Facedapter Technology?
Facedapter is a deep tech company that provides facial recognition software to enable machines with a better sense of vision to rebuild digital trust and make the world a safer place. Facedapter solutions do not store any DATA, and this is what makes it unique.
In short: Facedapter will connect and identify different camera formats used to onboard customers (business) or identify customers within few seconds. This process is beneficial for the company and its customers without replacing the current database.
Recently Dubai announced that they launched a fully automated passport control that will take seconds. Will this be a future solution, or is there something else out there?
Yes, that is correct. Dubai Airport's biometric systems enable passengers to complete passport control in five to nine seconds, all without even taking your passport out of your pocket. Pre-registration is required so that you can be identified. Still, the pre-registration process is not ideal because there are different types of demographics and people who are tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy. The ideal case is to let the travelers scan the passport and identify themselves simply because every person who travels abroad knows that they must formally identify themselves showing a passport.
What are the main issues when it comes to Facial Recognition, and how to solve them?
The main issue is biometric forgeries, and recognition is any type of light conditions, various facial images, and data breaches.
For instance, Face swapping or morphing two people's image is commonly used by fraudsters, which is still a big concern we must solve. Many airports worldwide still use semi-automated identification solutions where travelers must show the passport to the staff at baggage drop, border control, and immigration desk; the existing systems can be surpassed or fooled without investing much effort.
Sometimes, there are issues identifying people looking alike, identical twins, and women of color. All these issues can be tackled using our software and a combination of 4 cameras (2D, 3D, thermal – SWIR & LWIR). We are all in to solve these issues and limitations within facial recognition systems.
So, if the airports use Facedaper technology, how it improves their identification process?
Yes, airports can use our solution to automate the identification system for travelers. Passengers scan their passports to identity by themselves using mobile devices and interactive terminals or any access points without human interference. The identity system is unified, making the travel flow much faster and improving customer journey and experience.
Will that help with the current COVID situation? How? What is thermal imaging facial recognition, etc.?
Our solution will help the organization to enable safety and security measures. Among the other sensing technologies that are commonly used, using thermal cameras and AI, we can constantly screen the temperature and identify people at the same time at different access points. If a traveler is detected with a high temperature, we can send an alert to Airport security to escort them to an isolation room.
Can you recognize people with masks?
We are not working on recognizing people with masks simply because we cannot capture enough data points or landmarks on the face to match with an existing image which gives a less confident score. Recognizing people with masks raises security concerns and doesn't help airports or border security forces to detect and counter terrorists' travels.
Currently, you are a new startup; what have you done so far, and what are your future plans?
Yes, we have started this project recently. Our recent milestones include:
- The Swiss innovation grant of CHF 302'000 from Innosuisse agency.
- A Partnership with Idiap Research Institute.
- A beta release of two products.
We aim to prove the concept with an Airport Technology integrator and two pilots through incubator and accelerator programs based in Europe. Our product will be commercially available to our customer in 2022
You already had your first angel investors. What are your next steps for the future?
We have received funding from India's family member and an angel investor from Silicon Valley, California, in 2020. Currently, we are raising $ 1.5 M in Pre-seed and Seed round, and we expect to close the round in a couple of months.