How Does Facial Recognition Work On Security Cameras

How Does Facial Recognition Work On Security Cameras

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A motion sensor security camera with intelligent detection is the new best thing to keeping an eye on your home and business. It even gets better if the device can distinguish the faces of your familiar visitors from those of a potential intruder. But again, is the system intelligent enough to know if the potential intruder is indeed a burglar? If not, exactly how does facial recognition work on security cameras?

Well, we currently do have security cameras that can identify images from a live video stream and compare them against those stored in the police criminal database. But such technology is only available on sophisticated CCTV, such as those in government buildings.

In the case of home security camera systems, we mostly have a basic face recognition algorithm that only pushes alarms for potential burglars. And in this guide, we’ll take you through how that works, plus some of the brands you can enjoy the feature for free.

But before we come that…

Why Should You Get a Security Camera with Facial Recognition?

Technically, any wired or wireless security camera is worth having with or without intelligent video surveillance (IVS) analytics.

Reolink security camera is a perfect example that still doesn’t have IVS, yet remains one of the relevant in the market.

Nonetheless, relying on only the motion sensor usually has more false alerts than a CCTV that has advanced intelligence.

Even with a camera system like Eufy and Ring that has humanoid detection, the false alerts are still many. It triggers alerts from all human-shaped objects, including family members, friends, and relatives. Thus, will still flood your phone with alerts when the kids are in the backyard playing or you’re at home and the device doesn’t have geofence.

But in various security cameras that support facial recognition, you could have them ignore your family members (and perhaps friends). And that way, you’ll only get alerts of the people the system doesn’t recognize.

Instead of blacklisting, you can also use the facial recognition feature to track the movements of a specific individual. It’s like creating a whitelist, say you want to know when your employees come and leave the workplace. Or else you want to track the behavior pattern of your guests at the hotel/ resort to attend to their needs more promptly.

In commercial CCTV systems like GW Security and Lorex, a more sophisticated Facial recognition will even create a data sheet. And in that sheet, you can see the times the camera has caught your whitelisted face or even the unknown stranger.

Verdict: the applications of Facial recognition on security cameras include:

  • Homes- used to detect a potential burglar
  • Workplace- used to track the attendance of employees and search through past recordings faster while still tracking potential burglars
  • Security check-ins- often effective in tracking repeat visitors and detecting potential terrorists
  • Retail establishment- helps serve the guests of the establishment better, search through past recordings fast, and also track potential burglars

How Does Facial Recognition Work On Security Cameras

iPhones and most Android phones today have facial recognition as one of the secondary screen-unlock methods. The technology uses a program/ software to determine the similarity between two face images- the pre-saved face and the live-stream face.

In a nutshell, smart security cameras with facial recognition work pretty much the same. The feature uses built-in technology, comprising computer-generated filters, to transform the face image into a string of numbers comparable to what is in the database.

Face analysis, as this step “to transform” is called, often maps the face structure: the distance between the eyes, nose, and mouth, plus the shape of the chin. And once with a map of all these attributes, it will now create the numerical expressions (a faceprint) we just mentioned.

In other words, the way how facial recognition work on security cameras starts with the “learning” phase before identification. And in this learning phase, you (as the owner) will have to train your system with photos of faces it should consider as “friendlies”.

The #3 Ways to Train a Security Camera for Facial Recognition

Like anything else, how you train your security camera for facial recognition will vary from one brand to another.

In wireless cameras like Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Cam IQ, the setup stage will show you several faces it has seen. Then you’ll just have to tap on the ones you’d like to add to the database library.

When the Google security camera sends alerts of “Unfamiliar face”, it also prompts whether you know the person captured. If you’d like to have the new face on your familiar face library, just tap the “YES” button below the thumbnail image.

Nonetheless, a new security camera may not have captured all the faces you’d like to have under your trusted circle. And for that, you’ll have to update your database the traditional way by having the person stand in front of the camera.

The process to configure face recognition on supported expandable NVR and DVR security systems isn’t as easy as WiFi cameras. But, on the other hand, these systems have far more advanced artificial intelligence to improve the overall experience.

For a model, a GW security camera system can formulate an excel sheet with a complete attendance log. It will include a list of all the employees with how many times each has been late, left early, or absent.

However, the maximum number of familiar profiles a security camera can memorize on its database also varies from one brand to another. We have a brand like Netatmo limited to 32 people profiles while others like Nest Cam seem to have an unlimited count.

But Facial Recognition is still like Face Detection in Many

Unfortunately, most of the wireless security cameras we have with facial recognition are still half-baked. They have the option to set your desired familiar faces and even name them. But when it comes to performance, the system doesn’t have the option to disable the alerts of the known faces.

If the notifications are enabled, that means you’ll be getting alerts for both unknown and familiar faces. The only difference is that the alerts of the familiar faces will let you know exactly who’s triggered the motion sensor.

When a security camera has “face detection” instead of facial recognition, you also tend to get alerts of all people. But unlike regular human/ person detection, you’ll only get alerts where the system has detected a face.

You can practically tell the program has detected a face as it will draw a box around it while trying to auto-focus and identify it. If the system has the face analysis algorithm we mentioned earlier, it will try to compare the captured image with the saved faceprints.

Tip: we can conclude the three steps how facial recognition work on security cameras as Face Detection, Analysis, and finally Recognition.

Key Takeaway: The Best Security Camera with Facial Recognition

Security Camera with Facial RecognitionVideo/ Image QualityFacial Recognition Access FeesTurn Off Alerts for Familiar Faces
EufyCam 2C WiFi Security Camera1080p Full HDFREENot Available
Google Nest Cam 2nd Generation 1080p Full HD$6 – $12 per monthNot Available
Wyze Cam V3 Color Night Vision1080p Full HD$3.99 per monthNot Available
Tend Insights Lynx WiFi Indoor 2 Camera1080p Full HDFREEYES
Eufy Dual Camera Video Security Doorbell2K Super-HDFREENot Available
GW Security Ultra-HD POE Security System4K Ultra-HDFREEYES
Lorex D861 Ultra-HD Security DVR Recorder  4K Ultra-HDFREEYES
Bosma EX Pro 2k Pan-Tilt Spotlight Camera2K Full HD$5.99 – $6.99 per monthNot Available
Netatmo Indoor WiFi Security Camera1080p Full HDFREEYES

Common Related Questions:

Which security camera has the best AI?

Of the options we’ve gone through, the GW Security camera has the best AI. For instance, you can set facial recognition to monitor workplace attendance, track repeat visitors, search through footage faster, et cetera.

In the category of wireless stand-alone security, the options with the best AI facial recognition include:

  • Netatmo Indoor WiFi Security Camera
  • EufyCam 2C WiFi Security Camera
  • Google Nest Cam 2nd Generation
  • Wyze Cam V3 Color Night Vision
  • Tend Insights Lynx WiFi Indoor 2 Camera
  • Bosma EX Pro 2k Pan-Tilt Spotlight Camera

Does Arlo have facial recognition?

Sadly, Arlo security cameras don’t have facial recognition at the moment. But the systems have a person detection feature that you can enable to ignore triggers from non-human objects.

What is the difference between face detection and face recognition?

The difference between face detection and face recognition is that the latter can have the camera identify the person captured. But with face detection, the built-in program will only focus on finding the face- without attempting to identify it.

What is bad about facial recognition?

Despite all the positives, we still have a few things that are bad about facial recognition on security cameras. One of these concerns is the invasion of privacy, which actually prompted the European Commission to consider banning the technology in public areas.

As with any other program, facial recognition can also suffer glitches during the face analysis phase. And this could lead to a case of misidentification that can have an innocent person implicated for a crime he/ she never committed.

Give your Security Camera Time to Learn

Basically, this is the process of how facial recognition work on security cameras to identify familiar people, sometimes even objects. The technology has a pretty complex science behind it- including coding algorithms and surface texture analysis. But we’ve tried to keep the discussion as simple as possible since many of us are not into this geeky stuff.

After setting the face recognition for the first time, you still have to give the algorithms time to learn the faceprint. So, the security camera in question may be glitchy the first couple of days.

It’s also worth mentioning not all places allow the use of a security camera that can identify people. Hence, the reason Google has even disabled the familiar face detection on Nest cameras used in Illinois.

About the author

Cristina Williams

I am Cristina Williams an expert for home security system. I research the different market place and read customer reviews to make a perfect product guide. I believe that a good product review can help you take a good decision because every man tries to buy a perfect product for him. one of the best for you.