Smile for Big Brother: Canon Rolls Out Facial Expression Identification Cameras for Workplaces


Facial recognition technology is probably going to become an increasingly important social issue as it becomes more advanced and capable in the coming years.

Photo by Frederic Bartl from Pexels.

Still, that doesn’t stop it from grabbing the headlines now with people worried about privacy and the implications behind the ability of a piece of technology to identify someone just by looking at their face.

As far as using facial recognition technology for security, Canon has a pretty interesting idea and it comes in the form of a “smile recognition technology” that identifies the subject based upon their facial expression and its alignment with certain data points.

The Verge reports that the technology comes from Canon Information Technology, the company’s Chinese subsidiary, and is part of a raft of similar programs that companies over there use to identify and monitor employees. Apparently, the “smile” requirement the Canon camera system uses to permit users entry into certain rooms or meetings is being interpreted in a somewhat dystopian fashion though there is little indication that the camera can tell the difference between a genuine smile and a perfunctory expression.

And this kind of thing isn’t just in China: Countries around the world are exploring various monitoring and surveillance “solutions” to help squeeze every last ounce of productivity out of an employee.

Let’s not forget that smartphones use some kind of form of this though you aren’t necessarily required to smile. The iPhone facial recognition, among others, uses a data point pattern to establish whether or not a user is permitted access to the phone.

What do you think of facial expression recognition technology as a way to verify someone’s identity? Let us know what you think of Canon’s new technology in the comments below.

You can check out some of our other photography news articles on Light Stalking at this link right here.

[The Verge]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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