Facial recognition is one of the most buzzed-about tech innovations of today. The promise is that it will enhance our ability to make event planning quicker, easier and more secure! At Jomablue, one of our strengths is our ability to quickly deliver features when new technologies come along. That’s why we’ve been working to incorporate facial recognition technology as another contributor to our product offerings.

Unfortunately, while it’s true that this new tech offers exciting possibilities, media and other event technology providers have focused their attention on PR stunts rather than practical functionality. As the CTO of Jomablue, I’m here to explain a few sensationalised myths about facial recognition technology and show how we provide the most enjoyable, efficient, and secure offering possible for our customers.

Myth 1: It’s more secure

While facial recognition isn’t inherently more secure, used correctly it can be a valid contributor in securing data. For example, at Jomablue, security is the foundation of everything we do. So, when a new technology comes along we scrutinize it from every angle to make sure it provides the intended benefits while maintaining the highest standards of data protection. Before facial recognition became the new must-have, login details were based on privatley held information. Compare this with photo recognition, where you can log in to view private information, with something that is publicly accessible. A photo of you can be accessed from anywhere, with or without permission.

Facial recognition presents a challenge, in that how can you verify the user identity simply using photos. How does an application know the image it’s viewing is actually the person and not someone else with the person’s photo. For example, you could conceivably hold up a picture of Beyoncé and check into an event as Queen Bey herself.

Apple’s Face ID has solved the problem by not relying exclusively on photos. Instead, iPhones create a unique signature for each face through a combination of 3-D and facial mapping technology. The problem? Apple’s approach is proprietary, and therefore not open to developers.

For the rest of us, facial recognition technology is basically photo comparison technology, when used alone, poses the above security concerns.

At Jomablue security is the bedrock of every choice we make. Our implementation ensures a secure environment using a secondary form of authentication when using facial recognition to log into our event app.

Myth 2: It’s more exciting

While facial recognition is new and exciting, it is not as exciting as your event, your team and your relationship with your customers.

Your audience is attending your event to interact with you and your brand. And you created the event because you want to share something with them.

That’s why I always recommend organizers open their events with a warm and personalized check-in. Jomablue equips team members with mobile tablets and blazing-fast check-in speeds to enable a discreet, secure, quick, and personal process. If you can put your team front and center, you can show off the real people who make your company great.

In fact, when you make the personal interaction of check-in more important than the check-in itself, it helps your audience feel comfortable and sets the stage for a productive and interactive experience.

We’ve integrated facial recognition technology in a way that embraces the latest trends audiences want and expect. But we’ve also designed our check-in flow to ensure that attendees still get personal human-to-human interaction when they grab their Jomablue Smart Badge and walk through the doors.

Myth 3: It’s more efficient

Great tech is nothing without great application. Facial recognition technology is currently being applied to solve a nonexistent problem. It doesn’t necessarily make event check-in any faster or easier.

At its worst, checking into an event using facial recognition technology could replace personal interaction with a screen-and-camera equipped kiosk. More like passport control in an airport than the kickoff of an exciting event. The result? Longer lines, fewer person-to-person interactions, and less personal connection.

At Jomablue, however, we’re inspired and driven by technology to work at its best. While today’s application of facial recognition is in its infancy, we’ve committed to using it in its best form by encouraging interaction with event staff, not removing it.

Good things are in store

Our personal and professional goals are always to stay ahead of the event technology curve, and we know that facial recognition technology is going to further improve with time. Photo matching will become faster and more accurate, with security remaining paramount. That’s why we’re excited to include it in our own event intelligence solutions to work at its best.

At Jomablue facial recognition adds another option for attendees to validate their identity. Attendees can now choose to log in with their email, phone number, or with facial recognition. This exciting innovation is designed to be as fast and frictionless as possible.

As with all new technologies, we will embrace and evolve with facial recognition, while keeping security top of mind. As the technology advances, we may find broader, even significant applications for its use. We believe once we journey down this path, there may well be more to come.

Matt Hnatojko (CTO, Jomablue)

About Jomablue

Jomablue is the leader in event intelligence, empowering top brands to transform event experiences into sales and marketing insights.