Recognys: Leveraging Facial Recognition Technology to Transform Front-End Business Processes


Recognys provides Facial Recognition software and solutions based on the latest artificial intelligence technology and software programming techniques and works with still photos, standard CCTV videos and live digital video streams from any camera source. The company has designed and built an integrated software solution with an API engine to enable multiple deployment scenarios. As a result, it can be deployed via a standalone PC, or large-scale server deployments either On or Off-site or in the Cloud. Customizable PC/web apps provide the interface for different use cases, adaptable to numerous industry verticals. The API interface enables fast adaptations and customizations for integration into clients’ back-end systems and databases, to be done by either Recognys or the client.

Other services of the company include integration with existing client systems and full turn-key deployments of software and hardware, including cameras, for both small and large projects, such as “Safer City” deployments. Recognys can also advise on how it is deployed, ensuring compliance with all relevant laws and help ensure that its use is welcomed by a business’ customers.

For the company, its mission is simple: To make its clients’ services easier, better and faster through the use of facial recognition technology. Recognys will do this in a way that is accepted and welcomed by business and by the public. According to the company, facial recognition has the power to enhance many services and operations, both private and public, helping operators serve their customers better, faster and more efficiently, or helping operators with their own responsibilities, especially in the regulated or public sectors.

Recognys can alert staff of known faces and provide key information about their preferences or needs to help enable the service provider to offer the right service at the right time. In the private sector, the company can help enhance the service to be provided to the client’s best customers by identifying them to the client at the earliest opportunity, regardless of whether that member of staff knows them personally, to ensure consistent and continued excellent customer service.

In the public services sector, this can enhance policing or providing service to the vulnerable. For example, identifying which people are in particular locations and whether they should be there. This is especially relevant to access-controlled areas, such as maternity wards or police premises. This helps enable the appropriate response to be given as quickly as possible.

Similarly, in regulated industries, businesses need to know to their customers and respond appropriately. For example, in betting and gaming, where known problem gamblers have to be refused service, facial recognition technology can help overcome the flaws in existing manual processes. Currently, these often rely on poor quality photos being compared in real-time by customer service agents, leading to a lack of consistency, particularly at busy times. Facial recognition can help businesses comply with their regulatory requirements.

The Recognys real-time alert PC app and database management app have been designed to facilitate a complete transformation of the business front-end process.


Leadership That Explores New Horizons

Johnny Gray, CEO and Founder of Recognys has worked most of his career in the Telecom and IT industry in the design and build of innovative communication technologies. Originally, one of the early engineers at Vodafone in the eighties, Johnny transitioned into commercial roles and more recently part of several management teams that have built and sold innovative technology businesses to large-scale companies such as Ericsson and BlackBerry. Johnny started evaluating new opportunities in the artificial intelligence space in 2016 and chose to focus on the facial recognition sector where he also had a good understanding of the CCTV camera market.

To build out a multi-operational facial recognition software solution, in early 2017, Johnny assembled a strong co-founding management team comprising a senior businessman and former FTSE 100 executive and an established high-performance software developer and mathematician. Thomas Murphy had been the General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer at several large UK and US listed businesses, including The AA and William Hill and Travelport Worldwide. Professor David Merrick has built and operated the Marketing Analytics company Quantalise.

This unique blend of experience and capabilities has enabled the team to rapidly undertake extensive facial recognition projects and continuous innovation in the Recognys software to bring an affordable face recognition solution to the marketplace.


Redefining Industry with Comprehensive Offerings

Recognys is working with leading camera manufacturers to improve face-detection rates. The company has designed and built advanced vector interpolation software that enables a large-scale measurement of points in every detected face in every video frame or photo to facilitate a real-world high recognition rate.

Further, changes in static points can be measured and used in real-time to determine discrete gestures, expressions or head movements. This provides identification of non-verbal behaviour and can be used as two-factor authentication capability for access control both on-line and physical applications. For example, the face becomes the “username” and facial expressions or gestures in a specific sequence could be used as a “password”. The company thinks this is almost un-hackable in normal circumstances. Recognys is working with electronic door lock and door manufacturers for integration testing and as a sales channel for just such uses.

Another innovation is the Recognys Proximity feature that produces the “next closest match” and has been used to determine which side of the family an unknown face belongs to in, say, an old wedding photo.


Driving Innovation Through Significant Partnerships

The company is nimble. The breadth of management experience allows Recognys to respond to developing technologies and focus its work on different sectors’ needs at speed.

The company’s solution is hardware agnostic and has been designed to work with all leading camera technologies, to deliver the most advanced technological solution to meet its clients’ needs. It works with manufacturers to ensure that its technology is compatible with any current camera. For example, Recognys is an authorized partner of Axis Communications.

The company also knows that customers have their own information management tools, and it can either provide Pro-forma outputs using standard business visualization software or integrate with any customer specification. This makes it cost-effective and reduces complexity in any deployment.

Recognys works with international Reseller partners to gain fast market feedback and wide-reaching opportunities.


Leveraging Disruption to Encourage Human-Productivity

Johnny believes that facial recognition technology can free up current human resources, accurately, speedily and consistently, by shifting man-hours to more productive tasks as automation takes the mundane routine out of the required work. For example, in policing, a human review of hours of CCTV footage can be replaced with the Recognys solution that narrows down the footage to be reviewed to the relevant minutes. In this way, an officer still makes the relevant identification, assisted by technology, but removing the risk of something being missed because a human has momentarily switched off, is tired or just missed the crucial moment. It has also no human bias or prejudgement in the initial review.


Noteworthy Appreciations and Client Feedbacks

Recognys has received notable feedbacks from projects undertaken in many sectors including the security sector and retail.

For example, a current Recognys project is with the Nottinghamshire Police force in the UK. The objective is to develop an integrated photo and video face recognition tool to assist the Notts Police force across a multitude of use cases. In this context, Det. Insp Leslie J Charlton of Nottinghamshire Police said:

“The Recognys solution has been tested thoroughly using the force’s database of known suspects for both photos and CCTV footage and we are in discussion with Recognys around deeper integration into the Police force back-end systems to support the automation of suspect identification reporting across the force.”

“This type of tool provides the ability to quickly find the needle in the haystack as well as determine if it wasn’t there in the first place”.

In the retail sector, Halseys, a deli-restaurant in the UK, benefitted from VIP alerting and also anonymized market insights where individual unidentified customers have counted anonymously for statistical purposes only.

Mark Henry, Manager at Halseys said:

“Normally it is very difficult to understand who your regular shoppers are but Recognys enables the business to give its customers that extra bit of recognition that you can get with a larger corporation but rarely see in a small business”

“Recognys technology is very accessible, easy to install and does what it says on the tin”.


Overcoming The Challenges of Public Insecurity

Johnny feels the main challenge to technology is how the public and society react to its use. If used badly, it can seem authoritarian and make people feel uncomfortable. “Done the right way, so that its benefits are obvious, it will result in greater acceptance and eventually a desire to take advantage of the benefits it brings,” he adds.

“Finding the right uses cases that seem unthreatening and have obvious benefits. It will help the public accept its use, and from there, view it as no more concerning than CCTV.”


The Future Lies Beyond Dystopian Visions

According to Johnny, Facial Recognition technology now exists, and it would make no sense to not use it. It can significantly enhance services or provide reassurance on how services are provided. The public requires to see the benefits to readily accept it, rather than be scared by fears from books published long ago.

If people want the reassurance that only authorized personnel have access to vulnerable groups, such as children or those in care, if they want better value from public funds by freeing up police time, if they want to get the benefit of enhanced customer service as a result of being recognized as they walk into their favorite shop, this technology can help ensure that. If that is the way it is first deployed, it is much more likely to be acceptable.

If people would feel more confident that they and only they could access for example their own online banking once it is coupled with their own face, which helps ensure that fraud is that much harder to commit, this will help people see that the technology is, like anything else, a tool that helps them, and it is the use and oversight that is important rather than any fault or inherent flaw with the tool itself.

He says, “these are the same arguments that we saw with, say CCTV, 20 years ago and Recognys is confident that society will come to embrace the benefits of the technology and learn to control potential abuses.”

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