China introduces an experimental face recognition system when paying for metro
China is a very high-tech state. Yes, the country is blamed for the disregard for the inviolability of private information, which is collected by a variety of methods. But one can hardly do anything about it in the near foreseeable future.
In the meantime, China is introducing a variety of citizen identification systems. Some of them are united in a single network, some - not yet. Among other systems, one can recall the video surveillance of students in schools with the involvement of AI to analyze the behavior of children and adolescents, face recognition to detect traffic violations, face recognition by the police, a social rating system and much more. Now another system has been added - face recognition in the subway . The technology is used to quickly make a fare payment.
The system does not work everywhere, so far a pilot project has been launched only in the Shenzhen subway. And here is not one technological innovation, but several at once. Besides, actually, the fifth generation mobile network also works with face recognition in the metro - without it, the data simply would not have time to be transmitted to remote servers where the information is processed.
So, for a resident of Shenzhen to pay for travel, you need to go to a special display and stand for a couple of seconds until the system identifies a person. True, before this it is necessary to create a standard - a photograph that will serve as a guide for the computer. The passenger takes a reference photo, it is uploaded to the database, and then the system will be able to recognize this person every time he goes down the subway.
It is also necessary to indicate the name and attach the travel account from which funds will be debited. It is not yet clear how complex this system is - most likely, the technical infrastructure is exactly the same as described above. A display with a camera that captures the face -> server with a reference photo -> the account to which this photo is “tied”.
All this works quickly, so even if all the passengers in the subway want to use the new system, there will be no crowds. A couple of seconds - and the passenger can go to the station.
The project in question was developed jointly with Huawei - this company created the software that is the basis of the system. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether this system will be expanded to the entire Shenzhen metro (so far it works only at a few stations), not to mention other cities in China.
As mentioned above, face recognition for the Celestial Empire is not a novelty at all. For example, even KFC uses such a system , it has been working since 2017.
Interestingly, China is ahead of the rest in terms of the development of mobile payments. About half of citizens use their phones and smartphones to make micropayments. They are carried out through the processing of WeChat Pay or Alipay. Some residents do not use cash at all, so the Central Bank of China even warned stores not to think about refusing to accept payments in the form of a cache, otherwise the company would face a heavy fine. But the problem is that buyers simply do not leave cash, so there is simply nothing to give change.