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Technology The best facial recognition cameras of 2019

11:50  31 october  2019
11:50  31 october  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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Best facial recognition security cameras to buy in 2020. Want a security camera that identifies faces? Here are your top options. If we're talking about sheer facial recognition capabilities, the Nest Hello, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor (all of which are essentially the same camera ), win by far. Of those models, the Nest Hello is my top pick for facial recognition because it's the least expensive of the three and has the most opportunity to give you important information about who's at your front door.

So, what is the best face recognition software? #1 Top facial recognition technologies. In the race for biometric innovation, several projects are vying for the top spot. Moscow claims one of the world’s largest network of 160,000 surveillance cameras by the end of 2019 and is to be fitted with facial recognition technology for public safety. The roll-out started in January 2020. Russian law does not regulate non-consensual face detection and analysis.

Many home security cameras nowadays have facial recognition, which lets you create a database of friends and family members who regularly visit your house. Then, when the camera sees a face, it determines whether or not it's someone in your database of known faces.

a close up of a camera: The Philips Hue White starter kit.© Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Philips Hue White starter kit.

The software can be hit-or-miss, based on a variety of factors, from lighting to changing hairstyles, wearing glasses one day but not the next -- and more.

But one thing we know for sure is that this feature is becoming increasingly popular in our devices, not just in home security cameras, but also our phones and as efficiency tools helping to automate airport check-ins. As law enforcement becomes more invested in facial recognition technology, it's already raising serious questions about privacy and civil rights across the board, and bringing calls for governmental regulation.

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Some home security cameras have facial recognition , an advanced option that lets you make a database of people who visit your house regularly. Then, when the camera sees a face, it determines whether or not it belongs to someone in your list of known faces. Nest's IQ Indoor can tell you who's already inside your house, but the Hello, as well as the IQ Outdoor Cam , tell you who's outside your house. The Hello doorbell's eye-level location has the best chance of monitoring and seeing the most visitors, too (although I suppose you could install the 9 IQ Outdoor cam at eye level if you wanted).

The best facial recognition security cameras of 2020. Want a security camera that IDs faces? Here are our favorites. If we're talking about sheer facial recognition capabilities, the Nest Hello, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor (all of which are essentially the same camera ), win by far. Of those models, the Nest Hello is my top pick for facial recognition because it's the least expensive of the three and has the most opportunity to give you important information about who's at your front door.

But let's step back a bit to the consumer realm. Your home is your castle, and the option of having facial recognition devices therein is still a compelling option for those who want to be on the cutting edge of smart home innovation. Let's take a look at the facial recognition cameras we've tested recently, to see which models are the best and to help you determine if one would work for you.

Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Best overall: Nest Hello

  The best facial recognition cameras of 2019 © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

If we're talking about sheer facial recognition capabilities, the Nest Hello, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor (all of which are essentially the same camera), win by far. Of those models, the Nest Hello is my top pick for facial recognition because it's the least expensive of the three and has the most opportunity to give you important information about who's at your front door.

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  Chinese snooping tech spreads to nations vulnerable to abuse When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals started appearing in the streets of Belgrade as part of a major surveillance project, some protesters began having second thoughts about joining anti-government demonstrations in the Serbian capital. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals started appearing in the streets of Belgrade as part of a major surveillance project, some protesters began having second thoughts about joining anti-government demonstr require(["medianetNativeAdOnA

The Best Credit Cards Of 2020. For facial recognition , the debate and controversy in 2019 should be around the completely unregulated uses of the capability for marketing and commercial security. AI in silicon embedded in cheap IP cameras , accessible to all. I have written before about the concerns we should have at the thought of commercial enterprises, schools, universities, maybe even neighborhood watch schemes compiling their own watch lists of persons of interest, based on captured or opensource databases.

Abroad, facial recognition technology is employed in countries such as China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Japan. By 2022, the global market for the technology is forecast to reach billion. The cameras are intended primarily for security and traffic control purposes. China also uses this technology in schools. A high school in Hangzhou, the capital of China's Zhejiang province, is using facial recognition technology to analyze the behavior of students in the classroom and record their attendance.

Nest's IQ Indoor can tell you who's already inside your house, but the Hello, as well as the IQ Outdoor Cam, tell you who's outside your house. The Hello doorbell's eye-level location has the best chance of monitoring and seeing the most visitors, too (although I suppose you could install the $349 IQ Outdoor cam at eye level if you wanted).

The snag with the Hello and other face-tracking Nest cams is that you do have to pay for the facial recognition feature. That means for facial identification, you have to subscribe to the Nest Aware cloud subscription service. Learn more about Nest Aware.

Still, the Nest Hello is also a pick for best overall video doorbell. So it's a win/win, whether or not you want to enable facial recognition.

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Best value: Tend Secure Lynx

a close up of a camera© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

The Tend Secure Lynx only costs $60. Given that, I was skeptical that this camera would deliver, but it does. Not only does the camera itself perform well and offer multiple nice features like free seven-day event-based video clip storage, but it also has facial recognition free of charge (unlike the optional Nest Aware service).

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Facial recognition technology uses a database of photos, such as mugshots and driver's license photos to identify people in security photos and videos. It uses biometrics to map facial features and help verify identity through key features of the face. The most key feature is the geometry of a face The concerns have not gone unnoticed by politicians and many cities have started to create legislation around these issues. Oregon and New Hampshire have banned the use of facial recognition in body cameras for police officers. California cities, such as San Francisco and Oakland, and some cities in

The pernicious growth of the surveillance state continues with the imminent rollout of live facial recognition cameras across Britain. That is why this week I signed a statement, alongside a cross-party group of MPs, experts and civil liberties campaigners, calling for a halt to Over the past few years six forces, including the Metropolitan police, have trialled facial recognition , with spectacularly poor results. After surveilling hundreds of thousands of people, the Met has made a mere handful of arrests using this technology in the past four years. Indeed, 81% of the “suspects” caught by the

Create your database of familiar faces, and the Lynx takes over. There is a bit of a learning curve as it becomes familiar with each face, but it's a very good option if you want an inexpensive indoor home security camera with decent facial recognition.

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Best smart home support: Nest Cam IQ Indoor

a close up of a logo© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

The $299 Nest Cam IQ Indoor is similar to the Nest Hello doorbell. It has facial recognition (if you sign up for a Nest Aware subscription) and lets you know who walks in front of the camera's field of view with consistent accuracy.

But it also has a number of additional benefits. Because it is an indoor camera, Nest gave it an integrated Google Assistant speaker. That means the camera essentially doubles as a Google Home speaker and can answer basic questions like what the current weather or traffic is in your area -- and control a variety of Google-Assistant-enabled smart home devices. It also works with Amazon Alexa.

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Security cameras with facial recognition tech inside

Facial recognition cameras: Every one we tested

Here's a recap of the facial recognition cameras we've installed and tested recently.

The best facial recognition cameras of 2019

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Recommend above:

  • Nest Hello
  • Tend Secure Lynx

  • Nest Cam IQ Indoor

Worth considering, but not as good as the top picks above:

  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor: The IQ Outdoor camera is similar to the $229 Nest Hello and the $299 IQ Indoor when it comes to specs and performance, but it offers a worse value at a whopping $349 per camera.
  • Netatmo Welcome: Netatmo's Welcome indoor camera did a fair job detecting faces, but the feature ultimately wasn't quite as reliable as we'd like.
  • Wisenet SmartCam N1: The $150 SmartCam N1 smart security camera and app did a good job detecting faces, and it comes with a built-in microSD card slot for local storage, but the $60 Tend Secure Lynx performs just as well for much less.

Not recommended:

  • Honeywell Smart Home Security: Unreliable performance, including its facial recognition tech, seriously hurts this all-in-one system's appeal.

  • Tend Secure Lynx Pro: While the indoor-outdoor Lynx Pro is technically the high-end version of the indoor-only Lynx, its improved specs didn't translate to better facial recognition.

Note that the recommendations above were at the time of testing, and could change based on later software updates. We'll periodically update this list as such changes warrant.

How we tested

When setting up a camera with a facial recognition function, you create profiles of individual people, by either taking their picture in real time and adding it, or using an existing photo that you have of them. From there, The face recognition camera should be able to distinguish human faces from every other type of motion activity and single out the ones it recognizes from your database of familiar faces. When it's working optimally, you will get an alert that says the camera saw "Chris," "Molly" or whoever is in your database.

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There are many use cases for this type of functionality, but some common ones include getting an alert when your kids get home from school, or if a dog walker or a family caregiver shows up. It creates peace of mind when you're expecting someone to show up and you want an automated alert telling you they have (especially when you aren't home to greet them).

But it also helps in security scenarios, since the camera is essentially distinguishing between faces it recognizes and those it doesn't. That way, if your camera sends you an alert that it saw someone on your front porch or walking into your house, but you don't recognize them, you can more quickly send the information to police officers in the event of an actual break-in or theft, instead of having to sift through dozens of generic motion alerts to find the activity.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Viewing the facial recognition feature inside the SmartCam app. Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Viewing the facial recognition feature inside the SmartCam app. Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET

The best way to test these cameras is to create a database, which is what I do when I test a camera with facial recognition (see the screenshots above). I add people to my database and let the camera do the rest. It's best to give these cameras at least a few days, because some improve significantly, even over a short period of time, as they see faces at different angles.

Then it's a matter of doing an analysis of how well the camera actually recognized faces. How often did it correctly identify my face versus someone else's face? How did it do when approached at different angles and changes to hairstyles and clothing accessories? Was the camera able to detect faces at all? Some occasionally struggle to detect any faces, even ones that claim to have facial recognition, and instead mark the activity as a basic motion alert (ahem, Tend Secure Lynx Pro).

Facebook built a facial recognition app for employees

  Facebook built a facial recognition app for employees The app could identify employees and their friends who had enabled facial recognition, Facebook said.Business Insider, citing anonymous sources, reported that employees developed the facial recognition app between 2015 and 2016. The app was never released to the public and has been discontinued, according to the report. One source told Business Insider that one version of the app could identify anyone on the social network if there was enough data to do so, but Facebook disputed that claim.

The future of facial recognition

Amazon's doorbell and security camera company, Ring, filed two patents related to facial recognition in 2018. The patents suggest that future developed Ring products might be able to automatically detect and identify faces from "most wanted" lists or a watch list and automatically send notifications to law enforcement officers. Here's an excerpt from one of the patent filings:

A video may be analyzed by an A/V recording and communication device that recorded the video (and/or by one or more backend servers) to determine whether the video contains a known criminal (e.g., convicted felon, sex offender, person on a "most wanted" list, etc.) or a suspicious person. Some of the present embodiments may automatically submit such video streams to the law enforcement agencies.

"Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future," ACLU attorney Jacob Snow said in a blog post.

"The history of discriminatory government surveillance makes clear that face surveillance will disproportionately harm people already targeted by the government and subjected to racial profiling and abuse — immigrants, people of color, and the formerly incarcerated," Snow added.

Right now, Ring cameras don't offer facial recognition at all. Models that do, like the Nest Hello, are only designed to identify a person you add to your list of "familiar faces." They won't draw from a law enforcement list to determine if a convicted felon is nearby -- or reach out to law enforcement if they spot a face that could match someone in a database.

While we know of no ethical breaches associated with these cameras on the market right now, the reality is we have no way to verify how the biometric data is used. Even if we give the companies involved the benefit of the doubt regarding their analytics and data usage policies, those policies could change at any time. And when you consider that Ring is owned by Amazon and Nest is owned by Google, the potential for a Big Brother scenario is readily apparent.

We'll continue to keep an eye on home security cameras, doorbells and other devices with built-in facial recognition tech, to follow along with any changes in industry trends -- and to see if any new models come close to matching the smarts of Nest's Hello buzzer.

Originally published last year.

China now requires mandatory facial scans for cell phones users .
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