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Chinese university using facial recognition for physical access

Technology being used for access to all-female residence hall

A host of female students at China’s Beijing Normal University are able to access their residence hall by simply showing their face. The university has deployed facial recognition access readers at the perimeter doors one of the university’s residence halls.

As reported by The Washington Post, the university installed two facial recognition devices at the entrance way to the No. 13 female student dormitory. The student residents can either swipe their student ID card, manually key in their ID number, or say their name prior to activating the facial recognition scan. The reader’s camera will then scan the resident’s face and identify a match against database records.

According to local reports, only active residents of dorm are granted entry, with successful access accompanied with an audible “welcome home.” Here’s the process in action. Thanks in part to the 3D face model that is taken at the time of enrollment, the reader can reportedly still achieve a match even if the resident changes hair styles, wears makeup or gains weight.

There is a caveat to the biometric system, however, in the form of slow throughput and traffic jams at the door. Some residents have complained that after classes let out, or at other peak times, lines form to get in the dormitory since residents can only enter one face at a time.

Beijing Normal University is the first of the Beijing region universities to implement facial recognition for physical access, and some reports suggest the readers could be deployed at another nine undergraduate female dormitories on campus in the future.

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