Sunglasses, masks won’t fool this facial recognition — and it’s cheaper to run

Facial recognition systems can enhance security — but many of them can’t adjust for a pair of sunglasses or a surgical mask. Panasonic’s new facial recognition software algorithms, however, can soon account for both in a program that’s up to five times more accurate than earlier programs. The new face recognition server software, WV-ASF950, can still read faces with sunglasses, or faces turned up to 45 degrees from the camera — and before the end of the year, will also be able to recognize faces obscured by a surgical mask.

According to comparison tests by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the software improves facial recognition by up to 500 percent. The deep learning software uses a similarity calculation method that allows the program to recognize faces in scenarios most systems struggle with. Along with faces turned from the camera and sunglasses, the program can still recognize faces from the database that have aged from the image in the server.

While designed for security applications, the software also integrates some of the same technology Panasonic uses in their consumer cameras. An A.I. auto-optimizes the camera’s settings in order to achieve a better exposure for higher-quality video. Along with detecting the amount of light in the scene, the system also works to detect how fast subjects are moving to find those optimal settings.

Artificial intelligence also helps the software actually keep costs down, too, Panasonic says. Instead of sending every image to the server, on-camera processing chooses the best shots and sends only those images to the server. By sending images selectively to the server, the system lowers bandwidth requirements, which Panasonic says lowers the cost of operating and building the system. That same concept also allows 20 cameras to run from one server.

The program can recognize up to 10,000 faces in a database, while larger facilities can use an expansion pack to bring that number up to 30,000.

Panasonic worked with the National University of Singapore on the development of the algorithms. The facial recognition system will launch in July (excluding availability in Japan, which will come one month later) and the ability to recognize faces obscured by a surgical mask will be added to the system before the end of the year.

Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.

Samsung's Unpacked draws near. Here's what we know about the Galaxy S10 so far

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website Here's how the impressive A.I. works.

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.

From f/1.2 primes to the mysterious DS, here are Canon’s upcoming RF lenses

Canon's EOS R mirrorless series will gain six new lenses this year. Canon just shared a list of six lenses under development, including four zooms and two prime lenses. One has a mysterious new feature called Defocus Smoothing.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.