The Role of Face Recognition in A Smart Home

June 26, 2017

Facial recognition technology has many important applications not just in home automation but also in other sectors. For example, it is used on ATM’s to crack down on financial fraudsters. Just recently police in the UK used the technology to make an arrest for the first time. Facial recognition technology can identify a person from a digital image or video by comparing it with stored facial data. The data it uses includes images available on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and so on.

Facial recognition technology may sound a little intrusive but it is not that different from fingerprinting or DNA identification. The only differences are that it doesn’t require a mouth swab or a fingerprint reading scanner.

You may have already guessed that one role it plays in home automation is keeping your homes secure.


Recently, Google and announced that users can now use Google’s voice control feature to arm or disarm their security systems. One thing that makes this new feature a little less exciting is that you still have to use a four digit PIN before the front door opens or before the security system disarms when you use voice control.

An advanced facial recognition technology will be able to recognize the moment it spots your face. It may see you approaching the front door and immediately unlock without you needing to use voice commands. There will be no four digit PIN code to remember or for an intruder to try and hack and you will not need a traditional key or even a smartphone to get access to your house.

This is not some crazy fantasy because it is already happening in the marketing scene. Some advertisers have convinced shop owners to install cameras with facial recognition technology. The technology can study the faces of shoppers and determine their ages. They then use this information to target shop ads based on the most frequent age group that visits the store.

Additionally, smart home devices already utilize facial recognition for security. Netatmo’s Wi-Fi connected camera called Welcome can detect and identify faces. You can add family and friends’ profiles to Welcome so that it can tell whether or not they are home. It can detect the face of the person opening the door, and you can customize the kind of alerts you get when the device detects a particular person’s face.

A highly improved smart Wi-Fi camera with facial recognition technology could send you text alerts if your children enter your house with a stranger.

A home automation system that knows you

Google recently announced a new feature on their Google Home device, which can recognize your voice and give you answers based on your preferences or Google account. Now imagine if instead, the system could simply identify you by your face when you give voice commands. If the system could recognize your face and voice at the same time, then it would be almost impossible for anyone to get access to your automation system. Such a feature will make you and your family enjoy personalized actions from your devices.

Imagine a situation where a camera with facial recognition technology can see that you have arrived home. It then responds by triggering your Phillips Hue lights to turn on in your home office or your Sonos speaker to start playing your favorite music. It could also adjust the temperature in any room of your home depending on what family member walks into a particular empty room alone based on their temperature preferences.

At the moment, most smart home device developers are more interested in adding voice control features to their devices. But the developer that manages to build a smart device with good facial recognition technology may manage to get a huge slice of the home automation market pie. For more information about home automation, visit our website today.


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