Intel RealSense ID: In-depth look at this new facial recognition technology

Intel RealSense ID is an on-device facial recognition solution from Intel. It combines an active depth-sensing camera technology with a specialized neural network to provide secure and user-aware facial authentication that can be used with several devices. Intel said that it has built RealSense ID with anti-spoofing systems that prevent attempts to unlock the device using images, videos, or masks. Intel’s RealSense tech has been in the news for a few years now, and the company has finally made it official.

How does it work?

Intel RealSense ID Solution F455 is a ready-to-use peripheral solution out-of-the-box. Intel also launched the F450 module in its RealSense ID lineup, which can be integrated and customized as per user needs. It is a small device comprising camera sensors, secure elements, an illuminator, a projector, and system-on-chip (SoC) to perform facial recognition. The SoC in this device performs the data processing and runs the neural networks to accurately match and recognize faces. The dual-camera setup is meant for authentication, while the IR illuminator and projector are used for indoor and outdoor operations. This tiny device also comes with a secure element that is meant to protect user data and privacy.

The neural network on the device is self-learning and adaptive making it more secure over time. According to Intel, the enrolment on this device is fairly straightforward, and the whole process of user registration takes less than a second. The device converts and encrypts the image data of the users into a system understandable format and does not store the actual photographs of the users. Moreover, only registered users will be authenticated using RealSense ID.

Intel RealSense ID

Intel also listed the datasheet (PDF download) of the RealSense ID and claims that it offers 99.76 percent true acceptance rates and uses the AES-256 encryption algorithm to store the authentication data. More information about the technicalities of Intel RealSense ID can be found here.

Technical specifications

Intel RealSense ID Solution F455 is a small, compact device with the dimensions of 62 x 32.5 x 11 mm. The F450, meanwhile, sports the dimensions of 18 mm × 50 mm × 4.6 mm. It is suitable to use in both indoor and outdoor conditions and even in conditions with inadequate light. The device has a field of view of 56° × 78° and operates in a recommended range of 0.3-1 meter. The peripheral can be connected to other devices using USB-C and comes with an AUX port for SPI and GPIOs.

Intel RealSense ID Perepheral

What are its applications?

Passwords can no longer be trusted in the contemporary IT world. There have been several instances of cyberattacks and security breaches worldwide concerning stolen or misused credentials. Intel wants to patch this up using its facial recognition tech, which can be used as an additional layer or even the primary authentication source across several domains and platforms. The company also listed out that the probability of someone trying to trick or false-unlock its facial recognition system is one in a million.

RealSense ID is meant to provide smart access control in crucial industries such as banking, finance, health care, and IT. However, it can also be used in several other services such as transport, food, and several other industries that need simple identification or authentication.

Intel RealSense

The Intel RealSense ID is an open-source solution, and according to Intel, it has been developed this tech keeping developers in mind. The company is providing several code samples and documentation to demonstrate the process of integrating this authentication paradigm into the existing systems. Considering all these factors mentioned above, this new tech from intel can soon be seen in ATMs, kiosks, gate access controls at airports, railway stations, companies, and can also serve at POS systems. Considering the open-source nature of this technology, the applications can be endless, depending on how secure and accurate it proves to be in real-world use cases.

Buying Intel RealSense ID

The RealSense ID peripheral F455 is currently up for pre-order for $99 whereas the F450 module’s 10-pack is listed for $750. Both F455 and F450 are currently up for preorders on Intel’s website and shipping will begin in the week of March 1.

Intel RealSense ID: Windows now, Linux and Android soon

Intel is currently rolling out the RealSense ID for Windows OS and has stated that it will soon be launching it on Linux and Android operating systems leaving out Apple’s iOS and macOS. Moreover, the accuracy numbers of the RealSense ID are almost the same as Apple’s Face ID. This could be Intel’s message to Apple to take on the latter’s Face ID technology. While Apple’s Face ID is confined only to Apple devices, Intel’s RealSense ID is open-source and is cross-platform compatible. It is interesting that Intel came up with this after the long-lasting partnership with Apple ended when Apple ditched the intel processors to favor their in-house M1 line of chipsets to power the Macs. What are your opinions on this? Let us know in the comments.

Photo credits: Shutterstock (featured image) / Intel

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