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Domestic violence billboard UK uses facial recognition technology

Domestic Violence Women's Aid CampaignIn the last newsletter, we spoke of how facial recognition technologies have evolved and how they are being applied with good results in the commercial world.

Specifically, we spoke of their use in major shopping centres and how they can be adopted to track and monitor peoples activities.

Facial recognition can be used in a whole range of non-security applications. It is now being deployed in enterprise applications for time and attendance purposes. For our country’s largest employers, the cost to business of staff “stealing” time each day can add up to many thousands of dollars in losses each week. It can also be used as an alternative to traditional biometric technologies such as finger print or retina scanners with excellent results.

It is also popular with customer loyalty programs where it can identify key clients as they enter a premises. It can be used to either alert staff of their presence or to automate or simplify a business process for the individual customer. It promotes a level of exclusivity for key clientele.

One really innovative application of facial recognition is this example of a jaw dropping interactive advertising billboard in Birmingham, UK. In a collaboration between London advertising agency WCRS, Photographer Rankin and Women’s Aid (a British charity working to end domestic violence), the billboards show a woman’s swollen, bruised face and the simple plea, “Look at me.”

Through the use of facial recognition technology, the image on the billboard changes based on how passersby respond to what they see. If people ignore the billboard, nothing happens. However, if they stop and look at the image, the woman’s face begins to heal. People’s responses are also captured on camera and projected on a live feed at the bottom of the screen.

You can view the billboard in action here

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