Intel, Foxconn, and Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) are showcasing the potential applications of 5G-powered facial recognition technology based on Intel’s Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) platform, which uses multiple servers that are geographically dispersed but monitored by a central controller.
The companies demonstrated their technologies on APT’s mobile network this week, and highlighted how cloud-based facial recognition could be used for a variety of purposes including access control, demographically-focused marketing, and making purchases without the need for credit cards or other hardware. The solutions are powered by Intel’s 5G New Radio modem technology, the first model of which, the XMM 8060, is slated for launch in mid-2019.
Together with wireless cameras and APT’s small cell radio access nodes, the 5G modem allows detailed facial biometric data to be transmitted at a high speed, allowing for reliable real-time authentication, explained Foxconn VP and APT chair Fang-Ming Lu.
The demonstrations reflect growing excitement around AI-powered facial recognition in the wake of Apple’s launch of the iPhone X, which uses sophisticated infrared face scanning for user authentication. In comments to the press, Intel suggested that facial recognition will increasingly be used for payment authentication and will displace cash and credit cards; though recent claims of spoofing Apple’s Face ID system may give some consumers cause for skepticism.
In any case, the demonstrations also reflect the building anticipation over 5G connectivity, with multiple major firms having recently conducted field trials of such technology, which is expected to have a transformative effect on communications across the commercial, industrial, and consumer sectors.