Planners looking for a way to speed up the registration process have a new tool at their disposal: facial recognition
Computers can now identify people and assess their emotional states by “reading” faces—and that has far-reaching implications for meeting planners. Among the first applications is using facial recognition technology to facilitate check-in. The Zenus system can identify attendees in the blink of an eye, with the potential to significantly cut check-in times.
Planners can add face recognition to their registration process for just 49 cents per attendee, said Panos Moutafis, president, Zenus. The attendee uploads their photo in advance. To check in, they walk up to a screen, see their face, verify their name, their badge is printed, and they are on their way. “No one wants to wait in line or go through their emails to find their ticket. This is a whole other experience….You can see the delight on the faces of those checking in,” he noted.
There are no privacy concerns because the process is opt-in and Zenus does not store names or images. The faceprint is linked to the attendee registration number and then, seven days after an event, the entire database is automatically deleted, he noted.
Another Zenus application measures engagement at exhibit booths. It uses a proprietary camera/processor to monitor how many people stopped by, how long they stayed, and how happy they were. The system can be also used to gauge responses to particular products. The device, which costs $250 per camera per event, is smaller than an iPhone. Because the cameras do not record or transmit any images and only retain aggregate statistics about the visitors/audience, no permissions are required.
Zenus’ goal is to integrate facial technology into every phase of an event. Next month, it plans to implement a system that monitors audience engagement in real time. Eventually, he said, an attendee will walk up to a touch screen that will recognize their face and they can read: “Hi Panos, the next session is….”