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A facial recognition firm says their AI can identify people even if they’re wearing face masks

Sunglasses will throw off the system, however.

person wearing face mask in china
Image: KnowTechie

A facial-recognition company in Beijing says it can identify you even if you’re wearing a mask. That’s according to Reuters, who spoke to the Vice President of Hanwang Technology Ltd recently.

See, China has an extensive system for facial recognition almost everywhere. Normally, it’s accurate but the rise in surgical mask-wearing due to the coronavirus outbreak has made detection rates plummet. Now, Hanwang says they can recognize people wearing masks at a 95 percent accuracy rate, with the only barrier to identification now being if the person is also wearing sunglasses.

This technology also has effects on the current worldly issues regarding the coronavirus. Their system can be hooked up to temperature sensors, so it can identify the person while doing a check for the elevated body temperature associated with the COVID-19 infection. That’ll help authorities to limit the spread, although it won’t do anything about asymptomatic carriers with no fever symptoms.

It’s also probably worth pointing out that the World Health Organization has said that you only really need to wear a mask when looking after someone who might already have the infection. Panic buying of masks has left medical professionals worldwide with a shortage of personal protective equipment that they need to do their jobs safely. Think of them before you hit that buy button, the next life they save could be yours.

Surprised that facial recognition software can now identify people wearing masks? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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