Face recognition for authentication is gradually coming out of our smartphones and moving into real-life scenarios. Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced the Digi Yatra initiative where it will allow passengers into airports based on facial recognition.
London-based iProov is one company that is already working in this space, having got clearance for a pilot project from the US Department of Homeland Security. Given that its technology does not need a high-end camera or other equipment to authenticate a user, iProov is likely to find major acceptance in India, across sectors and industries.
Aarti Samani, who drives product innovation for iProov, told indianexpress.com that their solution is different because it not only matches a recognisable face, but also checks if it is a genuine presence. She says that traditional face recognition has had issues with recognising if it was indeed a real person and their solution specialises in ensuring the face on the other end was genuine.
“So when you are doing a digital transaction, what is the one thing that everyone has? Either a phone or a laptop, right? Then what does every device have? A screen, a camera, and a network. To know the user is actually real, there is skin on the face,” Samani says, explaining how their technology uses these three elements to solve the problem. “What we do is use the screen to project light on the face. The light interacts with the face tells us where space is, firstly, is this three dimensional and secondly, is it covered with skin,” she says, adding that all the user has to do is hold the phone in a natural position.
iProov uses a combination of RGB to illuminate the face in a cryptographic sequence which remains unique for a person in his entire lifetime. Samani says this ends up as a 2.5-second video that is uploaded to a server where it I analyses for being real and also matched with a photo in the database. iProov’s technology is device agnostic as long as it has a camera and Internet connection, thus making it ideal for a country like India. The company has 11 patents protecting its technology which they have built from scratch.
Facial recognition, iProov, Face authentication software, Apple Face ID, iProov Facial recognition system, Department of Homeland Security, 3D facial scans, airport check-in system, TrueDepth camera, public facial recognition, facial data Samani says the Department of Homeland Security, which is now testing iProov’s solution at land crossings, created 668 different types of spoofing attacks to test this solution and all of them failed.
In contrast, Apples’s FaceID first confirms “attention and intent” by checking if the eyes are open and directed at the device, then the TrueDepth camera projects and reads over 30,000 infrared dots to form a depth map of the face along with a 2D infrared image which is then transformed into a mathematical representation to be compared with the enrolled facial data.
The uses are innumerable, ranging from banking to HR and even security in places like airports and government offices. Samani says the Department of Homeland Security, which is now testing iProov’s solution at land crossings, created 668 different types of spoofing attacks to test this solution and all of them failed.
iProov, which is working on many products at the moment, has also perfected its technology to work well in case a subject has aged, or added new facial features like a mustache and if there are issues with the photograph as is common in case of passports and other such documents.
Canon EOS RP Budget Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Launched, Fujifilm Announces X-T30 APS-C Camera
Canon and Fujifilm have added new cameras to its respective lineups. Canon has officially unveiled the EOS RP, which is its second full-frame mirrorless camera after the EOS R. This budget model will go on sale in March for $1,300 (roughly Rs. 92,400) for just the body or $2,399 (roughly Rs. 1,70,600) with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens.
Meanwhile, Fujifilm has announced a new APS-C camera called the X-T30, which succeeds the X-T20. This will be available in March in black and silver trims at a price of $899 (roughly Rs. 63,900) for the body, $999 (roughly Rs. 71,000) with XC15-45mm lens, and $1,299 (roughly Rs. 92,400) with the XF18-55mm lens. The camera and kit lenses will also be available in a new charcoal silver colour, which will arrive in June 2019.
Canon EOS RP specifications and features
It seems as if the leak we got a week ago about Canon’s EOS RP was pretty much spot on. According to Canon, the EOS RP is designed for amateur and advanced amateur photographers looking to step up from its APS-C models and will sit below its flagship EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera. Canon is emphasising the lightness of the camera, which weighs 490 grams and the body is said to be smaller than Canon’s EOS 800D mid-range APS-C camera. The EOS RP will be compatible with all of Canon’s RF lenses as well as EF and EF-S lenses with the help of adapters.
The EOS RP boasts of a 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and is powered by the company’s DIGIC 8 image processor. The camera also has Dual Pixel autofocus (AF) with 4,779 manually selectable AF points. Using an f/1.2 lens, it is also capable of extreme low-light focusing at up to -5EV. Since its designed for amateurs, the EOS RP also features Canon’s Visual Guide mode, which gives you a graphical representation of how the various shooting modes (Shutter, Aperture, etc) will affect your final picture. This was first introduced with the Canon EOS 77D .
The camera also has a native ISO range of 100-25,600, a 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder (EVF), a fully articulating touchscreen, burst shooting of up to 5fps, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, 4K video recording at 24fps, and 1080p recording at 60fps. Canon has also officially announced that it’s currently developing six new lenses for its RF full-frame mount. These will be available sometime later in 2019 and will include:
RF 85mm F1.2 L USM RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM
Fujifilm X-T30 specifications and features
Switching companies, we now come to Fujifilm’s announcement, which has added the X-T30 to its APS-C camera lineup. The follow-up to the X-T20 features an improved 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor with the X-Processor 4 quad-core CPU for image processing. Other features include a hybrid AF system with 425 phase detection autofocus (PDAF) points, which cover 100 percent of the entire frame, EyeAF, and a new Face Selection option. Further, you will get a 2.36 million dot resolution OLED EVF, a 3-inch tilting touchscreen display, 4K recording up to 30fps or 1080p recoding up to 120fps, a single SD card slot, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Fujifilm also announced a new lens for its X series cameras called the FUJINON XF16mmF2.8 R WR. This lens features a stepping motor for quieter AF and goes on sale in March for $400 (roughly Rs. 28,400). There’s good news for Fujifilm X-T3 owners as come April, Fujifilm will be releasing a new firmware (v3.0), which is said bring improvements to face and eye detection AF, a new Face Select function that debuted with the X-T30, improved AF speed, and additional settings to the cameras interface. The company will also release a new firmware for the X-T100 and X-A5, which adds a new ‘Bright Mode’, ‘Portrait Enhancer’ mode, and a new ‘Night+’ setting.
Mi 9 to Sport a Triple Rear Camera, Explorer Edition May Have Quad Camera
Xiaomi is set to launch its latest flagship smartphone, the Mi 9, on February 20 in China. With its launch in the build-up to Mobile World Congress 2019, the Chinese smartphone maker will be among the first manufacturers to unveil its flagship for the year, even as other manufacturers will be preparing for summer launches. Thanks to some official images posted on Weibo, we now have an early look at the new device, while the images also give away some key features of the new phone. Separately, a blogger has posted a leaked image of what is claimed to be the Xiaomi Mi 9 Explorer Edition.
A handful of images and a short video have been posted to Chinese social media website Weibo by the verified account of Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, thereby lending legitimacy to the renders. The images give us a good look at what to expect from the new phone; of particular note is the triple camera setup at the rear. The front of the phone isn’t shown in the renders, and the rear shows an interesting gradient blue and green colour, with the rough translation from the post reading as ‘holographic illusion blue’. The post further describes a “nano-scale laser holography process, plus double layer coating” as responsible for the “rainbow colours” and “faintly […] metallic lustre”.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 is set to be launched on February 20, which is the same day as the launch event for the Samsung Galaxy S10 series. According to rumours, the Mi 9 Explorer Edition could also be launched on the same day. This variant of the phone is said to sport a quad-camera setup at the rear. An unofficial render of this has surfaced as well, but we’ll wait till the official launch before confirming this.
The phone is likely to be powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, and is also rumoured to come with 27W fast charging. The Xiaomi Mi 9 could come with MIUI 10 out of the box, based on Android 9 Pie. The primary camera at the rear is likely to be a 48-megapixel shooter, while a second 12-megapixel camera and third ToF 3D sensor will also be part of the setup.
Coming to the Xiaomi Mi 9 Explorer Edition’s leaked image, posted on Weibo by a blogger, we see a quad rear camera, and a ‘transparent’ back panel like its predecessor. The post adds that the smartphone will have more memory than the Xiaomi Mi 9, though it’s uncertain if both RAM and storage are being referred to. The Mi 9 Explorer Edition price is said to range between CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 36,900) to CNY 4,999 (roughly Rs. 52,600).
Energizer Power Max P18K Pop With 18,000mAh Battery, Dual Pop-Up Selfie Cameras to Launch at MWC 2019
Avenir Telecom, the licensing partner of Energizer Mobile, is set to launch as many as 26 new phones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019. One of these upcoming smartphones is the Power Max P18K Pop, the company on Thursday revealed. The smartphone will feature a huge 18,000mAh battery, dual-selfie pop-up cameras, triple rear cameras, and will be powered by the MediaTek Helio P70 processor. Avenir will officially unveil the phone at MWC 2019. The company says that it will take orders at the show for delivery sometime in summer this year.
The Energizer Power Max P18K Pop will be introduced at MWC 2019, and the company has announced that the smartphone will sport a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display. It will be powered by the MediaTek Helio P70 SoC and pack 6GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage.
Among other specifications, the smartphone will sport five cameras in total, with dual front sensors that will pop-up from the top. The two front cameras will sport 16-megapixel and 2-megapixel senses. There’s also a triple camera setup at the back aligned vertically with 12-megapixel, 5-megapixel, and 2-megapixel sensors.
The most interesting bit about the phone is its whopping 18,000mAh battery. The company claims that this massive battery will enable the phone to make up to 90 hours of calls, listen to 100 hours of music and watch around 2 days of video on a single charge. In the standby mode, the battery is said to last up to 50 days.
In its ‘Ultimate series, the company is also expected to launch the Energizer Ultimate U620S Pop and the Energizer Ultimate U630S Pop at MWC 2019. Both phones feature dual pop-up selfie cameras. The company will also unveil the Energizer Ultimate U650S, Energizer Ultimate U620S, and the Energizer Ultimate U570S, with all three featuring a teardrop notch with a V-shaped and U-shaped design.
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