The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is developing a new a facial recognition payment system that will allow users to authorize online transactions with their faces. The system will be released by 2015 to both individual customers and retailers.

Zhou Xi, the director of the CAS Chongqing Green Technology Research Institute, explains that researchers have developed an information gathering algorithm that collects facial data from 91 different angles. The system scored an all time high accuracy of 99.8 percent, as per the Carnegie Mellon international industry standard. The previous record was 97.6 percent.

Researchers at the Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology in southwest China have built arguably the world’s biggest Asian face database with more than 50 million records in partnership with the University of Illinois, and the National University of Singapore.

The system will allow consumers to shop without having to memorize a password or PIN. Moreover, it is smart enough to recognise facial changes that occur over time to a person’s face. Users can install this app to their mobile devices and link their bank accounts to carry out transactions using this system which takes about “one second” to recognise the user’s face. The algorithm of the system is smart enough to detect whether the scanned faces are photographs/videos or actual faces, said Zhou.

This technology is already in use at border controls and and attendance machines in China.

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(Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson)

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