Facial recognition is passé; Emotion Reading has arrived

Emotion reading technology is growing, and rapidly. The Russian firm, NTechLab has created an identification tool that could soon be used by police that can identify people in a crowd and tell which emotion they are currently experiencing – anger, stress or anxiety. 

The Moscow based firm, NTechLab has also launched a facial recognition software that was very much in news last year for being the power behind the FindFace app that could find anyone on Russian social network VKontakte from a photo. The identification app claims to have reconnected long-lost friends and family members, as well as helped police solve two criminal cases. 

The newly launched software can monitor citizens for suspicious behavior by tracking identity, age, gender and current emotional state. It could be used to pre-emptively stop criminals and potential terrorists. The emotion element with more than 94% accuracy, as claimed by the company, can help in fighting crime in real-time.

“The recognition gives a new level of security in the street because in a couple of seconds you can identify terrorists or criminals or killers,” said Alexander Kabakov, NTechLab chief executive.

NTechLab, for all the secrecy maintained about its clients, is reportedly working with Moscow city government to add the recognition software to the capital’s 150,000 CCTV cameras.  The company though said, “The use case mentioned is generally for CCTV cameras and there’s nothing confirmed with Moscow.” Kabakov said, “If the street didn’t have cameras I could understand people might have some concerns, but now on every street you have cameras. If you’re in a public space, you have no privacy.” He added that the expectation of privacy has died out with the advent of smartphones, because phones know so much about you, including your behavior and location.

NTechLab also announced that it has raised $1.5 million (£1.2m), which it plans to use to create more cloud applications for facial and emotion recognition software.

NTechLab has more than 2,000 customers in countries including the UK, US, Australia, China and India and has also won two university awards for accurate face and emotion recognition, beating Google and Facebook amongst other companies.