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How one company's AI-technology is helping retailers detect mask-wearing

CyberLink is looking to help retailers detect mask-wearing, and conduct temperature checks through its AI-technology FaceMe. CyberLink CEO Jau Huang joins the On the Move panel to discuss.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the world. In some ways, it's changing the world for the better. To help us understand some of those changes, CyberLink CEO Jau Huang joins us now. And we want to first thank you because you're joining us. You are 12 hours time difference. It's midnight. So we appreciate your being here.

But some of the ways the world has changed-- we're experiencing, for instance, in New York City-- went to a restaurant just over the weekend-- did everything on the phone from ordering from their menu, paying for it through the phone. It was all contactless payment. And your technology may or may not be a part of it. But that's the kind of thing you do. Correct?

JAU HUANG: And that's true. We do face recognition.

ADAM SHAPIRO: So when you look at this world coming our way, do you see us ever going backward? Or do you see it even going much faster towards this kind of contactless payment systems?

JAU HUANG: I actually believe that face recognition is really a helpful technology, although, we want to be careful using that for, like, you know, surveillance on general public. However, on the recent new development, let me, you know, basically say what we did. We have a product called FaceMe that, fundamentally, it does face recognition for many applications.

And then just these several months ago when COVID-19 become a problem, then there's a demand saying, can we do mask detection, right? And then we have our engineers quickly look into that issue. And amazingly we did come out a very good solution that so you can do, you know, three things.

One, you can detect if this customer or employee wears a mask or not. Two is that we're wearing, like, you know, is your nose covered? Three, even wearing a mask, we still can recognize you are Adam and she's Julie. And lastly, we integrate that with the temperature camera so we can even tell your temperature at your head. So do you have a high temperature? The excess control will not allow you to enter the gate.

So suddenly it become a very useful tool for today's-- in our public areas, like restaurants that we would like people to not having a fever, wearing a mask. And we still know for you who are so if there's an excess control, it will still open to the right people. So it's amazing.

JULIE HYMAN: So talk to us about, though, you mentioned some of the use cases there. I'm curious where it is being used if it is being implemented yet, especially in reaction to coronavirus. I mean, we've had some situations here in the United States where there have been confrontations at retail outlets in particular when a person has to come up and say, you have to put your mask on. So how would this sort of-- or is that one of the ideas is that it would help to avoid those sort of confrontations?

JAU HUANG: Well, actually, you raise a very good point. We have been working with a few leading retail tech distributors as well as a chain store. And one of our opponent have built a kiosk. So what it does is at the entrance, I mean, sometimes we don't want our employees to confront with customers, right? But if you put on a kiosk saying, if people-- a customer passing by, measure the temperature-- check automatically if the mask is wearing.

And if something wrong, then you can have a prerecorded voice saying Mr. or Mrs., please wear a mask to before you enter. So it reduce the chance that the customer can get very mad at an employee. So, yeah, it's already going to be implemented in like restaurant, like, shopping mall. And so it's going to be widespread.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Your FaceMe technology-- we have facial recognition technology on some of our smart devices now. I think it's terrific. But we've seen the likes of, for instance, Apple, look at possibly going backward to the thumb ID that they use. Do you worry that there may be a reaction to face technology-- face recognition technology that could hit your business?

JAU HUANG: Well, actually, the reason that facial recognition has become a topic that people talk about is really is very precise now because the AIs help. And look, most of amazing new technologies-- they are two-sided right? One can help live and one can be a little bit problematic.

And we believe that as long as a good regulations. In fact, I think that is what's very important that our government put in the regulations, then we know what can be done and what cannot. And for those can be done, it can be very, very effective.

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