Music Industry

Published on July 16th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Facial recognition at concerts: It’s coming, like it or not.

[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

It’s an annoying part of the concert-going experience: lining up at the doors in the heat/cold/rain waiting for someone to scan/take/tear your ticket. It’s not so bad if the venue is small, but if you’re trying to get into an arena and stadium, that’s a different story. Even if each ticket holder can be processed in five seconds, it still takes forever to get everyone through the doors.

It’s an annoying part of the concert-going experience: lining up at the doors in the heat/cold/rain waiting for someone to scan/take/tear your ticket. It’s not so bad if the venue is small, but if you’re trying to get into an arena and stadium, that’s a different story. Even if each ticket holder can be processed in five seconds, it still takes forever to get everyone through the doors.

In a press release issued last week, the firm (headed up by a former biometric specialist for the U.S. Department of Defence), announced the raising of another US$1.5 million to invest in the development of facial recognition technology.

It works like this. When someone buys a ticket online, the buyer can opt to have a selfie taken. That photograph is then stored in a database that will be used for that particular show. Using Blink Identity’s AI-enable cameras, those who purchase admission this way will be able to walk past sensors at full walking speed. Concertgoers, selfies, and purchase data will be instantly matched allowing admission without the hassle of having a ticket scanned.

Like I said, your ticket will be your face. Cool, right?

Well, maybe, maybe not. Keep reading.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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