News & Analysis

Enabling face recognition even in challenging lighting

4th November 2021
Sam Holland

NXP Semiconductors has utilised a microcontroller and 3D camera to enable face recognition that is secure and resistant to poor lighting and facial recognition spoofing.

NXP has introduced what it calls 'the first solution' to combine a 3D SLM (structured light module) camera with an MCU – in order to deliver the performance and security of 3D face recognition at the edge. This is to remove the need to use an expensive and power-hungry Linux implementation on an MPU, as is traditionally required with high-performance 3D cameras.

The newest EdgeReady solution enables developers of smart locks and other access control systems to add machine learning-based secure face recognition quickly and easily to smart home and smart building products. The solution delivers reliable 3D face recognition in indoor and outdoor applications, across varied lighting conditions (including bright sunlight, dim night light, or other difficult lighting conditions) that are challenging for traditional face recognition systems.

The use of a 3D SLM camera enables advanced liveness detection, therefore helping to distinguish a real person from spoofing techniques (such as a photograph, imitator mask, or 3D model), to prevent unauthorised access.

The i.MX RT117F utilises an advanced machine learning model as part of NXP’s eIQ machine learning software that runns on its high-performance CPU core, which enables faster and accurate face recognition to improve both the user experience and overall power efficiency.

Similar to the i.MX RT106F MCU-based NXP EdgeReady solution for secure face recognition, advanced liveness detection and face recognition are all carried out locally at the edge, making it possible for personal biometric data to remain on the device. This helps address consumer privacy concerns, while also eliminating the latency associated with cloud-based solutions.

More info on NXP's EdgeReady solutions and its MCUs

NXP EdgeReady solutions are designed to introduce the power of edge compute intelligence to users' applications. Each ready-for-the-edge platform includes hardware that is optimised for cost and form-factor, and comes with fully integrated, self-contained software.

The i.MX RT series of crossover MCUs are designed to bridge the gap between high-performance and integration while minimising costs to meet today's need for high-performance embedded processing at the edge. The series delivers advanced microcontrollers with the functionality of applications processors, which enable advanced computation and machine learning capabilities in millions of connected edge devices.

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