Alibaba testing face recognition technology

Updated 2017-09-15 09:30:40 China Daily

Two units under internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd are working in tandem to test facial recognition technology that will allow users to unlock delivery drop boxes.

Cainiao Network Technology Co Ltd, an Alibaba-backed courier aggregator, is promoting such an application to its partner delivery firms and parcel pickup facility providers in a test run in Shanghai, the company said during a customer conference in Shanghai on Thursday.

The technology is provided by Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba's fintech subsidiary, which since September has enabled customers to pay by literally flashing a smile in a KFC store in Hangzhou, where Alibaba is headquartered.

An army of specially equipped kiosks have been installed across five locations at Shanghai's financial district of Lujiazui, with cameras scanning people's faces to verify their identities. The companies plan for a nationwide rollout when the pilot projects mature in the city.

In the first instance, the machine would compare the detected face with the image logged by public security authorities, said Chen Jidong, director of biometric identification technology at Ant Financial.

To achieve that, users need to subscribe to a service embedded in the Alipay digital wallet, which gives the app the green light to capture their personal information to confirm their identity, he noted.

This is possible thanks to 550 million real-name users on Alipay, through which they pay bills, settle traffic fines, manage wealth and get small loans.

"The scanning system focuses on your face, so it doesn't matter if you change your makeup or wear a wig," Chen said, adding that multiple tests have been conducted under various environments such as under sunlight or in the dark to ensure a smooth and consistent performance.

A demonstration video displayed during the conference suggested the whole process takes roughly five seconds, significantly shortening the conventional method of parcel retrieval by typing in text codes, which normally takes 16 seconds, the companies said.

"I would expect this investment and new process to save a substantial amount of time and ensure security," said Zou Jianhua, CEO of Diyi Box, a parcel pickup facility provider. "Just in Shanghai, at least 10,000 parcel pickup locations will be equipped with such functionality in three years."

Chen said that the false-acceptance rate, or the chances that the system incorrectly accepts an unauthorized user, should be below 0.001 percent and be further lowered to ensure bank-level security.

Shenzhen-based SF Express, a leading Chinese courier that is competing with Cainiao's network, said it is also developing biometric-based technologies to apply to its own parcel pickup cabinets.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58December 19 2017 00:43:07

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16December 19 2017 00:43:07

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18December 19 2017 00:43:07

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords