Consumer advocates and privacy activists may not like it, but it looks like facial recognition is here to stay. Just a week ago, Facebook (FB) announced that it had purchased facial-recognition technology company Face.com, a three year old business based in Israel. Investors are taking a closer look at this industry, and according to WallStreetNewsNetork.com, there are a dozen facial recognition companies to choose from.
There are several large players with facial recognition as a small portion of the business including 3M (MMM), with the Cogent BioTrust biometric logon software, and the CAFIS system which can integrate facial recognition authentication. Apple (AAPL) has the iPhoto software Faces. A couple years ago, Apple purchased the Sweden based Polar Rose facial recognition company for $22 million. Google (GOOG) is also involved in facial recognition, including its use of PittPatt technology to allow Picasa to add name tags to pictures.
Safran SA owns L-1 Identity Solutions (SAFRY), one of leaders in the face recognition arena. The company provides facial biometric technology to casinos and the gaming industry. L-1 has such products as FaceEXPLORER, a mugshot booking solution, FaceIt® Argus, a security checkpoint face screening system, and the ABIS® System FaceExaminer that analyzes, searches and identifies faces of wanted subjects taken from poor quality surveillance video. Safran trades at 23 times earnings.
AuthenTec (AUTH), a seecurity and identity management company, produces the TCEFC1 TouchChip module used with the Mobile Offender Recognition and Identification System known as MORIS. The stock trades at 29 times forward earnings. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has turned up a list of over ten companies involved in facial recognition. The free list can be downloaded, sorted, and updated. Disclosure: Author owns AAPL.