All You Need To Know About OpenCV for Face Recognition

OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision) is the most prominent library for computer vision and image processing. It has been written in C/C++ and was designed for computational efficiency and real-time applications for face detection and/or recognition. It outperforms other libraries due to many prominent features; it is open source (released under BSD license), platform independent and has interfaces for three major languages (C/C++, Python, Java).

OpenCV uses neural networks (machine learning) for face detection and recognition. It uses Haar-Cascade (a file containing an algorithm to detect different shapes) for face detection, that is the most reliable cascade for face detection and is available free of cost. Algorithms are also available for training your own cascade. So, if you are going for any kind of shape or feature detection, OpenCV is the right choice.

OpenCV has three famous algorithms for facial recognition; 
  • Eigenface Recognizer which utilizes eigenvectors to match faces. 
  • LBPH (local binary pattern histograms) face recognizer. 
  • Fisherface recognizer.
Out of above listed three, the LBPH face recognizer is mostly used in many applications because it is robust and more reliable. It takes every face separately and compares it to the training data to recognize the face; while others take the whole picture as a dataset. Considering all factors, LBPH combined with Haar-cascade can be implemented as a cost effective face recognition platform.

There are a wide number of applications as well as renowned software developers which are utilizing OpenCV at this point in time. NVidia has its own developer portal which specifically deals with OpenCV on CUDA GPUs. There are more than 1200+ projects available on Devpost which utilize this library for various purposes. And that is just one developer community, various more are available online for help in any kind of project.

Are you thinking of using OpenCV in your projects? Can you recommend good alternatives to it? Sign off in the comments!

Author Bio: Tehreem Farooqi is a freelance writer and a Software Engineering student at National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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