Ticketmaster to pilots facial recognition at concerts
04 May 2018 14:00 GMT

Ticketmaster announced May 3 that it was investing in facial recognition company Blink Identity, and would be looking to incorporate the tech into its Ticketmaster Presence initiative.

Ticketmaster’s plans were revealed as part of parent company Live Nation’s Q1 2018 earnings:

"We will continue investing in new technologies to further differentiate Ticketmaster from others in the ticketing business. It is very notable that today we announce our partnership with, and investment in, Blink Identity, which has cutting-edge facial recognition technology, enabling you to associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show".

Blink Identity’s platform basically allows a venue to identify people using their facial biometrics without requiring them to stop and stand in front of a lens. Blink Identity claims it can capture people walking past at full speed and can handle more than 60 people each minute.

Blink Identity cites various potential use cases for its technology once the gig-goer is inside the venue. They can buy merchandise and drinks, for example, assuming the user has a valid payment card attached to their Ticketmaster profile. Facial recognition could also be used to regulate access to VIP zones.

Ticketmaster hasn’t stated specifically how it will use the technology, however — the initial rollout will be kicking off soon in “corporate buildings and several Live Nation venues,” according to a statement issued to VentureBeat. The company will then examine “how the technology could be beneficial to fans, artists, and venues alike.”

In Live Nation’s First Quarter Financial Results report the partnership was mentioned in the same breath as the Verified Fan program, which has been used to make sure tickets get to real fans of artists like Taylor Swift, Pearl Jam, Elton John and U2.

Blink Identity’s tech can identify people while walking. The company’s website claims its technology has been used for operational testing at U.S. military bases around the world.