Wicket: Building the Next Era of Touchless Access
“With our Facial Authentication algorithm, your guests and employees can safely pair their tickets, credit cards, and IDs with their face, allowing them to seamlessly move through the premises, make payments, or gain access to assets such as online accounts, equipment, and more.”
One of the primary issues with more traditional methods of credentialing and authentication is that they rely on keycards or other transferable credentials to authenticate someone and secure their assets and properties. These types of credentials ultimately can be lost, stolen, and in some cases, freely lent out or used to allow more than one person in. This is where Wicket is creating a difference with Facial Authentication that eliminates all these risks by using the one thing that can't be transferred: the user's face. "With our Facial Authentication algorithm, your customers, guests, and employees can safely pair their tickets, credit cards, and IDs with their face, allowing them to seamlessly move through the premises, make payments, or gain access to assets such as online accounts, equipment, and more," explains Sanjay Manandhar, Co-Founder & CEO, Wicket.
The Wicket Access Platform brings the next generation of ingress to facilities and access to other assets. Wicket's patented technology works with off-the-shelf cameras to offer an array of tools, all designed around computer-vision technology to give you actionable items—from alerts telling you guests have arrived to audience insights. "Managing and securing your properties can be a challenge from a technical perspective. Our platform dashboard makes it easy to add and remove people from access lists, managing their access by allowing them entry only at certain times of the day, during a specific date and time, or by removing it altogether," adds Manandhar.
As a cutting-edge biometric solution, Wicket's Access product delivers facial authentication and contactless entry using proprietary computer vision technology to allow modern, secure access management for guests, staff, and unknown persons. By matching people's individual facial landmarks to a list of facial landmarks on a 1:1 basis, the technology improves the customer and guest experience by providing a fast (less than half a second), convenient, and secure method of entry while minimizing security risks. Moreover, Wicket's technology is built to integrate into key card readers and access solutions facilities already have installed.
This gives customers more control over their doors and entrances and adds extra layers of security with two-factor authentication, reduces spend by allowing security staff to be redeployed to other tasks, and makes it easier to identify and deal with potential threats, all with an opt-in model that protects end-user privacy.
In addition, the company offers other solutions, including Wicket Audience and Wicket Density. Wicket Audience is an anonymized visual analytics data software for counting the number of people in any given space and determining the age and gender of the crowd, which can be valuable data metrics for venues, sponsors, and brands. Wicket Density, also working with anonymized data, is used for presence detection and to determine crowd density for immediate response to reduce lines and minimize bottlenecks.
Wicket is field-tested, and its products have been deployed in many industries and use cases. Notably, the company's technology is built to work in incredibly demanding outdoor and high throughput environments like professional sports stadium environments: changing outdoor lighting, bright artificial lights, varied angles of faces viewing the camera, as well as being able to work with occlusions. Face masks, hats, facial hair, and glasses are the types of challenging real-world occlusions where Wicket shines.
While explaining the company's value proposition, Manandhar recalls an instance when the team assisted one of its professional sports customers. Like many high-traffic venues, many fans and VIPs are trying to move through ticketing and security simultaneously, creating long lines and frustrated fans. With the team, Wicket developed dedicated "Express Entry" lanes that utilized its software to speed up ingress. The results were overwhelming, with many early adopters that turned into repeat users, and the popularity of the offering has only grown since then. "Time and again, we see fan reaction videos, and it is always exciting to see the smiles on their faces as they pass through our technology," extols Manandhar.
Two of the things that the team values at Wicket are consumer privacy and convenience. As both software developers and consumers, Wicket's team considers user privacy central to its offering. The convenience of facial authentication is slowly making its way into the public, and it's here to stay. As such, it's essential to make the right decisions on behalf of both customers' and the end-users' right to privacy.
Today, due to the attention Wicket earned in the U.S. sports and entertainment market, the team has been getting inbound interest and is having early discussions with international prospects that desire similar solutions. "We also continue to be focused on developing more functionality and features based on direct customer feedback and industry trends, such as utilizing facial authentication for payments, concessions, and VIP experiences. Lastly, our partnerships are a big part of our growth strategy—Wicket has developed, over multiple years, deep relationships with ticketing giants, wireless carriers, as well as cloud and semiconductor companies who are embedded in the intelligent edge. This allows easy and highly scalable deployment in multiple verticals," concludes Manandhar.