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Ticketmaster may replace tickets with military-style facial recognition

Ticketmaster may replace tickets with military-style facial recognition
[Photo: Flickr user Paolo Tonon]

Live Nation and Ticketmaster wrote in a note to investors that they have invested in Blink Identity, a facial-recognition startup that claims to be able to identify people walking past their scanners in just “half a second,” even if they aren’t looking straight at a camera or even slowing down their stride.

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As Live Nation wrote in its note, Blink’s facial-recognition tech could be used to let a ticketed user into a venue or trigger a door or turnstile to grant access to customers just by showing their pretty faces. Blink’s tech could also alert security if a “bad actor” shows up at the venue and prevent them from entering.

Blink Identity was co-founded by Mary Haskett (CEO) and Alex Kilpatrick (CTO), who previously worked on a large-scale biometric identification systems for the military. Now, thanks in part to their involvement in the Techstars Accelerator program, they are taking their combined expertise to the commercial market.

According to Billboard, they believe their facial-recognition tech can be used to provide heightened security, ID verification at the door, and personalized services for VIPs. It sounds like a win-win-win investment for Live Nation and Ticketmaster. “[I]dentity-based ticketing has been a core area of investment for Ticketmaster over the past 3+ years,” a Ticketmaster representative said in an email.

The two companies are now working on a pilot program that incorporates Blink’s facial-recognition technology into several Live Nation-owned venues, as well as the e-ticketing system, Ticketmaster Presence. The program will give Ticketmaster access to a much deeper level of information about ticket buyers and ticket users than they have now, including understanding who is in attendance at the event, how they received their tickets, and the ability to communicate with them while they are in the venue.

“Knowing not just who bought the tickets, but who is sitting in each and every seat, can dramatically change the live event industry in a variety of ways,” the Ticketmaster rep said. “That includes, personalization, honing fan interactions, creating a “dramatically deeper level of safety and security.”

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