Real Networks offers free facial recognition technology for schools

SEATTLE -- A Seattle-based digital media company is offering its facial recognition technology for free to all K-12 schools in the United States and Canada.

The program, called SAFR, or Secure Accurate Facial Recognition is available through a link on its website. The software works with existing cameras or readily available hardware to recognize faces in real time.

According to Real Networks, SAFR can be used for visitor check-ins or for securing doors without the use of keycards. For those concerned about privacy, Real Networks says SAFR encrypts all facial data and images.

"Privacy concerns are paramount in our design thinking," said Reza Rassool, CTO of Real Networks. "SAFR can be deployed securely in the cloud or purely on-premises, where all face and event data remains on site."

The University Child Development School in Seattle is currently the only school in the region using the technology as part of a pilot program. The school uses the facial recognition software to authorize entry of staff, students and visitors.

The software identifies faces with 99.8% accuracy, according to the company.