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Heracles Almelo & 20face successfully started a trial with facial recognition 

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Skybox members, at Heracles Almelo football club, have entered the football stadium on the 20th of January, at the home match against PEC Zwolle, via facial recognition technology, developed by 20Face. Heracles Almelo is, because of this, the first football club which uses facial recognition as a hospitality service.

How does it work?

Skybox members participated on a voluntary basis, “says Bas Wolters, marketing manager at Heracles.” They send us a photo a couple of days before the match and then they are recognized by the system. If it all went as we hope, we will extend this to the members of the business club and later to the season ticket holders. Everything on a voluntary basis.”

Interested to see this in practice?

Below is a brief impression of how facial recognition has been put into practice before the game. If you want see whether facial recognition can be implemented in your organization. Feel free to book a demo with our experts.




20face is launching privacy proof Biometric recognition system

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  • The solution enables individuals to fully control where to use biometrics and ensures they are the only ones who can access and delete their data

Enschede, The Netherlands, January 2th 2019 – Today, the biometric and facial recognition company 20Face, introduced a solution that gives individuals full control over who can use their biometrics. The solution was developed to address consumer concerns about privacy and security. Because these are the major roadblocks to mainstream biometrics adoption.

Unlocking the full potential of facial recognition, by securing your privacy
Every individual is unique and so are your biometrics. Current state of the art technology can see and detect if you are in fact yourself. That is enormous. It makes life easy, safe and convenient. Applications are endless. Acces control, ticketing, hospitality, security, loyalty, schools, domotica, smart cities, personalisation and much much more. There is only one big question: Who is in control? The technology behind the biometric identification is very intelligent and pretty smart but it is also very powerful. Can we entrust these systems with all our data and the context it creates? The answer is yes but there is a condition: Privacy in itself must be the core business. That is the only way to control a technology and the company that delivers it. 20face is launching a distributed biometric data management platform that incorporates privacy regulations and user concerns in the very design of the system.

The possible invasion of privacy was a barrier to many companies to not embrace the advantages of biometrics in their everyday operations and mainstream use of biometric recognition technology.

Privacy Management
We built Privacy Management on top of biometrics. The way it works is by putting individuals in control over their privacy whilst being secured by distributed ledger technology (DLT), also known as blockchain technology to ensure that there is no central database for enhanced security.

20Face is offering privacy to users that results into safety, security, comfort and/or convenience and clears the way for companies to adapt biometrics in their solutions. It is even safer than any other system because it needs individual’s actual physical presence. They cannot enter a building and be somewhere else in a car at the same time. It is an enroll once, enjoy endlessly system that is completely at individuals service. 20Face believes this is the only way for biometrics recognition to reach its full potential.

In our solution, individuals enroll and unenroll themselves in a blockchain technology protected system where they can decide where to be recognized. The aim is to develop solutions together with development partners, that can be brought to market in a shared revenue model. Development partners will co-fund our product development in exchange for a better shared revenue deal in the future and the chance to have a head start in using biometrics to their advantage. It will be available for development partners per direct. This bottom up strategy for continuous development and improvement of the platform ensures direct relevance and feedback from users.

20Face will be demonstrating its solution during the CES Show in Las Vegas at Eureka Park in the Holland Pavilion, booth #16, located in Eureka Park (Sands). We have working solutions for SaaS, time registration and ticketing.

Hoekstra (CEO 20face) believes that the answer is in giving individuals full control over who and when can use their biometrics: “We have built a solution that from the start takes into account privacy and user-control. You decide where you like to use your biometrics, the data is processed and stored in a way that ensures security and privacy. You and only you have access to the vault where your data is stored. You are the only one who can access and delete and your vault, because of your unique biometrics and the use of distributed ledger technology. Which, by the way, we offer in cooperation with a Dutch blockchain startup called SMILO (also at the CES)

De Privacytest 2018: Hoe denkt de Nederlander over gezichtsherkenning?

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Hoeveel privacy hebben we straks nog nu camera’s ook gezichten kunnen herkennen? Met welke camera’s is gezichtsherkenning mogelijk en hoe kan een camera jouw gezicht herkennen? In De Privacytest, van de NPO,  ging Jojanneke van den Berge op zoek naar antwoorden en kreeg daarbij hulp van Peter Hoekstra, CEO van 20Face.

Tijdens de Privcacytest 2018, uitgezonden op maandag 15 oktober, onderzoekt Jojanneke van den Berge hoe privacybewust Nederland is. Zijn we wel goed genoeg op de hoogte van de risico’s op privacy-inbreuk en computercriminaliteit, hoe belangrijk vinden onze privacy en hoe bewust zijn we van de gevaren?

Gezichtsherkenning was één van de thema’s tijdens De Privacytest 2018. Naast uitleg over wat voor type camera’s nodig zijn voor gezichtsherkenning is ook te zien hoe gezichtsherkenning werkt. Gijs Rademaker van het EenVandaag Opiniepanel presenteerde daarnaast de resultaten van een groot privacy-onderzoek waaruit blijkt dat zes op de tien Nederlanders geen moeite hebben met camera’s met gezichtsherkenning en er dus geen ommetje voor zou maken.

Aangezien privacy en “user-control” twee belangrijke uitgangspunten zijn voor 20Face, kreeg Peter Hoekstra de kans te laten zien wat gezichtsherkenning in de maatschappij kan gaan betekenen. Benieuwd naar hoe gezichtsherkenning werkt en welke camera’s hiervoor geschikt zijn? Bekijk hieronder de 20Face bedrage aan De Privacytest 2018.

Interesse in de gehele aflevering, klik dan op de volgende link De Privacytest 2018

20face expands its glimpse facial recognition technology by investment of Value Creation Capital and Oost NL

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Enschede / Bilthoven, September 7th, 2018 – An investment via the Security of Things Fund of Value Creation Capital and co-investor Oost NL via Innovatiefonds Twente, enables the Dutch software technology company 20face to expand and further secure its business focused on face recognition technology & software.

20face founded in 2017, an innovative spin-off of the University of Twente that created its own technology platform & software to provide facial identification. The edge of the technology is a unique combination of regional machine learning and AI algorithms that makes the technology extremely robust to lighting conditions, pose variations, low resolutions and even partly occluded faces; all that is needed is a glimpse of a face for recognition. The technology is extremely “light-weight” which makes it very suitable for embedding it in small devices and scaling it to a large volume of video streams. 20face’s aim is to develop the first worldwide glimpse facial identification platform that is privacy proof, user-driven and ultimately secured. This technology/software will be a key enabler in domains varying from hospitality, ticketing and healthcare to security, surveillance and cyber security.

The team behind 20face have a decade’s long scientific background in biometrics and machine learning as well as a very strong entrepreneurial experience. The focus of 20face is aligned with the objective of Security of Things fund, because the technology solves the issues that come with an ever evolving customer demand in a digitally driven economy that has the increasing need for privacy and security. Economies are increasingly using distributed sensing that needs to be interpreted rapidly. Identification and authentication of people – either for security or for convenience reasons – is a vital part of this. With a strong focus on R&D, 20face will both be best in class on the biometric recognition front by continuously improving its core face recognition technology as well as in enabling privacy proof and very strong secured user centered solutions. These are the key enabling ingredients for identity management in the broadest sense.

“We have been scouted as one of the front runners in biometric recognition by several big multinationals and we now have the funding and network to build a core organization in development, support, sales and marketing, to serve global client needs and to keep investing in R&D to stay a frontrunner in our field” says Hans d’Hollosy, Chief Operating Officer at 20face.

“20face allows for sensitive, secure, quick and efficient facial recognition based on extensive research and AI algorithms for very scalable applications. We see 20face as an innovative and unique company that can offer a significant contribution to leverage these opportunities,” says Jos Bourgonje, Managing Partner at Value Creation Capital.

“Digital safety and security are issues that touches the everyday life of millions of people around the world. 20face provides an innovative and scalable solution that will secure data and personal information on different applications through face recognition. We’re happy to invest in a company that’s routed in Twente’s innovative ecosystem,” says Pieter Rhemrev, director Capital at Oost NL.

For more information:
20face Hans d’Hollosy: 06 – 10083843
Value Creation Capital Jos Bourgonje: 030 – 2253506
Oost NL Tim Markus: 06 – 20614081

About 20face 20face is a high-tech innovative spin off of the University of Twente that created its own software technology & platform to provide facial identification. The edge of the technology is based on very accurate and fast AI algorithms to improve recognition results; a glimpse is all we need to recognize! The technology is extremely scalable and makes the product work for many different applications. 20face’s aim is to develop the first worldwide facial identification as a cloud service.

About Value Creation Capital Value Creation Capital (VCC) invests in companies that are active in high-tech (via TechNano Fund), Cyber Security (via Security of Things Fund), business software, data intelligence and IT managed services. VCC has been founded in 2005 by serial entrepreneurs who started, built and sold several interesting fast-growing ICT and Tech companies. VCC differentiates by combining “Intellectual Capital”, sector experience & expertise and an extensive network with active value creation of their portfolio companies “to the next level”.
About Security of Things Fund VCC started its Security of Things Fund in 2016 and has focus on young and fast-growing companies within the domain of Cyber Security. Security of Things Fund is the only investment fund in the Benelux that exclusively focuses on the relevant subject of Cyber Security that includes areas such as Secure Internet of Things (IoT), block chain technology, (forensic) data analysis and the protection of data and intellectual property.

About Oost NL Oost NL (East Netherlands Development Agency) is an agency that focuses its activities and projects on strengthening and stimulating the economy of the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, the Netherlands. Our business unit Capital supports starting and growth-phase SMEs. We do this partly with risk capital from various revolving innovation funds, and partly through our knowledge, networks and personal contacts. Through the revolving funds we provide for direct as well as indirect investment and take care of the fund management.

Identity management platform

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Face recognition is an important tool in the spectrum of identification and verification. Where on the one hand 20face wants to facilitate companies, facilities and organization in setting up facial recognition in the widest possible form, it also wants to develop a platform where users can provide and request access from distance, personal information is stored in the safest way possible and can only be used by the owner (the person) of this personal info. The importance of creating a secure environment that can guarantee the privacy is one of the prerequisites for successfully implementing digital identification tooling.


Why the identity management platform?

The identity management platform has been developed to decide, as an individual, whether you want to make, for example, your face (photo) or fingerprint available to provide access to buildings, events, adjusting settings to cars, televisions, etc. In addition, the platform also offers the possibility to request access to others. This can be useful, for example, if you want to give someone temporary access to a certain location. On the platform you can see if the person who requests access has been verified. Verification of persons will take place via uploading or NFC (Near Field Communication) of an driver’s license, passport or ID. Finally, payments via the platform can also take place in an extremely safe environment.

The visual below shows the playing field of a 20face user. This clearly shows that the user him/herself is in control of the data and the application of his / her data.

Security & Privacy

Due to the increasing number of incidents with sensitive personal data, the need for privacy protection is growing. There is legislation that forces companies to handle personal data carefully, but certain risks seem inevitable. To ensure that sensitive data will never leak out without affecting the quality of service, computing with encrypted data is a promising technique. Calculating with encrypted data is based on a technique that we call homomorphic encryption and will be used on the identity management platform. Since security and privacy are the main reason for setting up the identity management platform, the user is always in control of the data and, for example, not the face but only the vectors are stored in a decentralized “homomorphic” encrypted manner. By dealing with data in this way, the user is always assured of a safe environment for his / her identity options and documentation.

Mobile Application

Ultimately, it is all about the user being able to use his identity options and documentation in a simple and secure manner to gain access to or provide access to all kinds of connected applications such as home, work, car, stadium, parking etc. For this purpose a mobile application is being developed to facilitate this process. Below is a brief overview of how this might look like.

Facial recognition opens doors in the hospitality industry

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Face recognition only relevant for the security industry? The possibilities for facial recognition go much further. But software must be able to recognize a face under all circumstances. Recently CEO, Peter Hoekstra, was interviewed in FWD Magazine. Below are the most important outcomes from that interview. The Dutch version of the FWD magazine article can be found here.

Car seat and mirrors that automatically adjust before you click your seat belt? A television that adjusts the channel offer to who is in front of it? It is all possible, and one glimpse of your face is enough, thanks to the software of 20Face.

Faster and cheaper

Facial recognition software offers enormous opportunities in the ‘convenience branch’ and for hospitality, thinks business brain Peter Hoekstra”. We mainly know facial recognition as a security application,” he says. “But there is so much more. Imagine that in a nursing home the elderly are always given the right amount of medication on the basis of facial recognition”. According to Hoekstra, such applications are not used currently due to the hardware and software used. “Infrared scanners or special cameras sometimes have to be purchased and the systems are often too slow. Existing technology compares an input image with images in the database and processes them all. If you want to use facial recognition more broadly, it must be faster and cheaper”.

Lightweight, low threshold

To achieve this, 20Face is fully committed to intelligent software. Purchasing hardware is not necessary. Hoekstra: “Our software can be applied to the cameras that are already hanging in hotels, on the dashcam in the car, the webcam on a laptop and so on. After all, it is not the resolution of the images that form the bottleneck, but the software analysis. “That focus on software is not new, there are now also phones that you unlock by keeping your face in front. But experience shows that this does not work optimally in all circumstances. In bad light conditions the device does not recognize you and systems can, sometimes, be fooled by holding a printed photo in front of the camera. The software of 20Face, however, has enough of a small piece of face. The system also recognizes Hoekstra when it is placed in front of the lens with a wig, glasses and fake moustache or from a strange angle. And while current systems also perform poorly in low light conditions, the 20Face system still works flawlessly under such difficult conditions.

Landmarking and deeplearning

This increased quality is due to algorithms that recognize landmarks, points on the face next to, for example, the nose and the eyes. A few points are sufficient to

 register a unique face pattern and the software recognizes a registered face at lightning speed from those same unique relationships between the landmarks. To ensure that the system really recognizes every face that passes, training is needed: deep learning. Hoekstra: “The system learns from ‘labeled data’: with three million photos of eight thousand faces we ‘fed’ the system. On the basis of all these examples, the software learns what a face is and how you recognize different ones


In addition to application in hospitality, this system also offers opportunities for using face recognition much broader and larger-scale for security. Hoekstra: “An alarm on the door will soon no longer be necessary. A camera in the living room ‘knows’ which faces belong there and which do not. Meanwhile 20Face has started a pilot with football club Heracles. The goal of the collaboration: Ticket sales based on facial recognition and access control and personalized service in the VIP area. Hoekstra: “Ultimately, with the system in the masses of people entering the stadium, Heracles can recognize visitors who, for various reasons, require a ‘special’ approach. VIPs or disabled for example. But we are not that far yet. For that, data from thousands of visitors must be processed in a short time. ”


In the near future, 20Face wants to become a platform where people have their own facial features and can choose for themselves which services that are connected to the platform and make them available. Because not technology but privacy issues are perhaps bigger obstacles to the ambitious roll-out. “Your BMW or the medication system in the nursing home will then check with our permission for our system”. “And in terms of intelligence and speed we hope to be even further by that time, so that we can recognize people with less and less information. Ultimately, it should be possible to recognize someone on the basis of a small piece of eye. ”

*This article is written by FWD magazine and translated by 20face

20Face in de media (in Dutch)

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De interesse in gezichtsherkenningsoftware is groeiende. De verkenning van toepassingsdomeinen is begonnen en de media, radio en tv, wil er graag alles over te weten komen. De afgelopen twee maanden is 20face dan ook opgestreden als gesprekspartner voor het delen van kennis en inzichten op verschillende thema’s. Hieronder een overzicht per thema en het programma waarin 20face tekst en uitleg geeft over;


1. Wat is de huidige status van de technologie & hoe ga je om met privacy – 20face bij Ziggo’s Uitblinkers

In het programma van Ziggo legt CEO Peter Hoekstra onder andere uit hoe het business model van 20face werkt maar wellicht belangrijker nog hoe de gebruiker volledige beschikking heeft over zijn eigen gegevens in een veilige omgeving. Interesse? Bekijk hier de video en het artikel.

2. Hoe werkt gezichtsherkenning – 20face in NTR’s Focus

In Nederland lopen bijna drieduizend bij de politie bekende criminelen rond die nog een lange gevangenisstraf moeten uitzitten. Hoe moeilijk is het eigenlijk om onzichtbaar te blijven als de politie echt z’n best doet? In een race tegen de klok probeert Diederik Jekel 36 uur uit handen te blijven van een speciale hightech-opsporingsdienst. Elisabeth van Nimwegen heeft 36 uur de tijd om haar collega Diederik Jekel aan te houden. Bij haar zoektocht zal o.a. gebruik gemaakt worden van de software van 20face. Of wij in staat waren om Diederik te identificeren kun je hier terugzien vanaf minuut 21:18.

3. Wat kunnen we in de toekomst verwachten aan toepassingen – 20face bij BNR

Gaat onze auto ons herkennen en kunnen we in de toekomst zonder ticket het stadion betreden? Vragen die in het radio programma BNR beantwoord werden en kunt u hier beluisteren.

We are hiring a tech lead!

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20Face is a fast-growing ambitious startup company located in Enschede, the Netherlands. With our extensive research expertise in biometrics and facial recognition, we are bringing glimpse facial recognition technology to the international market. A technology designed and developed for unconditional facial recognition: It is extremely robust to light conditions, pose variations, image resolution and all it needs is a small part of the face.

Based on the input of just one single picture, glimpse facial recognition technology is very ‘light-weight’. Our innovative approach is based on a unique combination of regional facial recognition combined with the state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms. The technology will be available as both web-based/cloud API and local solution running on client’s machine (desktop/embedded platform).

In addition to working on the core technology, we also develop innovative custom-built facial recognition software and solutions for applications such as access-control, surveillance, smart-homes and domotica.


As the technical lead you will be responsible for the technical quality of the projects and you are capable of translating the clients’ wishes into suitable functional requirements, architecture, technology stack and a high-quality technical design. You are familiar with the agile way of working and will be in close contact with customers and stakeholders during the entire development process and you will guide a multidisciplinary team of developers, software engineers and researchers. You have experience in image processing / computer vision / machine learning applications. You are familiar with the general constraints and features of software design and development on various platforms such as desktop, web/cloud-based and embedded systems.


  • You will make a large contribution to the technical design, testing, implementation and delivery of innovative face recognition-based applications and products.
  • You will be in close contact with our clients throughout the development process.
  • As an experienced software engineer, we expect you to share your knowledge and experience with your team members and offer support when needed.
  • In particular, you are experienced in C++ and Python.
  • You have familiarity with multi-core and GPU programming.
  • You have experience with image processing and computer vision algorithms and applications.
  • You have familiarity with the machine learning concepts and data analysis.


  • A degree in Engineering, Computer Science or other IT related discipline (Bachelors or higher).
  • You need to be a fast learner, willing to learn and implement new technologies.
  • You have experience in software development and proficient in various programming languages.
  • You have experience with the OOP paradigm and C++11.
  • Experience with video streaming and cloud-based solutions.
  • Extensive knowledge of C++ and Python.
  • Knowledge of cloud software design (AWS / Azure).
  • You are able and willing to travel for business meetings and exhibitions.
  • You are independent, flexible and you can prioritize.
  • Great team spirit! At least, most of the time…


  • A fantastic team of smart developers and entrepreneurs to work with.
  • A highly competitive salary ranging from €48000 to €82000 per year depending on the experience.
  • An end of year bonus that shows 20face appreciates creativity, dedication, and people who deliver great work within the timeline of the projects.
  • Visits to events, conferences and training.
  • 8% holiday allowance annually.
  • 25 vacation days, 5 compensation days
  • We’d love to have you full-time, but if you need a day a week for yourself we understand.

For more information or applications please e-mail:

‘Alles wat we nodig hebben is een glimp’ (Dutch)

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Begin dit jaar presenteerde hij zijn vinding op de CES, de grootste consumenten technologiebeurs ter wereld. En vorige week maakten we in Twente kennis met de baanbrekende gezichtsherkenningstechnologie van Tauseef Ali tijdens de Young Technology Award. De UT-promovendus werkte jaren aan het perfectioneren van gezichtsherkenningssoftware en brengt deze nu op de markt onder de naam 20Face unconditional face recognition. “Ons doel is om de eerste wereldwijde gezichtsidentificatie als cloudservice te ontwikkelen.” 

“Wat is er zo bijzonder aan onze software?”, vraagt Tauseef aan het publiek bij de Young Technology Award, terwijl hij zich vermomt met pruik en bril. “Jullie zullen mij zo niet herkennen, onze software wel.” Daarmee benadrukt Tauseef de kracht van de software van 20Face. “Onze software werkt onder slechte lichtomstandigheden, variaties in poses, kleine beeldresoluties en ook als je maar een klein stukje, een glimp, van een gezicht ziet.”

Jarenlang onderzoek

Tauseef onderzocht gezichtsherkenning voor forensische toepassingen en promoveerde daarop in 2014 bij de onderzoeksgroep Services, Cybersecurity and Safety van de Universiteit Twente. De afgelopen vijf jaar concentreerde hij zich op het verbeteren van de snelheid en nauwkeurigheid van gezichtsherkenning. “We ontwikkelden een uniek algoritme voor gezichtsherkenning dat niet alleen accuraat, maar ook heel snel is. Dat onderscheidt onze software van de concurrentie. Je kan real time een groot publiek scannen. Met een telefoon of iPad pik je zo de fans met een stadionverbod eruit bijvoorbeeld.”

Twentse startup met internationale ambitie

Toch is crowd control niet de eerste markt waarop 20Face zich richt. “Ik zie veel meer toepassingen, bijvoorbeeld in ons dagelijks leven”, vertelt Tauseef. “Gewoon thuis, zodat je op afstand weet wie je huis binnenkomt. Of om je toegang te geven tot je werkplek.” Toen Tauseef meer dan twintig potentiele bedrijfsmodellen kon bedenken voor zijn technologie startte hij een bedrijf. De naam werd 20Face, met een knipoog naar de regio Twente.

Hulp bij start bedrijf

Zijn businessplan kreeg de afgelopen maanden steeds meer vorm. Hij ontving daarbij hulp van business developers van Novel-T. Tauseef: “Samen met onze technical advisors Raymond Veldhuis en Luuk Spreeuwers, van de Biometric Research Group van de UT, werkte ik vooral aan de techniek. Erwin Holtland, Peter Hoekstra en Alain le Loux van Novel-T hielpen me juist met de businessontwikkeling en juridische en financiële kant.” Peter Hoekstra is vanaf het begin betrokken en zijn bedrijf Briegel participeert inmiddels in 20Face. “Peter is ons zakelijk brein en begeleidt ons bij de marktintroductie”, legt Tauseef uit.

Gezichtsherkenning als cloudservice

Op advies van Peter besloot Tauseef zich eerst te richten op gezichtsherkenning als een cloudservice. Hier kan je als privépersoon een account aanmaken en je gezicht vastleggen. “Of je nu een website wilt bezoeken, een betaling wilt doen of een machine wilt bedienen op je werkplek, onze software herkent je en geeft je toegang. Om het helemaal veilig te maken worden alle gegevens gecodeerd opgeslagen in de blockchain. Dat betekent dat het decentraal wordt bewaard en niet te kraken is. Zo garanderen we de privacy en veiligheid van gebruikers.”

Iedereen een 20Face-profiel

Gezichtsherkenning is een van de key enabling technologies van de toekomst. “Dit is echt een doorbraak waarmee we gezichtsherkenning mainstream kunnen maken, omdat onze gepatenteerde techniek extreem schaalbaar is en we het voor lage kosten voor miljoenen mensen beschikbaar kunnen maken”, stelt Tauseef. 20Face creëert een versleuteld ecosysteem voor identificatie. “En jij als gebruiker bepaalt wat er met je gegevens gebeurt. Jij besluit met wie je je gezicht deelt, welke toepassingen je wilt gebruiken en wat je aan gegevens wilt bewaren. Daarmee tackelen we het privacy dilemma dat terecht vaak genoemd wordt bij gezichtsherkenning.”

Introductie in Las Vegas

Deelname aan de technologiebeurs CES in Las Vegas in januari 2018 was de eerste stap op internationale markt. Ondertussen bouwen ze aan een Application Programming Interface (API) en Software Development Kit (SDK). Deze zijn nodig om de 20Face technologie makkelijker te integreren in andere systemen en toepassigen. Tauseef: “Er liggen nog genoeg uitdagingen, voordat we ons gezicht daadwerkelijk als wachtwoord gebruiken. De techniek van 20Face is er klaar voor. De volgende stap is producenten interesseren om aan te sluiten en gezichtsherkenning in hun producten in te bouwen. Wij zijn vastbesloten de techniek te gebruiken om ‘real-life’ problemen op te lossen en mensenlevens te verbeteren.”

Lees hier meer over de techniek in het artikel dat in december 2017 in de Tubantia verscheen.

Wil je meer weten over de techniek en toepassingen van 20Face? Kijk dan op


‘All we need is a glimpse’

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At the beginning of the year, University of Twente PhD student Tauseef Ali presented his invention at CES, the world’s largest consumer technology fair. During the Young Technology Award in Twente last week, we had the chance to learn about Tauseef’s ground-breaking facial recognition technology. The student has spent years perfecting the software, which he now markets under the name 20Face unconditional face recognition. “Our goal is to develop the first global facial identification system as a cloud-based service.” 

“What’s special about our software?”, Tauseef rhetorically asks the audience at the Young Technology Award, wearing a disguise with a wig and glasses. “You don’t recognise me like this, but our software will.” Tauseef does this to emphasise the power of 20Face. “Our software always works, with poor lighting, variations in pose, low image resolutions, and even if all you have is a partial glimpse of a face.”

Years of research

Tauseef researched facial recognition for forensic applications while doing his PhD at the University of Twente’s Services, Cyber Security, and Safety research group in 2014. For the last 5 years he has focused on improving the speed and accuracy of facial recognition. “We developed a unique algorithm that is not only precise, but also very fast. This is what distinguishes our software from the competition. It can scan a large audience in real time, which means you can use a mobile phone or iPad to pick out from the crowd, for example, fans with a stadium ban.”

Twente start-up with international ambition

Crowd control isn’t the first market 20Face has focused on, though. “I see many more potential applications, in our daily lives for example”, says Tauseef. “Remotely accessible home security systems. Workplace access.” When Tauseef came up with more than 20 potential business models for his technology, he started a business and named it 20Face, in a nod to the Twente region.

Help starting the business

Tauseef’s business plan has been taking shape in recent months, after he received help from Novel-T business developers. “I worked primarily on technology, along with our technical advisors Raymond Veldhuis and Luuk Spreeuwers from the University of Twente’s Biometric Research Group”, says Tauseef. “Erwin Holtland, Peter Hoekstra, and Alain le Loux of Novel-T helped me with business development, as well as the legal and financial aspects.” Peter Hoekstra has been involved from the very beginning and his company, Briegel, is now working with 20Face. “Peter is our business mind and guides us through market introductions”, explains Tauseef.

Facial recognition as a cloud-based service

Based on Peter’s advice, Tauseef decided to start by focusing on facial recognition as a cloud-based service. This allows users to create an account and capture their own face. “Whether you want to visit a website, make a payment, or operate a machine at your workplace, our software will recognise you and grant access. To ensure complete security, all data is stored encrypted in the blockchain. This means data is kept decentralised and cannot be cracked, guaranteeing safety and privacy for users.”

A 20Face profile for everyone

Facial recognition is one of the key enabling technologies of the future. “This truly is a breakthrough that allows us to make facial recognition more mainstream, because our patented technology is highly scalable and can be made available to millions of people at a low cost”, Tauseef says. 20Face creates an encrypted ecosystem for identification. “As the user, you decide what happens to your data. You choose who to share your face with, which applications you use, and which data you want to save. That’s how we handle the privacy dilemma that understandably comes up whenever facial recognition is mentioned.”

Las Vegas introduction

Participation in the CES technology fair in Las Vegas in January 2018 was 20Face’s first step into the international market. In the meantime, the team are building an Application Programming Interface (API) and Software Development Kit (SDK), which are required to facilitate integration of 20Face technology into other systems and applications. “There are still several challenges to overcome before we can actually use our faces as passwords and 20Face technology is ready for this. The next step is to connect with potential clients who are interested in incorporating facial recognition into their products. We are determined to use this technology to solve real-life issues and improve human lives.”

Read more about the technology in this Dutch article published by Tubantia in December 2017.

Visit to learn more about the technology behind 20Face and its applications.