A facial recognition monitoring system for retail management, developed by an RMIT engineering student, received the Best Student Project Prize in the IT/Engineering area at the RMIT Industry Networking Night & Student Projects Showcase.
Presenting at the event, the Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronic Engineering) student Phung Duc Thao said that the project was created to help shopping retailers in Vietnam improve their customer satisfaction by displaying tailored advertisements.
“This cool system will detect the face, gender and age of customers in shopping malls, and then automatically display smart targeted advertisements to them,” Thao said.
“While facial recognition technology is being employed to use for a variety of cases, my final-year project is being built to meet the needs of both customers and retailers when shopping in Vietnam.”
Within six months of the project, Thao had collected more than 20,000 images from public websites, researched and analysed data, developed a hardware layout and designed specifications, implemented a block diagram and advertising systems as well as evaluated tests on different platforms.
Thao’s project was one of 25 student projects across IT, Engineering, Tourism & Hospitality, Digital Marketing, Professional Communication and Fashion Merchandising that was nominated by RMIT Vietnam industry partners at the event night. This student project in particular has been evaluated by industry at the forefront of emerging technologies, mainly due to the use of a machine that learns algorithms.
Commenting on Thao’s project, Mr Oscar Lopez Alegre, Director of New Business Technology at the Navigos Group, said he was especially amused by how the project recognises people to offer different advertisements.
“This product uses technology to solve a real-world problem – showing the right information to the right person,” he said.
“It could be used not only for advertisement but to personalise content depending on the age and gender. I’m very excited to see this type of innovation being born thanks to the motivation and skills of young people.”
As an Engineering student, Thao learned research methods that are critical aspects of engineering professional practice, which provided him an overview of best practice in product development and design.
“It is quite challenging for an engineering student like me to create a facial recognition program by myself using machine learning and algorithms within only six months. But, with the knowledge from research methods and mathematics courses learned from the University, I began to research how to build an actual application which can create an impact on society,” Thao said.
In the future, Thao plans to improve the accuracy of face detection and implement indoor tracking for navigation system.
Story: Le Mong Thuy