Forgetting and losing your ticket might be a thing of the past soon, assuming you don’t lose your face on the way to a gig.
Paper tickets are already becoming rarer and rarer, most events give you a code to scan from your phone or at least print at home yourself. Online ticketing giants Ticketmaster are looking to a future beyond tickets at all as they “continue investing in new technologies to further differentiate Ticketmaster from others in the ticketing business”.
With the partnership of Blink Identity and Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation, they are beginning to experiment with facial recognition technology in place of tickets. Blink Identity are a facial recognition company and with Live Nation’s significant investment, they have already begun testing facial scanning that recognises you and links it to your ticket purchase. Live Nation told investors that Blink have “cutting-edge facial recognition technology, enabling you to associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show”.
This could massively revolutionise ticketed events, eliminating the worry of not having your ticket and potentially speeding up entry into events massively. The technology is so advanced, Blink Identity say they “can register an image of your face as soon as you walk past a sensor” in a ‘blink’. This means in the future it could be as simple as walking into the venue, rather than waiting in line and having your ticket checked at the gate.
Whilst this seems incredibly beneficial in most ways there are obvious pitfalls that could result in this new method of ticketing. For example not everyone looks the same for long periods of time; whilst your facial structure isn’t likely to metamorphose into another concert-goers might grow a beard, or they could have broken their nose since buying the ticket. Going completely digital like that also entails the possibility of hackers manipulating the service, though it is unlikely to be a prime target for hackers.
Ticketmaster are not well liked ticket-marketers either, with their often excessive purchase fees on top of ticket prices and their monopoly over events ticketing. Whether people will be happy for Ticketmaster to start acquiring a database of faces will have to be seen.