Ticketmaster might replace physical tickets with facial recognition

Last minute panics over lost tickets might become a thing of the past

Ticketmaster are developing a new facial recognition programme which will effectively allow customers to use their own face as a digital ticket in the future.

Live Nation Entertainment – the parent company of Ticketmaster – has announced a new partnership with Blink Identity. Live Nation’s president CEO Michael Rapino announced the new project in the tech company in a statement to investors, saying that Blink Identity “has cutting-edge facial recognition technology, enabling you to associate your digital ticket with your image, then just walk into the show.” Live Nation Entertainment have also invested in the new company.

As The Verge reports, Blink Identity claims that they can identify people within “half a second,” even if they aren’t looking directly at a camera.


Though there isn’t a definite timeline for when facial recognition tickets might be implemented, The Verge notes that for the program to work effectively, Ticketmaster will need to keep a database containing the faces of concertgoers who purchase tickets. In the light of the recent Facebook data leaks, this will understandably raise privacy concerns.

According to Blink Identity’s website, the company “is dedicated to building identity in motion technology that identifies people as they walk past a sensor at full walking speed, enabling frictionless identification for convenient, rapid access and security for a variety of applications.

The founding team has spent the last decade building and deploying large scale biometric identification systems in the Middle East for the Department of Defense” it reads. They “are bringing their expertise to the commercial market to provide security, access control and VIP customer experiences to the commercial market.”

Elsewhere, two graduates from Imperial College London have developed a new “bitcoin of ticketing” in order to eliminate ticket fraud. Using cryptocurrency, their software – called Aventus Protocol – uses blockchain technology, allowing gig organisers to give each ticket a unique identity linked to the ticket. Their new software will be tested for the first time at the 2018 World Cup.

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