Sometimes you may encounter a module that requires the use of Facial Recognition. This is a method used to ensure that the person completing the training is that person, and will require a device with a webcam in order to proceed.
- Do I need to download anything from Spark?
- How do I connect Spark to the webcam?
- What does good practice look like for my photos?
- What if it isn't working?
Do I need to download anything from Spark?
No, provided your software and device drivers are up to date, you will not need to download anything in order to use your webcam or device camera.
How do I connect Spark to the webcam?
Provided that your webcam is connected to your device or your device has an integrated webcam, when you access content that requires the use of a webcam, such as Facial Recognition features, you will be prompted by your browser to allow access to the platform.
This may prompt a message to appear in your browser asking you to allow access to your camera. If you see this message, please click "Allow".
If you click "Block", you will need to go into your browser settings and remove the block for your camera.
Once you have clicked "Allow" the webcam will confirm connection, and proceed to the next step.
You will see a camera feed of yourself at this time. Please ensure that it is positioned comfortably and that the camera can see you clearly as the instructions describe. For example, some modules may require that it is ensured that only you are the person to participate in the training assigned to you, so if there are other people detected in the background or around you by the facial recognition software, the module may not allow you to proceed.
Once the camera is in a good, well lit position and you can be seen clearly and comfortably, click the "Continue" button.
You will then proceed to the next stage where you will be asked to take the five photos that form your Facial Recognition Profile.
What does good practice look like for my photos?
A good facial profile should include your face in a range of different angles, to ensure the facial recognition software is capable of identifying you consistently even if you change positions while you complete the module.
These photos should include tilting your face up and down, and to the left and right, and could look like a combination of any of the below images. The Facial Recognition Software will ask you to take five photos.
A good example of a facial recognition profile will show each image at a slightly different angle.
Facial Recognition profiles that include the same or similar images multiple times will not be able to recognise you as consistently.
What else should I consider?
Device vs position of use
The kind of device you are using may affect how you access this training. For example, if you are using a phone, you may take photos from a position you would normally take selfies, however when accessing the training you may move the phone to a more comfortable resting position, at a different angle to the photos you took. If this is the case, the Facial Recognition Software may not be able to detect and verify your face accurately.
Lighting and reflections
If you are in a dark space, or moving between locations with harsh lighting or shadows, you may find that the Facial Recognition software is not able to verify that it can see you in the photos you take.
If you wear items like glasses, you may experience significant screen glare or reflection that obscures your eyes in the photos. If this is the case, the Facial Recognition software may not be able to operate properly as it cannot fully see or identify you. Where possible, turn down the brightness on your device to avoid this happening.
Accessories (Glasses, Hats, Facemasks, etc,.)
Accessories on, around, or in front of your face can potentially obscure your face and make it difficult for the software to determine and verify that you are correctly accessing the training.
- Glasses may be affected by light reflections and glare;
- Hats can cover or shadow significant portions of your face; and
- Facemasks obscure the lower half of your face and stop the Facial Recognition from being able to properly see you.
Where possible, keep your face fully clear and easy to see. Remove hats and masks, and turn down the brightness on your device to allow the software to see your eyes when wearing glasses.
What if it isn't working?
Spark won't recognise my face!
If Spark will not recognise your face, you will need to reach out to your manager to get the Facial Recognition Profile you created reset, and take the photos again.
My webcam is blocked!
If your webcam is blocked or you have accidentally changed the setting on your browser to deny access to the webcam, you will need to review your browser settings to change this where possible.
This can vary by device and browser, however you may find that webcam options can be managed from the address bar instead of having to go directly into the settings. If this is not the case, you will need to go into your browser settings to remove the block, refresh your page, and then access the training again to ensure you get the prompt and can allow it.
My webcam won't work!
If your webcam or device camera is not working you will need to check the settings of your device and browser, and ensure that they are up to date with the latest software and device drivers. Please refer to your manufacturers guidance for more information.