/ Face

Face Recognition using FaceNet and Firebase MLKit on Android

Face Recognition using FaceNet and Firebase MLKit on Android


Store images of people who you would like to recognize and the app, using these images, will classify those people. We don't need to modify the app/retrain any ML model to add more people ( subjects ) for classification

If you're ML developer, you might have heard about FaceNet, Google's state-of-the-art model for generating face embeddings. In this
project, we'll use the FaceNet model on Android and generate embeddings ( fixed size vectors ) which hold information of the face.

The accuracy of the face detection system ( with FaceNet ) may not have a considerable accuracy. As, under the hood, we are comparing angles between vectors, this model would not produce results with a very high accuracy.

About FaceNet

So, the aim of the FaceNet model is to generate a 128 dimensional vector of a given face. It takes in an 160 * 160 RGB image and
outputs an array with 128 elements. How is it going to help us in our face recognition project?
Well, the FaceNet model generates similar face vectors for similar faces. Here, my the term "similar", we mean
the vectors which point out in the same direction. We calculate this similarity by measuring cosine of the angle between the two
given 128 dimensional vectors.


In this app, we'll generate two such vectors and find the similarity between them. The one which has the highest similarity is our
desired output.

You can download the FaceNet Keras .h5 file from this repo.


So, an user can store images in his/her device in a specific folder. If, for instance, the user wants the app to recognize
two people namely "Rahul" and "Neeta". So the user needs to store the images by creating two directories namely "Rahul" and "Neeta"
and store their images inside of these directories.

images ->
    Rahul ->
    Neeta ->

The app will then process these images and classify these people thereafter. For face recognition, Firebase MLKit is used which
fetches bounding boxes for all the faces present in the camera frame.

This is different from existing face recognition apps as the user does not programme the app in such to recognize only a
fixed number of persons. If a new person is to be recognized, the system ( app ) has to be modified to include the new person as


The app's working is described in the steps below. The corresponding code is present in the file written in brackets.

  1. Scan the images folder present in the internal storage. Next, parse all the images present within images folder and store
    the names of sub directories within images. For every image, collect bounding box coordinates ( as a Rect ) using Firebase ML
    Kit. Crop the face from the image ( the one which was collected from user's storage ) using the bounding box coordinates.

  2. Finally, we have a list of cropped Bitmap of the faces present in the images. Next, feed the cropped Bitmap to the FaceNet
    model and get the embeddings ( as FloatArray ). Now, we create a HashMap<String,FloatArray> object where we store the names of
    the sub directories as keys and the embeddings as their corresponding values.

The above procedure is carried out only on the app's startup. The steps below will execute on each camera frame.

  1. Using androidx.camera.core.ImageAnalysis, we construct a FrameAnalyser class which processes the camera frames. Now, for a
    given frame, we first get the bounding box coordinates ( as a Rect ) of all the faces present in the frame. Crop the face from
    the frame using these boxes.
  2. Feed the cropped faces to the FaceNet model to generate embeddings for them. Using cosine similarity, calculate the similarity
    scores for all subjects ( which we stored earlier as HashMap<String,FloatArray> ). The one with highest similarity is
    determined. The final output is then stored as a Prediction and passed to the BoundingBoxOverlay which draws boxes and