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5 Most Used Facial Recognition APIs

Taru M. Taru M.
Published: 07 Jul, 2022

APIs’ instantaneous benefits are cost-saving, increase in developers’ productivity, and building innovative solutions. In other words, APIs directly contribute to business growth.

83% of 400 IT executives from 44 countries believe API integration is a significant part of their business strategy. – Source: Cloud Elements

So, with rising demand, there is no supply-side issue of both good and bad APIs in the market.

Some are better at face detection in images or give accurate results for real-time recognition, while others disregard data privacy and human rights. In this blog, we will mention five effective and most used facial recognition APIs – their features, pricing, and usage context to help you make a wise decision to build a good facial recognition app.

When considering building any variation of facial recognition apps, you must not overlook ethical issues inherent in facial recognition technology. Racial bias and privacy concerns are the most alarming problems that emerged from its application. Human rights and data privacy, in my opinion, must be the top selection criterion before choosing any facial recognition APIs.

Granting you value above ethical concerns.

# 1 on our list is Kairos facial recognition API

Kairos API – built on deep learning algorithms – provides safe and quick face detection. You can use this API for a host of functionalities. Some of these are:

  • Recognize and Identify – Shows results if the detected face matches at least 60% of the target image/s. You can, however, adjust the ‘matching threshold’ depending on your usage context.
  • Compare faces.
  • Detect facial coordinates and shows age group, gender, and diversity.
  • Emotional Analysis – Analyse the emotions and demography from an image or video and output six emotions – fear, joy, anger, sadness, surprise, disgust, and other rich data of a face.

Kairos algorithms are trained on diverse data to make its usage truly inclusive. The data includes people from different continents of varying ages, sizes, and ethnicity. To expand the dataset, synthetic faces are created using GAN (Generative Adversarial Networks) and modified by changing camera angles, background, and lighting conditions.

For maintaining algorithm accountability and making their AI system transparent, Kairos has partnered with Untangled. It is a Singapore-based company that helps companies audit their AI tech to remove bias and understand how AI is making decisions. This practice helps in making the AI system more transparent.

Kairos API is well-documented, easy to understand, and provides a section on best practices to inform you on making a good UX for your facial recognition app.

Liveness feature – Anti-spoof feature to spot fake versus real, live faces. Useful in scenarios when someone wicked tries to access your device by holding up your static image or video in front of the detection camera. This feature is only available with business, enterprise, and cloud plans.

Clarifai Facial Recognition API

An open AI platform for content moderation, data labeling, edge AI, facial recognition, visual search, etc. Its pre-trained Machine Learning algorithms for real-time face detection in images, videos, and text are trained on reliable and trusted data models.

Customers use Clarifai face recognition API for:

  • Enhancing security and ID verification.
  • Identifying repeated and loyal customers for personalized marketing.
  • Enhancing the security of physical spaces like schools, hospitals, public events, etc.
  • Processing images swiftly and accurately to accelerate investigations.

Clarifai’s commitment to understanding the complex ethnic variations and building a fair AI system is commendable. So much so that their team came up with a new term – multicultural appearance – to replace it with ethnicity or race label. Developers can easily share feedback through API which helps them to create unbiased models. Moreover, live demos on its website are a nice solution for getting public feedback. People can rate the accuracy of the results which is the most honest and crucial feedback for any company.

The Predict API included in the Clarifai API analyses the images, videos, and text according to the model version specified in the API. Specifying it is crucial for the stability of your application as pre-trained models are regularly updated and may produce results not expected by your users if they are not first notified about the updates.

Clarifai Facial Recognition API

The Predict API allows for image recognition, detecting age, gender & multicultural characteristics, finding users’ celebrity look-alikes with apps, face-embedding to organize images according to visual similarity, etc. You can analyze each frame in a video using many pre-built models. Some of these are:

  • Food Model
  • Demographics Model
  • Travel Model
  • Wedding Model
  • Weapon detector model

You can also create your own custom data models and deep train them with the Clarifai platform. They provide services for data labeling as well. Their API too like Kairos is in-depth and easy to comprehend by developers.

Luxand Cloud Face Recognition API

Luxand cloud API is checked on industry-standard assessment tests like NIST’s Face Recognition Vendor Test. Luxand API has scored as high as 99.97% accuracy on such reliable tests. Luxand offers both SDK and cloud API for building exciting face recognition apps. Though, its SDK is more powerful than API. For example – thermal detection, video files, and liveness are not supported in Cloud API.

Luxand Cloud Face Recognition API

Unlike Clarifai and Kairos, Luxand Cloud API and SDK cannot predict the race of a person. Solutions offered by Luxand API:

  • Age and gender recognition
  • Face recognition
  • Face verification
  • Emotion prediction
  • 70 facial features detection

Some of their web and mobile API for specific functionalities:

  • Avatar API
  • E-cards API
  • Baby prediction API
  • Face aging API
  • Zombie API|
  • Face Enhancement API

Face++ Face Recognition API

It is an AI platform made open source in March 2020 that provides image analysis solutions for facial recognition, human body recognition, image beautification, text recognition, and image recognition. The company offers web API and SDK with different pricing models like pay-as-you-go, monthly/daily plan, and purchasing a license. But their pricing is not as simple as the above three APIs.

Face ++ is the world’s biggest computer vision platform. And more than 300,000 companies and individuals from across the globe have used Face ++. The Chinese government itself is a client of Face++. Also, the company in 2017 and 2018 outperformed Google, Facebook, and Microsoft in image recognition algorithms at the International Conference on Computer Vision.

Privacy is always a concern and we didn’t find satisfactory resources, unlike in the case of Kairos and Clarifai, that show what activities they are doing to make their system safe and trustworthy. Moreover, the USA in 2021 restricted US investment in the company because it was accused of providing its services in the Uyghur genocide.


You can use Face++ APIs for many different solutions. Some of which are:

  • Highly accurate Face ID verification even in distinct lightning conditions, for different age groups, with face masks, etc.
  • Identify targeted customers for offering personalized shopping experiences.
  • Clustering similar images on a mobile or other devices to organize albums.
  • Detecting drivers’ emotions to alarm when tired and enhancing overall road safety.
  • Detecting the driver’s face and restoring seat height, side mirrors position, and other adjustments saved on their profiles.

Microsoft Face API

It is the best in the lot when you are concerned with privacy and ethics related to facial recognition technology. Microsoft announced in June 2020 that it would not allow its services to be used by US police until strong regulations are not laid to protect human rights. Moreover, to ensure their clients follow Responsible AI principles, you need to become Microsoft-managed customers and partners by filling in the Face Recognition Intake Form.

microsoft face api

Also, you need an Azure subscription to use Microsoft facial recognition technology.

The Face API can detect and analyze faces in both images and videos. Some of the use cases:

  • Excellent face verification and a confidence score to measure the accuracy.
  • Blur faces securing the privacy of individuals.
  • Detect attributes on faces like face masks, glasses, or makeup.
  • Detects 27 facial features such as eyes and lips movement to analyze emotions.
  • Other characteristics you can detect-head pose, hair, facial hair, gender, exposure, etc

Other Facial Recognition APIs:

  • Inferdo
  • Cloud Vision API
  • Sense Time
  • Open CV ( though not precisely API but useful when designing facial recognition software or apps)

Ready to develop a facial recognition app?

With the help of excellent APIs, you can quickly develop a facial recognition app to fulfill your enterprise needs or build an exciting app to engage mass audiences through this technology. Whichever your purpose, neglecting data privacy and human rights will put you in bad light among users. Anyways, the APIs will render free time and resources, which can let your team focus more on crafting a trustworthy user experience that is of the highest priority. We would love to offer our mobile app development services to assist you in developing facial recognition app or EV charging app or working on any crazy and lucrative app idea of yours.

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Taru M. Author :
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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