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Facial recognition reader includes thermometry and card readers

Jun 3, 2020 — by Eric Brown 875 views

Firefly’s $399 and up “Face X2” is a facial recognition device that runs Ubuntu or Android on an RK3399. The X2 has an 8-inch screen, binocular vision, IR thermometry, and card readers. Its Face-RK3399 mainboard sells for $129 on its own.

T-Chip Technology’s Firefly unit has launched a smartphone-like facial recognition device called the Face X2 that also offers a variety of card readers and sensors. Like Firefly’s recent Station P1 Geek Mini PC, it runs Ubuntu Linux or Android on Rockchip’s hexa-core Cortex-A72 and -A53 RK3399 SoC.

Face X2

Updating the design of an earlier Face X1 device, the $399 and up Face X2 is built around an RK3399-based, open-spec Face-RK3399 mainboard that is also separately available for $120. Despite the smartphone form factor, there is no battery — the Face X2 is designed primarily to be mounted on entryway turnstiles.

Applications include gate access control and attendance checking in workplaces, residential areas, or rail networks. While we are concerned about the threats to privacy from using facial recognition in public places, we are also intrigued by the expansive functionality packed into such a small device.

Face-RK3399 (left) and with optional expansion board
(click images to enlarge)

Facial recognition speed is less than 200ms and recognition accuracy is more than 99.77 percent, claims Firefly. The device ships with an open source face recognition API and SDK. In addition to the local UI, there are APK and PC backstage management software packages and a WeChat app for mobile devices.


The Firefly wiki includes detailed documentation and Android and Ubuntu software images for the Face X2 and Face-RK3399 mainboard. There are also schematics for the mainboard.

The Face X2 is based on a similarly RK3399-based Face X1 device that shipped last year. The Face X2 has slightly lower, 18W consumption. It also adds IP54 protection and provides a wider operating range on the low end at -10 to 60°C.

New features include a radar distance sensing capability from 0.2 to 4.0 meters and a “high-sensitive” microphone with digital noise reduction. A dual-track speaker support TTS voice broadcasts for translating words into natural speech in real-time.

Face X2 feature and pricing chart (left) and local, PC, and mobile UI
(click images to enlarge)

A $469 and up “standard” package adds an NFC/IC and QR code/barcode readers (see chart above). Options available for both basic and standard SKUs include a 4G LTE module and a SAM module ID card recognition reader.

Both the standard and $399 Basic packages offer SKUs that cost $285 more that add an infrared temperature probe designed for rudimentary Covid-19 symptom screening. The probe can “achieve the quick non-contact temperature measurement, reduce the contact infection at close range and screen the abnormal body temperature efficiently,” says Firefly.

Face X2 kit detail views and legend
(click images to enlarge)

Otherwise, the Face X2 appears to be the same as its predecessor. The RK3399 is backed up with 2GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, and a microSD slot. There is an 8-inch, 800 x 1280 IPS LCD screen connected via MIPI-DSI.

Face X2 I/O closeups
(click image to enlarge)

The Face X2 features a binocular camera powered by dual MIPI-CSI interfaces with 30fps, 1920 x 1080-pixel RGB and IR cameras. Both cameras offer 2.7-inch CMOS sensors, automatic white balance, and greater than 45dB signal-to-noise ratio.


The cameras output 8-bit MIPI YUV422 and have FoVs of 65° vertical and 40° horizontal. They require only 0.1 LUX or more illumination at F1.8. The RGB cam has a greater than 100dB wide dynamic range suitable for complex light environments.

The Face X2 is further equipped with a 10/100 Ethernet port and 2.4GHz WiFi radio. Other features include USB 2.0 host and OTG ports and a Wiegand 26/34 I/O interface. There are also RS232, RS485, and relay interfaces available via a terminal block. The 238 x 123.6 x 27mm, 12V/3A powered device can be desktop or wall-mounted and there is an optional column mount.

Face-RK3399 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Face X2 is powered by a COM-like, 103 x 74mm Face-RK3399 mainboard. The $120 board lacks real-world ports but offers connectors along the edges for all the major functions found on the Face X2. An optional expansion board is also available, but is not priced on the shopping page.

Further information

The Face X2 starts at $399 (see pricing chart above) and the Face-RK3399 mainboard sells for $120. More information may be found in Firefly’s Face X2 announcement, Face X2 product/shopping page, and Face X2 wiki. More on the Face-RK3399 may be found on the Face-RK3399 product/shopping page and Face-RK3399 wiki.

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