Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the world-famous Sri Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh, India, is set to launch a facial recognition system for darshan (worship) from March 1, 2022. The system, developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Tirupati, will initially be rolled out in a pilot phase, covering 20% of the devotees visiting the temple daily.
The new technology aims to enhance security and prevent impersonation, reducing wait times for darshan. Devotees will have to register their faces with the system and provide relevant personal details during their first visit. Once registered, the facial recognition system will allow devotees direct access to darshan without waiting in long queues.
Privacy concerns have been raised in relation to the use of facial recognition technology, with critics arguing that it could be used for surveillance and profiling. TTD officials have sought to allay these fears, stating that the data will be encrypted and stored in a secure server, with access limited to authorized personnel. They have also assured devotees that the system will comply with all applicable data protection laws.
The Sri Venkateswara Temple is one of the world’s busiest and most visited pilgrimage sites, attracting millions of devotees every year. The new facial recognition system is expected to significantly reduce wait times and enhance the overall experience for devotees.