The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will use AI-powered facial recognition to allow athletes, media, staff, and other pre-vetted personnel to enter facilities more easily

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will use AI-powered facial recognition to allow athletes, media, staff, and other pre-vetted personnel to enter facilities more easily

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Japanese electronics and IT leader NEC will provide AI-powered facial recognition services at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to The Verge . Specifically, NEC will set up its NeoFace kiosks at the entrances to restricted locations around the city to allow athletes, media, staff, and other pre-vetted personnel to enter facilities more easily.

NeoFace Smart ID
NEC’s NeoFace facial and fingerprint recognition

NEC Global

This high-profile demonstration of the capabilities of AI-powered facial recognition could lead to new ventures using these systems, not only at large-scale events but also in everyday affairs.

NEC’s facial recognition system will rely on a combination of AI-powered scans at kiosks and ID badges given to athletes and staff. There will be more than 300,000 people entering the restricted portions of venues that will be controlled by the facial recognition system.

It offers a clear advantage over an approach relying on just scannable badges with pictures for identification, since an AI-powered system can match a person with an image more accurately than a hurried security officer. The kiosk-based system also doesn’t require nearly as many workers to operate it.

The high-profile event will offer a key test for NEC’s facial recognition services and a chance to gather data on how people use and react to them. NEC’s system is the leading option in facial recognition based on benchmarking tests from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.

It’ll need to perform quickly and accurately to meet the requirements of the event’s organizers, who are hoping the AI-powered solution will help get athletes and staff into event areas faster, especially given the spread out nature of the Tokyo Olympics, which won’t have a centralized Olympic park as many Games have. Faster facility entry will also help protect athletes against the high temperatures expected.

If successful, this could serve as a springboard for wider applications of facial recognition.There are a number places where companies could offer facial recognition at entry to save time or improve efficiency. One key use case for this sort of solution is secure office and building access. Rather than requiring workers to carry, find, and scan badges to enter an office or worksite, they could simply walk up to a kiosk or scanner that would be able to identify them.

This would not only reduce friction for employees, but it would also increase security by removing the possibility of someone stealing a badge or ID card and accessing a facility. Other possible use cases include payments at fixed, frequent entry locations like subways. The publicity facial recognition could get at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo may open a wide variety of opportunities for companies in the facial recognition space.

Published at Thu, 09 Aug 2018 14:11:16 +0000

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