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NEC Australia wins award for facial recognition solution


NEC Australia and the Northern Territory (NT) Police Force were recognized for their facial recognition solution at the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) 2016 iAwards.

The pair were awarded the Infrastructure and Platforms Innovation of the Year iAward for the Watch House project, an Australian first facial recognition solution designed, customized and implemented by NEC and the Northern Territory Police. It accurately identifies people being brought into custody in under 10 seconds, in a dramatic speed improvement from standard system that can take from minutes to hours to deliver results.

The new platform is also enhancing the workplace for Watch House officers and staff as it has been designed to meet the exact workflow needs of the Northern Territory Police. The technology has reduced 108,000 minutes of police administration work through the efficiency of the new system and has diminished 1800 hours of printing administration duties time for officers to redeploy their time back into the community to manage other matters.

“It is an honour to win a national iAward for this amazing project,” said Sergeant Chris Brand from Northern Territory Police. “Our facial recognition technology platform is now rapidly identifying people brought into custody and making a significant contribution to how we conduct investigations and combat crime. Importantly, it’s also improving overall safety and freeing officers to spend more time in-field.”

No other similar agency in Australia is using NeoFace, NEC’s facial recognition technology, as a single point solution. NeoFace accurately matches, against police databases, any images from CCTV footage, body-worn video cameras or phones. This information-matching from the face alone is overcoming delays in clarifying details as people come into custody. And the system also assists in the identification of individuals with medical issues or who might pose a risk to themselves, the public, or police.

“The development of the Watch House project was the result of an intense, collaborative effort between NEC and the Northern Territory Police. And its success involved extensive customization and field testing of the NeoFace solution by our Melbourne-based R&D team. We are proud to support the NT Police in its drive to achieve a safer, smarter workplace as they protect their community. And it’s very gratifying for this innovative platform to be recognised by the AIIA iAwards,” said Mike Barber, Chief Operating Officer at NEC Australia.

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