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LPGA expands partnership with NEC to use facial recognition for event security


The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has expanded its partnership with NEC to make the company its official technology partner, and is using its NeoFace facial recognition technology to enhance the safety of LPGA Tour events, SportTechie reports.

“What (NEC) stands for is safety, security and efficiency and all three things are very important to the LPGA,” Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, former LPGA player and current Player President said in a promotional video.

NEC’s technology is used by the LPGA for data analysis, communications, and biometrics, with NeoFace being first deployed at the ANA Inspiration tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in California last year. That pilot program was designed to provide seamless entry into secure areas for media members, VIPs, and other credentialed patrons.

“Facial recognition is huge from a security standpoint. Being able to feel safe in all the different environments we go (through) across the world,” Goetze-Ackerman said.

Lisa Johnson of NEC Business Development for Sports, Stadiums, and Venues says Tour officials and NEC are continuing to seek out ways to improve Tour events with facial recognition technology. “The athletes love it and the (LPGA Tour) officials love it,” Johnson said. “Part of it that it’s a cool technology, part of is that it works and the third part of it is that we’re great partners.”

NEC recently won a contract to supply facial recognition technology to a government agency in New South Wales, Australia.

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