NEC facial biometrics to be deployed for Rugby World Cup and busiest international airport in Japan

Deployments of NEC’s facial recognition technology throughout Japan are continuing with its adoption to screen reporters attending the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Japan Times reports, and for a demonstration at Narita International Airport’s Terminal 3, which begins next April, according to a company announcement.

Reporters entering Rugby World Cup events at Tokyo Stadium and International Stadium Yokohama will confirm their identities using identification cards and facial biometrics at NEC kiosks, which the company says will allow smoother entry. The chosen stadiums will host the opening and final games of the tournament.

The Japan Times reports it will be the first use of facial recognition at a Rugby World Cup, though ID checks will be made visually by security personnel at other venues.

Japan Customs has placed an order with NEC for its electronic customs procedure gates featuring facial recognition, and will trial them in the customs area of Narita International, Japan’s busiest international airport. The company says it is the first deployment of the technology for airport customs in the country.

Traveler identities will be confirmed at a kiosk terminal and at an exit gate featuring NEC’s facial recognition technology, after which the facial image will be deleted. Along with a smartphone application to facilitate baggage declarations, the project is aimed at reducing passenger stress, congestion, and waiting time.

“NEC regards its safety business and the ‘NEC Safer Cities’ campaign as keys to expanding and enhancing its global business,” said Ryouji Hayashi, senior vice president, NEC. “NEC has already provided biometric identification systems, including facial recognition, to approximately 50 airports around the world, and we look forward to capitalizing on this experience and know-how to contribute further to the security and safety of social infrastructure everywhere.”

NEC is also providing facial recognition to facilitate venue access for athletes, staff, volunteers, and media attending the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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