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Public facial biometrics deployed across APAC for broad range of applications


A series of facial recognition and verification deployments in China, Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia for a wide variety of use cases suggest a high public comfort level with the biometric technology across the region.

The subway operator in the city of Jinan in China has introduced facial recognition payments to one of its lines, Abacus reports. Once a passenger registers their face and payment details using the Jinan Metro app, they can enter the station just by looking into a screen at the turnstile. The process reportedly takes just two seconds to authenticate riders.

Ride-sharing service Grab has introduced facial biometrics technology to its app for use by its customer base in Malaysia, lowyat.net reports. This roll out is part of Grab’s initiative to enhance safety features for drivers and passengers. Grab says that the facial recognition technology it employs is advanced enough that it can detect if the face in its view is real and that the Passenger Verification feature is already baked into the app’s software.

According to nippon.com, Hyogo College of Medicine in Japan is using a facial recognition-based system to check students’ attendance. The university expects the system to prevent students from answering for those who are absent and improve the work efficiency of its staff. Tablets are used to compare student’s faces against pre-registered images.

Japanese retailer Aeon plans to convert 80 of its roughly 480 Chinese retail outlets into smart stores within the next few years that will feature facial recognition-based technology to identify shoppers and push recommended items and coupons based on purchasing habits and payment history to those customer’s smartphones. Nikkei Asian Review reports that Aeon intends to build up its expertise before bringing the concept to stores in Japan and Southeast Asia.

Vietnamese resort company Vinpearl is the first resort, hotel and entertainment system in the country to apply facial recognition technology for customer access control, check-in and payments rather than using room cards. The first phase of the rollout is at Vinpearl Land entertainment areas and restaurants. All 43 Vinpearls nationwide will deploy the new technology in the near future.

The Nation reports that Cainiao Network, Alibaba’s courier service, is piloting facial recognition technology to better protect senders’ privacy and to simplify the whole process of sending packages. Rather than showing ID cards to send packages, facial recognition technology verifies pre-registered senders without them having to give couriers their personal information. The pilot is in effect in more than 300 logistics stations in eight cities across China.

And finally, according to China Daily, Beijing officials are planning to install cameras with facial recognition technology across the city’s most popular attractions to catch tourists exhibiting bad behavior. The plan is to blacklist those tourists with access restrictions to museums, parks and other city hot spots.

New research from Visiongain says that the facial recognition market will grow to $4.6 billion this year.

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