NEC tops several NIST Facial Recognition Vendor Test categories as accuracy at scale improves

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Biometric algorithms from NEC have ranked first or second in several accuracy categories in the latest version of NIST’s Facial Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) Identification report. The NEC-2 algorithm topped the results in both investigation and identification mode matching images the FRVT-18 dataset with a database of 1.6 million images, and placed second matching webcam images, while the NEC-3 algorithm topped the webcam identification category and had the second-lowest false negative identification rate (FNIR) identifying images from FRVT-18.

The accuracy of algorithms from a number of vendors has improved in searches against large datasets. The NEC-2 algorithm, in particular, was found to return false negative matches at a rate of about 0.26 percent when searching a database of 640,000 templates, and just 0.31 percent with a database of 12 million, which the report authors assert is illustrative of the fundamental “reason for the utility of face recognition in large scale one-to-many search applications.”

The report also notes that NEC’s algorithms have improved substantially in accuracy over the ones the company submitted in June, 2018.

“NEC’s portfolio of biometric identification solutions, ‘Bio-IDiom’, which includes face recognition technology, is critical to the ways that NEC is helping to build safer and more productive societies as part of the ‘NEC Value Chain Innovation’,” said NEC Corporation Fellow Hitoshi Imaoka in a company statement. “These technologies create new value by sharing information on the status of communities, things, and processes across the entire value chain, and are a meaningful source of growth in our Mid-term Management Plan 2020 and ‘NEC Safer Cities’, which support the realization of safe, secure, efficient, and equal cities.”

The company plans to expand the scope of its facial recognition applications to include store transactions, services for public facilities including transit areas, offices, and hospitals, and improving protection for children and the elderly.

NEC announced a partnership in September with Seven Bank to launch ATMs that use facial recognition and QR code technology.

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