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Hanvon develops facial recognition that works with masks to combat coronavirus

Hanvon develops facial recognition that works with masks to combat coronavirus

Chinese intelligent interaction company Hanwang Technology, also known in English as Hanvon, says it has developed a facial recognition system that can identify people wearing masks, Reuters reports.

Facial recognition systems for surveillance and payments has been severely hindered by the face masks which have become ubiquitously worn as protection against the coronavirus outbreak in China.

SenseTime claimed to have developed facial biometric technology that can identify people wearing face masks a month ago. Telpo, Wisesoft and Remark Holdings have also recently announced facial biometrics upgrades to work with facemasks.

Hanvon sells FaceGo technology developed over the past ten years, and used a database of six million unmasked faces and a much smaller set of masked ones to develop the new algorithm. Development of the covered-face system began in January, and Hanvon began rolling it out to the market in February.

The company offers a single channel solution, such as for access control, and a multi-channel system for networked surveillance cameras. The technology can also be integrated with a thermometer to detect fever.

Hanwang Vice President Huang Lei told Reuters in an interview that the company’s facial recognition can identify all people in a crowd of up to 30 within a second.

“When wearing a mask, the recognition rate can reach about 95 percent, which can ensure that most people can be identified,” while people without masks are identified at a 99.5 percent rate, Huang said. No false-positive rate was provided.

People wearing both a mask and sunglasses are not so easy to identify, however.

Hanvon’s technology is used by China’s Ministry of Public Security, police, and roughly 200 other clients in Beijing.

Hanvon products are also sold in South Africa by Face ID SA.

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