NtechLab face biometrics piloted in ten more Russian cities’ public security systems
NtechLab, which provides the face biometric technology used in Moscow’s massive public security system, has launched pilot projects in ten other cities, though Kommersant (as translated by Google) reports that funding challenges could slow or prevent an operational rollout.
Some 3,000 cameras with supporting a facial recognition system are being installed in Nizhny Novgorod, where they will be used to watch for criminals, as well as people violating quarantine orders.
With an estimated market cost of 100 to 110 million rubles (roughly US$1.26 million to $1.4 million) for a large city to deploy such a system, experts say that the cost is too high for regional governments, and possibly also for the federal government. Some regions do not have the camera infrastructure in place, and even fewer have operational data processing centers.
A representative of Nizhny Novgorod’s government declined to specify the contract amount.
Maxim Egorov, deputy minister of Construction and Housing and Communal Services, who is responsible for smart city projects, says Russia’s government is yet to decide on a plan for financing the facial recognition camera networks. A competition is planned, however, from which the three cities with the best digitalization projects will receive between 30 million and 75 million rubles ($
VisionLabs CEO Dmitry Markov says his company is also participating in pilot projects in a number of regions, with the major expenditure backed by the federal government.
NtechLab recently raised $15 million in funding from a pair of state investment vehicles to expand its geographic market reach. The company’s Head of R&D and Co-founder Artem Kukharenko told Biometric Update in a recent interview that the company is focused on solving real-life problems, like identifying people from sharp-angle images or in challenging lighting conditions.