Tokyo Olympics considering biometric facial recognition for contact tracing, NEC likely supplier
Biometrics may be used for contact tracing at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, The Japan Times reports, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at large events. NEC would be in a good position to provide the technology, having expanded an extensive sponsorship agreement to “Private Network Radio Systems” in February.
NEC’s facial recognition will be used to screen athletes, staff, and media members as they enter venues, under an agreement reached in 2018. The company also launched a real-time facial recognition system at its headquarters to meet a range of needs, including contact tracing capabilities and monitoring people and groups for compliance with transmission reduction guidelines.
The government of Japan is also hoping to improve its capacity to carry our saliva-based COVID-19 tests.
A draft document outlining plans to use technology for preventing virus transmission suggests the government could use security cameras and facial recognition to track the movements of visitors to the Olympics, which have been rescheduled for 2021, as well as other large events. The records would be used to identify people who have come into close contact with others who are found to have COVID-19.
The government is also considering implementing a plan to consolidate COVID-19 test results for athletes, and connect the data to the facial recognition system at event facilities.
The plan also includes automated disinfecting robots and using artificial intelligence to avoid traffic congestion in certain scenarios.
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