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Japanese government selects SAFR face biometrics for in-person service access

Japanese government selects SAFR face biometrics for in-person service access

SAFR from RealNetworks has recently been selected by the Japanese government to provide its face biometrics technology to support the country’s digitalization initiatives. In particular, SAFR will provide its facial recognition tools to enable user authorization of the “My Number” ID card, a new digital ID set to replace traditional paper documents in Japan.

The My Number Card is currently being rolled out across the country and is estimated to reach hundreds of thousands of hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in the next three years.

Once rolled out, the biometric technology will enable access to Japan’s universal healthcare system by allowing citizens to confirm their identity via specialized card readers, replacing multiple ID cards currently needed to access different government services.

To facilitate the diffusion of the facial authentication technology, SAFR will collaborate with the Japanese government in the manufacturing of the My Number Card readers, which will come with built-in face biometrics capabilities.

“We are happy to announce that SAFR facial recognition technology has been chosen for this important digital transformation project by the Japanese government,” commented Noriaki Takamura, VP of APAC at SAFR.

“Many facial recognition companies were considered, but SAFR’s excellent performance, high speed, small technology footprint and focus on privacy made it the ideal choice for this application,” Takamura added.

The devices will also be able to read the IC chip that stores a digital photo of the user within the My Number Card, then match that photo to the live user via SAFR facial recognition technology, now also supporting mask detection.

The card reader ecosystem is being developed by system integrator Nextware. “SAFR enables high-precision face recognition with little variation in authentication accuracy across gender, age, and race — based on its deep learning of about 10 million images,” said Takayoshi Toyoda, president and CEO of Nextware.

“The availability of a device-embedded development kit enabled rapid development of the product,” he added.

The deployment of the My Number card is expected to substantially reduce resources and costs associated with the administration of healthcare information, as well as slashing treatment time for patients.

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