SAFR executive shares company’s biometrics progress in Japan
In an email interview with Biometric Update, RealNetworks’ Vice President of APAC Sales and Business Development Noriaki Takamura, who is also leading the facial recognition subcommittee at SAJ, explains how the company plans to build on those gains.
SAFR has also recently been selected by the Japanese government to enable user authorization of the “My Number” ID card.
“We [developed] the Ministry of Health’s My Number Card project and construction site attendance and health condition check solutions [together with our local] partners,” Takamura explains.
The collaboration between the companies started in December last year, when SAFR tested biometric technologies to help evacuees during natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
Traditionally, evacuees’ information in Japan is submitted manually on evacuation cards at the reception desk, but this is a slow and often impractical process during emergencies.
To tackle these issues, Takamura says, “the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, NTT DoCoMo and Arao City (Kumamoto) has decided to test 50,000 residences’ evacuation status checks [using] facial recognition,” Takamura writes.
By using the technology, and registering individuals’ identities in advance, evacuation status checks can be executed quickly using dedicated or smartphone cameras, therefore speeding up the process considerably.
Further, the information can also be used to plan medical support and food distribution, as well as to automatically notify relatives of individuals’ evacuation status.
Arao City and SAFR will continue to test the technology, with plans of deployment in real-world scenarios in 2023.
Additionally, Takamura told Biometric Update SAFR intends to deploy its facial recognition technology for additional applications in the country, particularly in government, smart city, and secure access use cases.