Japanese telecommunications and IT business enterprise, NEC Corporation today announced Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be the first event to employ facial recognition security technology at such large scale, reports Reuters.
The Tokyo 2020 and Paralympics organizers demonstrated the system at a media event held in Japan’s capital city. The NEC facial recognition security system will authenticate over 300,000 people at the Games, comprising athletes, volunteers, media, and on-ground staff members.
All of these people who will enter the Games’ arenas will have to submit their photographs to a particular database prior to the event beginning in July 2020.
“Every time they enter the facility, they have to do a security check,” explained Tokyo 2020’s Head of Security Tsuyoshi Iwashita.
Need for Large-Scale Security Technology
Unlike most of the earlier Olympics Games, Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will not have an individual huge Olympics Park housing multiple sports venues. In fact, the stadiums will be spread out across the city and hence the participants will have to verify their identities each time they access the games' locations. This will end-up in doubling the task of security check personnel.
Moreover, looking at the current rise in temperature in Japan, the Tokyo 2020 is allegedly declared as the hottest Olympics of the century. So, an increase in the security check count will result in more waiting time for Athletes, Games staff and others and that too, under the aggressive sun leading to health dangers.
This critical situation demanded to tighten the security further as well as speed up the process. Thereby, the Olympics authorities came up with facial recognition technology for security checks.
Implementing Security System at Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The new facial recognition system is based on artificial intelligence framework called NeoFace, cites Verge. It is a component of NEC’s Bio-Idiom series of biometric verification technology.
During Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the organizers will link up the pictures from a database to the IC cards that need to be carried by qualified people every time they enter the Games arenas. Though, spectators are kept out of this system.
“More than 40 facilities, including the main stadium, International Broadcast Centre, the Olympic village and so on, will have the facial recognition system,” stated NEC Vice President Masaaki Suanuma.
Demonstration of NEC Facial Recognition System
NEC said that it owns the world’s leading face recognition technology validated on standard tests from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The Japanese IT giant added that it has trial tested the facial recognition system at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and this technology is presently operational at various locations like airports.
The Tokyo Olympics authorities and NEC jointly demonstrated how the system works. They invited a group of people of varying heights for security checks, wherein the screen displayed their names almost immediately after they cross the facial recognition system.
In addition, the system will restrict people from entering the venue if they are holding someone else’s IC card.
Suanuma informed, “99.7 percent of the time, the face is recognized by the system correctly. This number will not change according to nationality or if big or small.”