Japan’s NEC Corporation has developed a new facial recognition software system that can completely authenticate people’s faces even when they are wearing masks.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the new method extracts features around the eyes and recognizes faces with an accuracy rate reaching more than 99.9%.
NEC has disclosed that it will begin offering this new technology by early October and is working with various types of masks to bring the system’s accuracy level to 100%.
NEC already has a facial authentication system in place for people wearing surgical masks to safeguard themselves from pollution and allergies.
But the new upgraded system goes a step further: It first recognizes whether a person is wearing a mask and opts for the new technology when a mask is detected.
It is thus not only workable regardless of the type of mask worn, but also in the absence of one.
NEC will start installing the new system at security gates in its head office building in Tokyo’s Minato Ward by the end this month.
It will be combined with a thermal camera to check body temperatures as part of infection prevention measures.
NEC will subsequently put the set on the market as the COVID-19 pandemic has increased interest in non-contact, anti-coronavirus measures and spurred demand for face masks.
The Tokyo-based company’s facial authentication systems are already used in airports and large commercial facilities in Japan and abroad.
Image and content: Niki Mizuguchi/Nikkei Asian Review