NEC pushes for facial recognition technology for Hong Kong

NEC believes that new facial recognition technology could be crucial in facing the challenges of maintaining public order in countries like Hong Kong, the company said in a statement today.

In a study conducted by Michigan State University that simulated forensic work conducted after the Boston Marathon bombing, NEC's NeoFace facial recognition software was able to identify a suspect from footage of the event.

"Following the initial identification of the two brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing, there were many reports to suggest that facial recognition software was unhelpful and did not play a role in identifying the suspects. The results of this study challenge that assertion, proving that biometrics technology offers a genuine and quick way to identify people after, or ideally before, they carry out a criminal act," said Elsa Wong, Managing Director, NEC Hong Kong.

"As conditions in the study were simulated to be representative of actual crime scene situations, including the limited, poor-quality images available to the investigators of the Boston Marathon bombings, the strong performance of the NEC solution is significant," she said.

"Facial recognition is a fantastic tool for a city like Hong Kong, both for security and for other applications such as customer relationship development. For example, banks, the hospitality sector and even prestigious residential developments can deploy the technology to allow authorised people - such as staff or VIP customers - to enter sensitive or private areas, and keep everyone else out," said Wong.

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