Japan’s NEC has launched a facial recognition system that works even when people are wearing masks. Customers for the tool include Lufthansa and Swiss International Airlines, Shinya Takashima, assistant manager of the company’s digital platform division, told Reuters. (BBC News also reported that London’s Metropolitan Police uses the technology.)
The system determines when a person is wearing a mask and hones in on the parts that are not covered up, such as the eyes and surrounding areas, to verify the subject’s identity. Users register a photo of their face in advance. NEC says verification takes less than one second and claims an accuracy rate of more than 99.9%. The system can be used at security gates in office buildings and other facilities. NEC is also trialing the technology for automated payments at an unmanned convenience store in its Tokyo headquarters.