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Why is facial recognition important – 5 key benefits

There is no doubt that facial recognition is changing the world in which we live.  NEC is a global leader in the field of biometric authentication and we have been researching and developing facial recognition technology since 1989.

Facial recognition is one of a number of biometric technologies offered by NEC as part of our Bio-Idiom brand and is fundamental to NEC’s Digital Identity where your face is your unique biometric key.  NeoFace® is used across a wide range of sectors to not only help keep the public safe but to provide an enhanced customer experience as well.

Why is facial recognition important?

Perhaps now more than ever, facial recognition is in the spotlight. Previous historic events have led to rapid advancements in the investment in facial recognition. In the months following 9/11 back in 2001, the investment in R&D and biometrics security solutions peaked and led to some of the facial recognition solutions that exist today.

Considering the global COVID-19 pandemic, we can expect to see further significant investment in biometric solutions including facial recognition. There is a huge spotlight on contactless interactions given the highly contagious nature of COVID-19.

Security solutions still dominate the primary applications of facial recognition technology. Proving people are who they say they are crosses a diverse range of industries and facial recognition is recognised as one of the most accurate and convenient methods. The fact that facial recognition is contactless and can be performed from a distance brings distinct advantages over other possible biometric security solutions such as fingerprint recognition.

5 key benefits of facial recognition

NEC is already working with a wide range of businesses across a huge range of industries, both here in New Zealand and worldwide. As companies look for new solutions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a wide range of benefits of facial recognition that can help provide reassurance to customers and prospective customers with regards to their safety and security. Some of those benefits include:

1.      Improved public safety

Law enforcement is one of the key industries we work with at NEC and the use of facial recognition technology is already allowing police and security agencies to process videos and images from multiple sources, including body-worn, mobile, and in-vehicle cameras to identify persons of interest quickly and effectively in real-time to speed up investigations.

2.      Aviation and transport

The transport and aviation sectors have been some of the hardest hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic and once back up and operational, we can expect to see several changes to the way passengers are handled across all modes of transport.  Within the aviation industry, facial recognition already provides fast, accurate identity verification through every phase of the passenger journey at check-in, baggage drop, security screening, retail purchases and boarding lines. After arrival, facial recognition software makes the immigration process and baggage pickup frictionless and less stressful. We can expect this to be rolled out across other forms of transit as we move out of the pandemic with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency already vowing that by 2023, 97% of international passengers will be checked using facial recognition.

3.      Access and authentication

The need for fast and contactless access and authentication systems will continue to grow. Many modern Identity and Access Management systems are already integrating biometrics for more precise authentication and we can expect this trend to rise rapidly in 2021 and beyond. Whether it is allowing people access to specific areas within your business or from an IT perspective, allowing access to specific files and databases, facial recognition can provide a fast, accurate, and importantly a contactless solution. Businesses are also moving to facial recognition solutions for work attendance systems to reduce time fraud and improve the security of people checking in and out of the workplace.

4.      Retail

Within the retail space, we can expect significant changes over the next few years with the introduction of pay by face expected to be rolled out worldwide. Facial recognition is also used in the retail sector to speed up fraud and theft investigations and to process video from multiple sources to identify persons of interest. In addition, it is used to identify customers in a loyalty programme and deliver personalised levels of service, as well as speeding up the in-store payment process resulting in an improved customer experience.

5.      Faster processing and seamless integration

No matter how you plan to integrate facial recognition – within the transport sector, aviation, retail, or as a security solution, one of the key benefits to any business is the speed of processing identities via facial recognition. NEC has consistently been recognised as the world leader in facial recognition solutions, both in terms of speed and accuracy and in October 2019, NEC was once again recognised by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as the number one company in the world for the fifth time. Speed and accuracy are at the foundation of our technology and this is helping to provide a wide range of solutions for businesses throughout the world.

In addition, facial recognition technology offers seamless integration with a wide range of existing technologies, especially security software. The cost of integrating facial recognition into existing security solutions is minimal providing a win-win situation as businesses look to move to a frictionless solution post-COVID.


Facial recognition offers businesses a fast and accurate method of identifying individuals in a way that is less intrusive and requires no contact. In a post-COVID world, we can expect to see the regulated roll out of more and more facial recognition solutions as people become not only more familiar, but also more comfortable with the use of the technology.

Talk to one of the NEC team today and find out how facial recognition technology can benefit your business.

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