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Facial Recognition Technology Pioneered at Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020

Facial recognition has grown by leaps and bounds with the arrival of the sophisticated pattern-matching abilities of modern artificial intelligence technology called neural networks. On one hand, leading cities like  Massachusetts, and San Francisco, California are to bar police from using pervasive computer surveillance technology, on the other hand facial recognition technology is going to used for Tokyo Olympics 2020. It is the first time the Olympics is using facial recognition technology.  It won’t be a wholesale replacement for the old ways: Accredited personnel at the Olympics will still have to wear traditional ID lanyards, Intel and NEC said. But the facial recognition system will be required: if someone loses their lanyard or tries to get access with one that’s stolen, the facial recognition system will block them.

Who is going to provide the system?

NEC Corporation, a Tokyo 2020 Gold Partner, will be providing the face recognition system at olympics. The facial images of every accredited person will be collected beforehand and stored in a database; these will be used to verify identities at accreditation checkpoints. Facial recognition system from Japanese electronics giant NEC and chipmaker Intel will be used to get where athletes, sponsors, journalists or volunteers at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo need to be.

“Facial recognition improves security and efficiency by being able to confirm a picture ID against the face of the person seeking to enter a facility with greater speed and accuracy than human staff,” NEC said.

Intel with core i5 processor and the company has announced to provide a range of technologies as an official partner of the global event. NeoFace will be deployed for physical access control at venues event staff, athletes, media and volunteers. 

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has partnered with International Olympic Committee and other partners, Intel will also provide a computer vision solution for 3D Athlete Tracking, VR training for venue managers, and processing for the Cisco-powered digital networks.

Intel provides a VR experience and hosts an esports tournament prior to the Olympic Games. It also provides a call and response beat for the audience to clap and respond beat for the audience to clap along using their artificial intelligence capabilities. 

Intel & Olympic Related Events

Intel will be involved in other Olympic-related moves, too:

3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT)

Intel develops a technology called 3DAT (3D Athlete Tracking) that uses data about player movements broadcasters can use to boost instant-replay videos. An AI system processes video data to generate the overlay graphics.  

Global Esports Gaming Competition

In parallel with the Olympics in Tokyo Intel also is helping to run a global esports gaming competition. It also includes participation from gaming companies Capcom and Epic Games where Players from an initial group of 20 countries will compete in the videogame event. 

Virtual Reality Training

Athletes and organizers can use to visualize arenas and other facilities by virtual reality training realms built by Intel.

Purpose of Facial Recognition Technology in Tokyo Olympics

Following are the reasons how facial recognition technology will be enhancing the security of the Tokyo Olympics:

Physical Access Control

Physical access control is the process to control who, where, and when to provide access. It determines who is allowed to enter or exit the system, where a certain person is allowed to enter or exit, and when they are allowed to enter exit or enter. With FRT these only recognized persons are given access. The system will match the faces in the database and provide access when a face verified by the system. 

Monitor Audience

This technology will be used to monitor audience activity throughout the matches to analyze if any abnormal activity is going on. This technology will help to provide assistance to anyone in the audience who will be seeking it. It will be a quick analysis of millions of spectators for many reasons. It can be used to count the number of advance present and regular fans can be monitored as well. This technology has previously been used in Taylor Swift’s concert to highlight her fans. 

Look out for Suspicious Entities

During audience analysis, suspicious individuals can be caught on camera. If anyone seems involved in any kind of suspicious activity he can be continuously monitored through cameras. This enhances the security system and provides speedy solutions. NEC will use hundreds of facial recognition systems around the Olympics facilities to speed up ID checks for accredited people.

Improve Comfort & Convenience

The 2020 Olympics organizers say the facial recognition is twice as fast as regular ID checks, meaning shorter waits in line, and that it’ll improve security and that too by preventing spoofing and unauthorized access into important areas in the venue. 

By using facial recognition technology security system becomes seamless and wok flow is smooth. It is just the face that is to be shown to get access to the ground. People will not have to wait in long ques to get access granted. This will improve the efficiency of the security system and provide convenience to the people. 

Facial Recognition Technology and Personal Data Concerns

The personal information storage of individuals will comply with the Personal  Information Protection Law and it cannot be said how long will the data be kept in the system. All personal data is managed appropriately during the games and will be securely deleted afterward that too under strict conditions. The photos of each accredited person are collected with their consent at the time of issuing the accreditation card somewhat similar to the accreditation process in the past games. 

Facial recognition technology will not be a replacement for old methods but will be used along with them. The accredited persons will have to wear the traditional ID cards. But FRT will be required to in case someone loses their card or tries to get access with a stolen ID card as FRT will block them.

“Facial recognition improves security and efficiency by being able to confirm a picture ID against the face of the person seeking to enter a facility with greater speed and accuracy than human staff,” NEC said.

So data stored will only be used for the purpose of security and will be discarded right after the event is over.

Facing the Future: FRT for FIFA World Cup 2022

According to the company CEO  of NtechLab, Alexander Minin, the company is in negotiation with FIFA and Qatar to supply its facial recognition technology for a pilot project at the upcoming World Cup of soccer. The company is also one of several reported to be in ongoing negotiations to broadly deploy facial recognition at large Russian airports.

The applications of facial recognition technology are growing great in number. We can not stop this tide but we can manage it by giving the related data in the right hands. This technology can provide enhanced security at the Olympic games with convenience and ease. The system has operated with a false rejection rate of under 2 percent providing more accuracy.