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Universal Studios Japan®'s access control system equipped with NEC's unique facial recognition technology. [ 04:14 ]
Universal Studios Japan®, located in Osaka, is one of the most popular theme parks in Japan. To enjoy its high-tech attractions and family-friendly events featuring major movies, more than 8 million visitors come here a year.
To satisfy visitors with first rate service, Universal Studios Japan® is introducing cutting edge systems with advanced technologies.
With the annual studio pass, visitors can enjoy this park any time repeatedly within a year. As many as 500,000 passes are issued annually.
Vernon Mcgugan, Special Project Management
Executive Officer & Senior Vice President USJ Co., Ltd. :
We used a manual process to take our guest photos and to print them a card so that they could come into the park. This was very laborious for us and very time consuming for our guests. Sometimes they would have to wait one, two or even three hours to be processed, because the process took so long.
To realize more efficient ticketing and smoother entry, Universal Studios Japan® had been considering a system applying biometrics. After a thorough study, they chose the access control system utilizing user-friendly face recognition technology.
Essential in the construction was NEC’s facial recognition technology, fast, precise and reliable.
Firstly, at the park ticket booth, guests receive annual studio passes imprinted with the two dimensional codes. Then, they register their facial photographs at the recognition monitor and enter.
From their next visit, they can enter the park just by touching the reader with their annual studio passes and turning their faces towards the recognition monitor. It takes approximately one second to check a face.
In other words, the park virtually recognizes visitors every time they visit.
Universal Studios Japan®’s access control system employs NEC’s face recognition engine “NeoFace”. It can handle all the necessary face recognition processes, from detection to matching in one go. NeoFace detects “the eye-position” from the photograph and uses NEC’s unique GLVQ algorithm to define the face area.
As this Engine can handle a million matching transactions per second, face recognition transaction speed is incredibly fast and it is applicable to the large scale identification system.
Vernon Mcgugan, Executive Officer and General Manager of Park Operations Division USJ Co., Ltd.:
We felt that NEC had the best proposal, both from a technical standpoint and cost standpoint. And my experience with them in the past was they told us they could deliver on their product and then it works from day one, so we’re very happy with them.
With this access control system, the waiting time of guests to enter is dramatically shortened. Thanks to this system, Universal Studios Japan® has succeeded in cutting operating costs by 30%.
Vernon Mcgugan, Executive Officer and General Manager of Park Operations Division USJ Co., Ltd.
I think they were being able to deliver to us a system that was quick, easy to understand for our guests, convenient for them… but also that was very reliable for us and I think this one went for both our guests and for us.
With its cutting edge technologies, NEC will support Universal Studios Japan® to improve customer services.
Your face can be a pass : An ultra user-friendly entry system is in service!
Universal Studios Japan®, which opened in March 2001, is undoubtedly one of the largest and most famous theme parks in Japan. The number of annual visitors including those from outside Japan exceeds 8 million.
The park issues annual studio passes whereby holders of the passes are allowed unlimited entry into Universal Studios Japan® for one year. Demand for such passes has increased dramatically, and USJ Co., Ltd, which manages the park, was faced with a problem - how to improve their service for the holders.
"We used to manually process guest photos and card printing which was very labor-intensive and time-consuming. Sometimes they would have to wait even up to three hours because the process took so long," says Special Project Management Special Project Management Executive Officer & Senior Vice President USJ Co., Ltd, Vernon Mcgugan.
This is where Universal Studio Japan started to consider using an access control system that utilized biometric technologies. After comparing and researching various kinds of biometrics systems, a decision was made to adopt one that was user-friendly and acceptable to people. NEC’s high speed, highly accurate and reliable facial recognition technology was judged to be indispensable to this system.
NEC is a pioneer in facial recognition technology. Since it started research in 1990, NEC has focused on improving speed and accuracy, and developed a unique facial recognition technology where computers recognize human faces in three or two-dimensions.
The access control system of Universal Studios Japan® uses NEC’s facial recognition engine named "NeoFace". It enables seamless processing all the procedures necessary to recognize faces, from detection to identification. With NEC’s unique methods, NeoFace extracts eye candidates from input pictures and detect the face area based on the position of the eyes. As NeoFace identifies face areas based on eye location regardless of other parts, it realizes precise collation even when some areas are hidden by eye-glasses or beards. As it processes as many as 1 million pictures per second, users can recognize faces at very high speed.
As described above, access control systems with NeoFace are easy to operate, less stressful and do not need special devices to take in data. Therefore, NeoFace can be applied to various kind of system with its scalability such as PC Log-In / Log-Out Control, Voting Control, Airport Security (Frequent Flyer Management, Immigration Control) and searching for lost children in recreational facilities. For service industries, it makes possible offering optimal services to customers who have registered in advance.
The Universal Studio Japan™’s access control system works as follows: At the ticket booth, guests receive an annual studio pass imprinted with a QR (Quick Response) code. Next, at the entrance, visitors register their facial photographs into the database by using the box shaped registration / identification device on the gate. From the next visit, registered visitors can enter the park just by touching the reader with their annual passes and turning their faces towards the recognition monitor. It takes approximately one second to check a face.
The park recognizes previous visitors every time they return.
With this access control system, the guests’ waiting time at the entrance is dramatically shortened. Thanks to this system, Universal Studios Japan® has been successful in cutting operating cost by 30%.
As Vernon Mcgugan puts it, "We felt that NEC had the best proposal, both from a technical standpoint and cost standpoint. And my experience with them in the past was they told us they could deliver on their product, and then it works from day one, so we’re very happy with them."
NEC aims to support Universal Studios Japan® not only in advanced initiatives, but also in realizing their innovative ideas aimed at making the visitor experience at the theme park comfortable and pleasant.
NEC IS OFFICIAL MARKETING PARTNER OF UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN®.
Universal Studios Japan and all other Universal indicia © & ® Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
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