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NEC's Video Face Recognition Technology Ranks First in NIST Testing

Tokyo, Japan - March 16, 2017 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced that NEC's face recognition technology achieved the highest performance evaluation in the recent Face in Video Evaluation (FIVE, *1) testing performed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (*2). Results were released in NIST's Interagency Report 8173: Face In Video Evaluation (FIVE) Face Recognition of Non-Cooperative Subjects.

NEC's face recognition technology took first place for the fourth consecutive time following the 2009 Multiple Biometric Grand Challenge (MBGC 2009), 2010-2011 Multiple Biometrics Evaluation (MBE 2010-2011), and 2013 Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT 2013).

NEC's Video Face Recognition Technology

Video face recognition technology identifies the faces of moving subjects in real-time as they walk naturally without stopping in front of a camera. The benefits of high-speed video analysis enabled by this technology include the prevention of potential incidents through detection of suspicious individuals and recognition of individuals at the gateways of critical facilities.

Using video images from standard cameras for face recognition requires highly-advanced techniques when compared to still images. This is because images are greatly influenced by environmental conditions, such as camera location, image quality, lighting and subject size, in addition to the behavior of a subject, including walking speed, face direction and sight line.

To achieve reliable face recognition of a video image, NEC developed feature point extraction technology that enables enhanced face recognition to a level where an individual can be identified with high precision from within a group, even if their face is partially hidden, or the image is taken from different angles. NEC's face recognition technology also uses deep learning technologies for face matching to increase accuracy to a level where an individual can be identified by a low resolution face image captured by a distant camera.

"It is a great honor that our face recognition technology received a first place evaluation for the fourth consecutive time from the NIST," said Masakazu Yamashina, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation. "We will further expand global business by offering innovative biometric solutions, such as the video face recognition system, throughout a wide range of fields, including security, transportation, finance and retail."

Evaluation examples from the NIST FIVE testing

  • Entry-exit management at an airport passenger gate
    Tests were conducted to recognize one individual at a time as they walk through an area without stopping or acknowledging the camera. NEC's face recognition technology won first place with a matching accuracy of 99.2%. The error rate of 0.8% is less than one-fourth of the second place error rate.

  • Detection of suspicious individuals at an indoor stadium
    Tests were conducted with an individual situated far from the camera with their face direction changing frequently. NEC's face recognition technology won first place with an error rate half that of the second place error rate.

For nearly 30 years, NEC has been developing face recognition technology by defining it as one of the key technologies to help achieve a safer and more secure society. The technology has now been implemented in more than 100 systems in 40 countries worldwide. NEC will continue to develop solutions that leverage face recognition technology as part of its portfolio of AI technologies "NEC the Wise" (*3), and to deliver the solutions for a wide range of fields, including social infrastructure and private sector facilities.

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About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company's experience and global resources, NEC's advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society.  For more information, visit NEC at http://www.nec.com.

The NEC Group globally provides "Solutions for Society" that promote the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. Under the company's corporate message of "Orchestrating a brighter world," NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow. For more information, please visit

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