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New biometric identification tools used in theme parks

  • MitaFacial recognition?
  • KokuryoThis is a technology that uses the "face" to judge whether or not a person is the actual person concerned. Entry to facilities by showing your face is particularly popular with visitors.
  • MitaBy showing your face?
  • KokuryoUpon entry to Universal Studios Japan®, the visitors just bring their face close to a monitor.

Photo: Entrance system in actionEntrance system in action

  • MitaWow, this really is a literal usage of "face pass!" And, it’s like being treated as if you are a VIP, which probably feels good, too.
  • KokuryoThis service is intended for members who have an "Annual Studio Pass" that allows them to enter the park as many times as they like in the one year and is really popular with park visitors. It is also advantageous for the park as well.
  • MitaSuch as?
  • KokuryoUniversal Studios Japan® used to use entrance cards made of plastic. However, when they decided to switch to this facial recognition system they also switched to paper cards with QR codes.
  • MitaI see.
  • KokuryoBy switching the entrance card from plastic to paper, they managed to cut costs considerably. Moreover, people are now identified by facial recognition which is more precise compared to visual verification by park staff.
  • MitaGreat.
  • KokuryoAlso, the entrance to the park by "face pass" feels like an attraction and which generatets more positive reputation of the park amongst visitors. Let me go into more detail about "facial recognition."
  • MitaYes. Please do by all means!
  • KokuryoFirst of all, please consider facial recognition as being comprised of two things, "face detection, finding a face from an image" and "facial comparison, recognition as to whose face it is."

Picture: What is facial recognition?What is facial recognition?

  • MitaI see, finding and recognizing faces.
  • KokuryoYes. This corresponds to the "role of the eyes" and "role of the brain." First, a face is searched for from an image that is captured by a camera. This corresponds to the "role of the eyes."
  • MitaIs it like when I take a picture of a face with a digital camera and a frame appears?
  • KokuryoYes, exactly like you said.
  • MitaYes!
  • KokuryoNext, the face found by the camera is compared with faces in a database, and a judgment as to whose face it belongs to is made. This corresponds to the "role of the brain." In this way, judgment as to whether or not the face captured on the camera is the actual person concerned is done in an instant.

The "face" will not be recognized if it is not registered in the database.

Photo: sample2

The "face" will be recognized if it is registered in the database.

  • MitaI see. So in this way faces are judged. How accurate is this?
  • KokuryoThis varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, NEC's product "NeoFace" which is currently used at Universal Studios Japan® as its "facial recognition: gate system" is regarded as being very precise, so much so that it won first prize (*) at a facial recognition contest hosted by a world authority in this area.
    (*) Evaluated by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • MitaThe best in the world! Wow!
  • KokuryoThank you. Yet, it can be said that higher precision can be gained with fingerprints because facial recognition can be affected by various conditions such as the direction the face is facing, lighting conditions, sunglasses, or a flu mask. However, at amusement parks, we felt that there would be broader possibilities with facial recognition since there would probably be resistance to having one's fingerprints taken.
  • MitaI see. So there are many possibilities for facial recognition, right?
  • *NeoFace is a registered trademark of NEC Corporation in Japan.
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