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Case Study: Face Express at Narita Airport [2:55]

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Face Express at Narita Airport
Embark on Your Next Journey with Face Recognition Technology

Narita Airport has served as Japan's gateway to the skies
and functioned as a hub for international flights
since its opening in 1978.
There has been an increase in the number of inbound passengers
flying at Narita,
and with frequent congestion during peak hours,
we set out to streamline procedures to reduce passenger wait times.
For these passengers, the airport experience is more comfortable,
and for airlines, their operations are more efficient,
allowing them to provide better services.

"Face Express" is a boarding procedure for international flights
which utilizes face recognition technology.
Passport information and boarding information can be linked
to a registered photo you take at an automated KIOSK.
After that, you can smoothly advance boarding procedures
simply through face recognition,
without the need to show your passport or boarding pass.
This can also improve convenience and reduce contact risk,
making the clearing of these boarding procedures
safe, secure, and smooth.

To perform highly-accurate authentication,
it's necessary to utilize a system
that can accurately register and recognize face images
regardless of lighting and other conditions.
Therefore, we introduced a feature to block light,
and highly tune each individual camera for optimal performance
at all touchpoints.

To ensure real world deployment could be realized,
NEC resolved to pinpoint and tackle every individual potential issue.
They clearly understood the challenges we and the airlines faced,
and created a environment for us to easily discuss
and tackle any issues.
NEC's complete analysis of airport operations
helped us to further organize ourselves and
understand the required response to situations.
Through this, a common understanding has been reached
with the companies that participated in this project,
and a great service has been developed as a result.

By developing a system that operates based on
the airline industry's standards,
face recognition-powered boarding processes have been realized.
As the world's demand for touchless systems increases,
our face recognition-based systems are ready to meet
these needs along with growing air travel demands.
We look forward to deploying our system at airports around the world,
while continuing to improve its performance, functionality,
and usability.

As it would be convenient to use the same ID
at airports all around the world without the need to re-register,
we are also exploring collaboration opportunities
with overseas airports and airlines.
Our aim is to set a new precedence for seamless boarding procedures,
where everyone will exclaim, "that's convenient!"

Orchestrating a brighter world


Since July 2021, passengers at Narita International Airport can now experience ''Face Express'', a seamless and touchless experience boarding process utilizing NEC's face recognition technology.

Let's hear from ''Narita Face Express" project leader about the motivation for the development of the system and the innovations.

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(May 26, 2022)