If the face fits: Tokyo 2020 to deploy facial recognition

August 7, 2018
Tokyo 2020 will be the first time the technology will be rolled out for all participants, say officials

Hundreds of thousands of Tokyo 2020 athletes, staff and reporters will be scanned by cutting-edge facial recognition technology in an Olympic Games first, organisers said Tuesday.

About 300,000 athletes, staff members, volunteers and reporters will be required to use their ID card and be verified with the facial recognition system to access venues.

The overhaul will prevent fraudulent entry by people borrowing, stealing or faking an ID card, said electronics giant NEC, which developed the technology.

It will be rolled out across all facilities—including the 43 competition venues, athlete lodgings and media centres—but would not be used for spectators, organisers said.

"It is the first time facial will be deployed for all people involved in the Olympics at all venues," Olympic security chief Tsuyoshi Iwashita told reporters.

"Higher security is needed for people involved in Olympics as they enter important areas. They also go in and out of venues so we decided to introduce the system for smooth entry," he added.

This will be especially practical for the Tokyo Olympics as the venues are scattered widely around the massive Japanese capital, Iwashita added.

The technology takes only 0.3 seconds to match up a face with a pre-registered photo, said Masaaki Suganuma, an official at NEC, which claims this is the world's fastest such system.

In an experiment conducted last year, access using an ID card and was 2.5 times faster than using barcodes and visual checks as at previous Olympics.

Explore further: New model for large-scale 3-D facial recognition

Related Stories

New model for large-scale 3-D facial recognition

July 6, 2018

Researchers from The University of Western Australia have designed a new system capable of carrying out large-scale 3-D facial recognition that could transform the entire biometrics industry.

Pyeongchang sets Winter Olympic record - for condoms

February 1, 2018

This month's Winter Olympics in South Korea will set a record even before the first athlete comes out of a starting gate, organisers said Thursday—for the largest number of free condoms handed out at a Winter Games.

Recommended for you

Pushing lithium ion batteries to the next performance level

December 13, 2018

Conventional lithium ion batteries, such as those widely used in smartphones and notebooks, have reached performance limits. Materials chemist Freddy Kleitz from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna and international ...

Uber filed paperwork for IPO: report

December 8, 2018

Ride-share company Uber quietly filed paperwork this week for its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.