Working at the immigration department and being posted to the border between two countries is a challenging and exciting job, as you have to be on your highest level of alertness (mental and otherwise) to ensure that all the riff raff are kept out of your own country. In fact, humans are way better at recognizing suspicious characters than machines, and until the day comes where technology has caught up with humans, there is no need to worry about losing your current job at the border patrol. NEC has given a leg up to the machines by developing the first automated border control system in the word that utilizes facial recognition technology.
This new system is smart enough to identify the people inside the vehicle and is currently in place and operational at checkpoints on the Hong Kong – Shenzen border (that’s in China for the geographically challenged). The foundation is laid by NEC’s NeoFace biometric face recognition system that works in tandem with NEC’s electronic passport technology, designed to boost both the speed and efficiency of the Hong Kong Department Immigration operations. It does so by enabling residents with microchipped national ID cards to remain seated inside the vehicle as the camera system verifies their identities within seconds. These microchipped IDs contain essential biometric and personal data that makes matching the face a much easier task without sifting through tons of paperwork.
Firstly, the system reads a vehicle’s license plate as it approaches the border gate. Since all vehicles in Hong Kong are registered to an individual driver, the system will run a simple database check automatically, determining who the driver should be. Subsequently, the cameras will be used to scan the driver’s face in order to run up a match in its database. If the answer is in the affirmative, the immigration process is complete and the gate opens. The current setup works with truck drivers, although there is the intention of introducing improvements in the near future. I wonder what happens when you lend somebody else your car – how will the driver explain the mismatch?
Source: Pink Tentacle