Biometric AuthenticationRealizing a safe and secure world with digital technology
- September 22, 2021
Although society has seen drastic improvements to convenience thanks to the rise of digital technology, new risks such as with impersonation have also been introduced. This is why biometric authentication technology has become a critical factor in determining authenticity and protecting privacy.
NEC is the global leader in the field of biometric authentication. Since the 1970s, we have been researching and perfecting biometrics authentication technologies such as fingerprint recognition, palmprint recognition, and face recognition. At the present, in addition to the above-mentioned technologies, NEC has also developed iris recognition, voice recognition, as well as our original ear acoustic authentication technologies. NEC’s unique and highly accurate biometric authentication technology solutions are deployed worldwide.
NEC uses these biometric technologies under the "Bio-IDiom" brand in various applications and in effective combinations to realize a world where "anyone can utilize digital contents safely and securely."
NEC’s Biometric Authentication Technologies
NEC's six original biometric authentication technologies–face recognition, iris recognition, fingerprint/palmprint recognition, voice recognition, and ear acoustic authentication–are the best of their class in the world. NEC provides the most suitable solutions to match customer needs with its biometric authentication technologies. In addition, by combining multiple biometric authentication systems, NEC's solutions bring about even more robust security.
- Face Recognition
This biometric authentication technology has become a familiar part of our lives. With more than 30 years of continuous research, NEC’s face recognition system authenticates with high accuracy using three key technologies: “Finding data within the face,” “Perceiving facial features,” and “Matching the same person.” In addition, NEC’s system is robust against poor recognition environments. Many face recognition technologies depend on clear face images for their processing. However, NEC’s face recognition system achieves high accuracy even when images are poor and grainy. It is being used for a wide range of applications, from crime prevention to room entry/exit management and making purchase payments.
- Iris Recognition
The iris is the colored, donut-shaped portion of the eye behind the cornea and surrounds the pupil. A person’s iris pattern is unique and does not change throughout his or her life. Also, covered by the cornea, the iris is well protected from damage, making the body part suitable for biometric authentication. It is an authentication method well-suited for users whose bodies are covered by heavy clothing like protective wear and other situations where hands-free authentication is desired. Because iris information is captured by an infrared camera, it can be used even in dark places. Going forward, this authentication technology is expected to be used in scenarios where even greater security than at present is needed, such as for national identification and immigration control.
* For public safety market
- Fingerprint and Palmprint Recognition
NEC’s fingerprint and palmprint recognition technologies have the longest history among our biometric technologies. The technologies have earned a high reputation as having the world's highest level of performance. With the characteristics of lifelong invariance and uniqueness, the system is used as a rigorous personal identification technology, contributing globally to safety and security.
* For public safety market
- Finger Vein Recognition
This technology identifies users by detecting veins on fingertips and analyzing the image features of the veins. As the technology uses vein information inside the user's finger, theft or falsification of information is difficult. NEC’s finger vein recognition technology combines finger veins and fingerprints information to authenticate both biometrics simultaneously for PC logins and other applications. Besides achieving more secure identification of the user, the technology also contributes to security measures for government agencies and private enterprises because it is difficult to falsify. NEC’s finger vein recognition technology is used in its Hybrid Finger Authentication products.
* Used for hybrid fingerprint scanner in Japan
- Voice Recognition
This technology extracts characteristics inherent in speakers from their voices to identify them.
Every person’s vocal organs such as his or her mouth, throat, and nose are like musical instruments. Because of differences in their shapes and movements among individuals, unique characteristics arise.
* This technology is still under development
* Currently deployed only in Japan
- Ear Acoustic Authentication
A person can be identified by recognizing the echo of a sound sent through his or her ear canal from an external source. Because only one second of authentication sound is sent and received, the authentication process is near-instantaneous. “Continuous authentication” without the user’s conscious awareness is thus possible. By using a device on the user to send various sensing data or sound data to the user’s ear, the technology ensures that the user is the true user. For example, the impersonation of a bodyguard around a VIP can be prevented by using this technology. If a terrorist acquires the security device being used, he or she can be detected by the device’s ear acoustic authentication function.
NEC's history of biometric authentication successes and future developments
NEC has been conducting R&D on Fingerprint Recognition technologies for 50 years since it began its research in 1971.
NEC is further enhancing biometric authentication by advancing its technological capabilities and developing multimodal systems. It is also expanding its scope of use to include daily life scenarios.
Widely introduced all over the world
Over 1,000 systems implemented in more than 70 countries and regions in the world.
Used in a wide range of fields from criminal investigation, immigration control, and national identification within the entertainment industry.
NEC has implemented over 1,000 systems with its fingerprint and face recognition technologies in more than 70 countries and regions in the world. Besides police forces and national government systems, NEC's products and solutions are widely deployed for needs such as corporate building entry/exit management, PC login management, and applications in the entertainment industry.
NEC's NeoFace series offers reliable authentication using NEC's face recognition technology, evaluated as the world's fastest and most accurate biometric authentication technology.*
* In benchmark tests conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
NEC's NeoFace products and solutions are used globally to meet a wide range of needs. These include enterprise needs such as PC access authentication, building entry/exit management, room entry with face passes, and security management at the national level, such as at immigration control and national ID systems.