NEC has agreed to provide facial recognition and temperature screening technology for Hawaii’s airports after signing a new contract with the state’s Department of Transportation. The agreement represents the combined efforts of NEC Corporation, NEC America, and Infrared Cameras, all of which contributed to the winning proposal for the project.
The contract is worth around $37.5 million, of which $23.3 million is set aside for the equipment and its installation. The rest will cover maintenance for the next ten years, at an estimated cost of $1.42 million annually.
The first phase of the installation process will begin later this month, with temperature scanners going in at trans-Pacific arrival gates at the state’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Kahului Airport (OGG), Lihue Airport (LIH), Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA), and Hilo International Airport (ITO). NEC will then install temperature scanners at all remaining gates during phase two before moving on to facial recognition equipment in phase three. The entire process will be completed before the end of December 2020.
The system will flag anyone running a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit to give airport staff the opportunity to take additional health and safety precautions. To ensure privacy, the photos of people with a fever will be deleted after 30 minutes, while those of healthy individuals will not be stored at all. The system will not have access to personal information like name and address, nor will it automatically have access to an individual’s criminal history or be aware of outstanding warrants.
The technology itself is part of the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The automated solution will allow airport security to screen passengers more efficiently and restore people’s confidence in the tourism industry.
“Taking these steps shows our commitment to providing preventative measures against COVID-19 for the community,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige. “We recognize that temperature screening won’t catch every infected passenger, but it is an available tool that can be implemented and combined with additional measures to help prevent the spread of this virus, while helping rebuild the economy.”
NEC has provided facial recognition technology for several international airports in the past, with some of its recent pre-COVID deployments occurring at airports in India and Japan.
July 17, 2020 – by Eric Weiss