NEC is trialing a new face-based boarding system at two airports in Japan. The Face Express system leverages technologies in the company’s Bio-IDiom portfolio, which includes NEC’s highly accurate facial recognition engine.
This particular trial will take place at Narita International Airport and Haneda International Airport, both of which are located in Tokyo. At Narita, Face Express will be offered to international All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines passengers flying out of select gates in South Wing Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Haneda, meanwhile, will deploy the system at all gates in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, for all airlines that run international service through the airport.
Once their faces have been registered, Face Express will allow passengers to check-in, drop their luggage, pass through security, and board their planes with only a facial recognition scan. The system is intended to streamline the airport journey, and to reduce the amount of contact that travelers have with airport staff through the use of self-service kiosks. The trial will kick off at both airports on April 13, ahead of an anticipated commercial launch in July. Narita indicated that it will expand Face Express service to other airlines over time.
The Face Express system is a Narita-branded version of NEC’s One ID passenger management platform, and builds on NEC’s existing relationship with the airport. The company first installed facial recognition technology at Narita in 2019, in anticipation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Those Games would eventually be pushed to 2021 due to COVID-19.
NEC recently partnered with SITA to develop a new contactless screening solution for the air travel industry. The company has also agreed to provide face and temperature screening tech for Hawaii’s Department of Transportation.
April 8, 2021 – by Eric Weiss