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Home > News Room > NEC's Face Recognition Technologies Ranked No.1 by the NIST in All Participating Categories

NEC's Face Recognition Technologies Ranked No.1 by the NIST in All Participating Categories

*** For immediate use January 20, 2010

Tokyo, Japan, January 20, 2010 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701), a global leader in networking, communications and information technology, announced today that its face recognition technologies ranked number one in the Biometric Grand Challenge's (MBGC, *1) "Still-Face" Challenge Problem carried out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), commissioned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. NEC's face recognition technologies have solidified their leading industry position by attaining this number one ranking among all major vendors.

The facial images evaluated in the Still-Face Challenge Problem were taken by high resolution digital cameras under a variety of challenging conditions, including compressed images used for IC passports, and images taken under poor indoor lighting or direct sunlight. These situations were designed based on anticipated real-world scenarios, and NEC's superior test results have demonstrated highly accurate performance.

NEC's False Rejection Rate (*2) of 2.1% and False Acceptance Rate (*3) of 0.1% far outperformed technologies competing in the same category.

NEC's recognition algorithms, such as the "multiple face comparison method" (*4) and "perturbation space method" (*5), have been achieving highly accurate results since they first became commercially available through the "NeoFace"(*6) products in 2002. These NeoFace technologies, which reliably detect personal characteristics under a range of conditions, including different lighting and viewpoints, were developed at NEC's Central Research Laboratories.

The vender evaluation project organized by NIST aims to accelerate vendors' R&D and early application of newly-developed technologies for combating a wide range of hard to solve crimes. US agencies such as U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Department of Justice; the FBI; and U.S. Department of Defense have sponsored and supported this project, whose results are expected to attract a great deal of attention from the world's biometrics markets.

NEC has been researching and developing fingerprint matching technologies for forty years and face recognition for twenty years. In terms of NIST evaluation, NEC has been awarded first place ranking in speed and accuracy for various fingerprint, palm print, and partial print matching technologies since 2004, in addition to this newly earned first place facial recognition ranking.

NEC's facial recognition technologies have been adopted in Japan and around the globe-including in countries such as Hong Kong and Chile-for police solutions, immigration systems, and amusement parks. With this recent result from NIST, NEC will continue to promote and deliver biometrics solutions worldwide.

For further information on results, please visit the NIST website at:

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of a diversified global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 140,000 people worldwide. For additional information, please visit the NEC website at:

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*1: Multiple Biometric Grand Challenge (MBGC)

NIST sponsored national level project for multiple biometric modalities. The primary goal of the MBGC is to investigate, test and improve performance of face and iris recognition technology on both still and video imagery through a series of "challenge" problems and evaluation.

*2: False Rejection Rate (FRR)

FRR is a rate of rejecting the wrong face.

*3: False Acceptance Rate (FAR)

FAR is a rate of accepting the actual face.

*4: Multiple Face Comparison method

High speed and high precision face recognition achieved by focusing the eye quickly in combination with NEC's propriety algorithm with very low detection error rate.

*5: Perturbation Space method

Facial images predicted from multiple angles using the registration of a single picture.

*6: NeoFace

NEC Press Contact (Japan):

Chris Shimizu
NEC Corporation

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