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

NEC's Face Recognition Technologies Ranked No.1 by the NIST's Multiple-Biometric Evaluation 2010 Still-Face Track

*** For immediate use June 30, 2010

Tokyo, Japan, June 30, 2010 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) announced today that its face recognition technologies ranked number one in the Multiple-Biometric Evaluation (MBE, *1) 2010 Still-Face Track carried out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), commissioned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to NEC's number one position in the Multiple Biometric Grand Challenge's (MBGC, *2) "Still-Face" Challenge Problem in December, 2009, NEC, again, achieved the highest score in the new benchmark test. This provides another demonstration of NEC's prominence in the world of face recognition.

MBE's Still-Face Track benchmark test employed accuracy evaluation tests with a dataset of over one million face images, which were collected from actual criminal databases and face images used for visa applications.

NEC's benchmark test results feature the highest accuracy, a 92% identification rate from a 1.6 million person criminal database, and 95% accuracy from a 1.8 million person database consisting of visa applicants. In terms of processing speed, NEC's average time to process a query from a total of 1.6 million images was approximately 0.4 seconds (*3), by far the fastest vendor among all participants.

Moreover, NEC achieved the lowest False Reject Rate (*4), 4%, in processing the criminal database, 0.3% in the case of the visa application database, at False Accept Rate (*5) of 0.1%.

NEC's recognition algorithms, such as the "multiple face comparison method" (*6) and "perturbation space method" (*7), have achieved highly accurate results since they first became commercially available through the "NeoFace" (*8) products in 2002. These NeoFace technologies, which reliably detect individual characteristics under a wide range of conditions, including different lighting and viewpoints, were developed at NEC's Central Research Laboratories.

As crimes become more widespread and complex, biometrics technologies are increasingly expected to help prevent and cope with these crimes. NIST's benchmark tests are designed to accurately evaluate vendors' technologies for assisting both law enforcement and non-law enforcement operations in this area. US agencies such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Department of Justice; the FBI; Director of National Intelligence, 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-one 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 such diverse locations 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:

Results shown from the Multiple Biometric Evaluation 2010 do not constitute endorsement of any particular product by the U.S. Government.


*1: Multiple-Biometric Evaluation (MBE)

The new independent MBGC benchmark tests took place after approximately two years of promotion. The tests now include large scale one-to-many searches that reference face images stored on actual systems, in addition to technical MBGC challenges.
Global markets now tend to require systems that feature biometrics. The Still-Face Track took place between January and May, 2010.

*2: Multiple Biometric Grand Challenge (MBGC)

NIST sponsored national level project for multiple biometric modalities. The primary goal of the MBGC was 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. It took place in 2008-9.


The processing time was measured as 1:1.6 million for matching time, excluding the time to convert face image features.

*4: False Reject Rate (FRR)

FRR is the rate of rejecting actual/genuine faces.

*5: False Accept Rate (FAR)

FAR is the rate of accepting impostor faces.

*6: 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.

*7: Perturbation Space method

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

*8: NeoFace

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company's experience and global resources, NEC's advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society. For more information, visit NEC at

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NEC Press Contact (Japan):

Chris Shimizu
NEC Corporation

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