Facial recognition technology is taking off.
Some U.S. airports have been dabbling with the technology, primarily aimed at international travelers.
For example, JetBlue partnered with U.S. Customs for an integrated biometric self-boarding gate for international flights, Delta Air Lines added facial recognition for travelers heading through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and facial recognition was expanded at Orlando International Airport, making it the first U.S. airport to use the biometric technology on all international travelers, both arriving and departing.
Now Panasonic is stepping it up a notch by adding automated facial recognition gates at several airports in Japan.
The deployments in seven airports, including Tokyo Narita, will bring the total number of automated gates to 203 units across the country.
Travelers put their passport on a reader and the system takes it from there.
“Without the need for prior registration of biometric data, the system compares photographic data of the traveler's face in the IC chip embedded in the passport with an image taken at the facial recognition gate to verify identity,” states the Panasonic announcement.
About 80% of all Japanese travelers use Panasonic's facial recognition gates, according to the Ministry of Justice in Japan.
Panasonic says its high-performance facial recognition engine includes technology that can deal with appearance-altering variations such as aging, makeup, facial expression and image quality.
Facial recognition technology is improving enough to start large deployments, such as at airports. How the general public reacts is still to be determined.