Want to convince our politicians to use facial recognition? How about opening a biometric customer experience center near Capitol Hill?

That is exactly what the Nippon Electric Company or the NEC Corporation has created in Washington D.C.

NECs “Customer Experience Center” might be its actual name but their goal is to convince politicians that using facial recognition and biometric tracking is a good thing.

NECs Customer Experience Center, Washington, DC webpage makes no attempt to hide the fact that their Customer Experience Center is designed to help convince government officials that using facial recognition to identify everyone is OK.

“Join us and experience hands-on, comprehensive demonstrations of our award-winning, highly regarded, end-to-end biometrics solutions that promote the safety and preservation of public and national security. Go beyond mere displays and see our solutions and services in real-world simulated situations pertinent to government agencies, personnel and customers.”

NEC is laying it on thick, claiming facial recognition “promotes the safety and preservation of public security” and secures the “economic interests of the Federal Government and the United States.”

Because who doesn’t feel safe knowing Big Brother is watching you everywhere you go?

If you are like me and question how being surveilled and identified everywhere you go is a good thing, then you probably have some misgivings about NECs latest claims.

NECs Customer Experience Center is not done making wild assertions about the benefits of facial recognition. In fact, it is just getting started. NEC claims facial recognition has many benefits:

  • Check-in Kiosk: Facial recognition confirms passenger identification and flight with touch-screen check-in.
  • Departure Flight Screen: Traveler’s face is recognized and flight information highlighted.
  • Way-Finder: Face recognition matches flight and maps traveler to departure gate.
  • Departure E-gate: Facial recognition confirms identity and homeland security screening and permits flight boarding.
  • Infographic Dashboard Displays: Centralizes valuable metrics such as visitor counts, age, gender and traffic patterns.
  • Airport Security: Enhanced video analytics enable age/gender identification, people counting and crowd monitoring for specific individuals (watchlists).

At least NEC got two things right, facial recognition is good at “monitoring specific individuals” and good at creating secret “watchlists.”

NECs “Customer Experience Center” of America webpage reveals just how good facial recognition is at identifying people in hotels, music concerts, sporting events, retail stores and hospitals.

Facial recognition in hotels:

  • Guest Self Check-in/Check-out: Confirms reservation and identifies guest for easy access to on-site amenities.
  • Front Desk Console: Custom dashboards support personalized guest services.
  • Security / VIP Notifications: Identifies persons of concern; permits VIPs to be personally welcomed and preferences recalled.

Facial recognition in music concerts, sporting events:

  • Frictionless Front Gate: Entry for ticketed fans assist in crowd control and matches ‘Watch Lists’ individuals for added security.
  • Restricted Area Access: Automated access for authorized personnel only secured by facial recognition.

Facial recognition in retail stores:

  • Back Office Support: Situational analytics address loss prevention and deliver buyer intent and merchandising hotspots.
  • Infographic Dashboard Displays: Centralizes valuable metrics such as visitor counts, age, gender and traffic patterns.
  • Shoppers Experience: Enhanced video analytics enable personalized service, targeted ads, loyalty deals and unique discount opportunities.
  • Automated ‘Face Pay’: On-premises checkout is fast, frictionless and wallet-free.

Facial recognition in hospitals:

  • Biometric Check-in: Speeds patient access and secures the environment for patients, staff and visitors.
  • Telehealth: An integrated patient experience that allows direct access to medical professionals. Integrated Notifications: Mobilize staff to the exact point of need using facial recognition.
  • Staff Mobility: Enables caregivers to stay connected, share information or request immediate assistance.
  • Nurse Call: Brings together voice and messaging for anytime, anywhere availability.

Facial recognition in analytics and Intelligence:

  • Crowd Management: How individuals navigate and most frequently used specific locations. Proximity Engagement: Time duration and demographic interaction with areas, merchants and marketing promotions.
  • Security Oversight: When, where and by whom restricted areas are accessed.
  • VIP Handling: The frequency of important individuals and recall of their favored preferences.
  • Revenue Generation: What amenities and services are most used and which are the most lucrative.

NEC’s last sentence is perhaps the most revealing. If nothing else, NECs Customer Experience Centers have succeeded in teaching us two things:

One: government-run facial recognition is about tracking everyone and, Two: facial recognition is all about “revenue generation” or profits.

This article was originally published at MassPrivatel


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