NEC develops program that can recognize faces

NEC Corp. said Thursday it has developed software that can analyze a person’s face to spot a particular individual and authenticate who it is.

The new product, called NeoFace, can differentiate between individual faces even if they are wearing sunglasses because it recognizes several features at the same time, such as the nose, eyes and mouth, NEC said.

Similar products only recognize portions of a face, such as the eyes, making it difficult to spot a particular person if he or she is wearing sunglasses or is facing sideways, it said.

The software takes about a second to recognize a person when it registers 1,000 people in its database, and the probability that the software will spot a wrong person is 1 percent, NEC said.

NEC said it plans to ship the product in December and is aiming for sales of 5,000 units worldwide in three years, anticipating widespread demand for use in security work and finding stray children.

The product will cost at least 2.5 million yen, NEC said.