NEC taking facial recognition to hospitality
27 June, 2013
category: Biometrics, Corporate
VIP guests checking into Universal Studio hotels in Tokyo can walk in, see themselves on a video monitor along with a green check mark and know they will be recognized when they arrive at the check-in counter.
Universal Studios Japan is one of the first hotels to deploy NEC’s facial recognition technology for the hospitality industry, says Allen Ganz, senior account development for the biometric division at NEC North America. Some 500,000 customers are enrolled in the Universal program and it has been positively received from guests. “If you see people’s expressions as they use it there’s a very visual reaction and a personal experience for them,” he explains.
NEC is marketing the facial recognition technology in the hospitality industry as a way to recognize high-value customers, Ganz says. The opt-in program would identify customers as they walked up to the front door and alert the front desk, concierge and other in the hotel that the guest arrived. That way the hotel staff can personally greet the customer and improve their stay.
The system is software based and can work with traditional IP or analog surveillance cameras, Ganz says. The software integrates with the hotel’s loyalty and customer relationship management system. “Ultimately, we’re not selling facial recognition, we’re selling enhanced customer experience that’s enable by face recognition,” he adds.
NEC is also marketing a facial detection system that would recognize the age and gender of a guest when they arrive so that digital signage could be tailored for that individual, Ganz says. For example, a 60-year-old man would receive a different ad than a 25-year-old woman.