Singapore chooses face recognition software

The Singaporean government has adopted face-recognition software from Canadian company Imagis, software which is the tool for a general investigation of biometric border protection at New Zealand Customs.

The Singaporean government has adopted face-recognition software from Canadian company Imagis, software which is the tool for a general investigation of biometric border protection at New Zealand Customs.

Singapore’s government is exploring Imagis’ ID-2000 face recognition technology aiming to “enhance investigative capabilities across a number of agencies within the government”.

Imagis, the government suggests, will be useful not only in live face-recognition of travellers but also retrospectively, for still images and even “identikit” drawings.

Imagis is working in Singapore in collaboration with emBiosys Asia-Pacific, a Singapore biometrics-based systems integrator.

The announcement of the deal points to the use of Imagis by US state and county authorities and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and also claims New Zealand Customs as among the “140 installations of its software” worldwide.

Customs IT manager Peter Rosewarne has always insisted that Imagis is only being used as a test of the procedures that might surround biometric border protection, and this does not imply any commitment to the product.

New Zealand Customs is also closely observing an Australian border trial, SmartGate, which has gone live, some sources say prematurely, using German face-recognition software.

The Australian Customs Service reported in a January Qantas staff gazette that “approximately 80%” of the 6000 transactions that took place over a six-week trial period were successful.

Late last year ACS said it had been aiming to achieve a success rate in the high 90s before launching the technology.

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More about Australian Computer SocietyAustralian Customs & Border Protection ServiceQantas

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