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eGov Watch: What does Face Recognition System in Surat mean?

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Equipped with NEC’s advanced NeoFace technology, Surat City Police becomes the first police department in India to have a Picture Intelligence Unit (PIU)

Surat City Police recently deployed face recognition software for surveillance and investigation. The solutions were provided by NEC India and Innovative Telecom & Softwares. Surat City Police opted for NEC’s NeoFace Watch for Live CCTV surveillance and NeoFace Reveal for forensic criminal investigation.
With this deployment, the diamond capital of India became the first city in India to have automatic surveillance with facial recognition system, number plate recognition and vehicle speed violation system. Rashi Varshney of Express Computer digged into the details of the project to find out how the whole deployment going to help the Surat’s police and its citizens?

Surat Safe City project and NEC’s FRS

Surat City will be the first City Surveillance project in India to introduce advanced analytics tools like Facial Recognition for criminal identification & investigation, making Surat Police the first Police department in India to use such tools currently used by the state police in US and other countries.

As a part of the Surat Safe City project, Surat Police has deployed a Picture Intelligence Unit (PIU) in their command centre. PIU refers to intelligent, video based analytics solutions deployed at the command and control centre of Surat Police. One of the most critical component of the PIU is face recognition system, which takes the video feeds from the CCTV cameras deployed at important locations in the city and match it with the existing database of Police. NEC’s Neo Face face recognition technology deployed in Surat, including NeoFace Watch works with the live CCTV cameras in the city and NeoFace Reveal for forensic criminal investigation using recorded videos, still face images and sketches of suspects.  NEC’s Face Recognition System and Forensic Criminal Investigation System will offer Surat police department the real-time intelligence to ensure the safety for the citizens.

This deployment was a part of Safe City project initiative in Gujarat. The main objective of the deployment is to create a safer, quick system which will help prevent and resolve crimes with minimal time and human intervention.

The technology

For any face recognition system, product subject face image quality is very important.  “It can even work with very poor quality images, video footages, sketches and scanned image,” said Koichiro Koide, MD, NEC India.

He further said that the system may also detect criminals even after plastic surgery. It also has powerful image enhancement tools such as to make a side face to a frontal face.

How does the surveillance system work?

NEC’s Facial Recognition Solution (FRS) is a high performance face recognition biometric technology which intelligently matches faces appearing on the surveillance cameras to the connected database in real time and generate alerts if a subject face of person of interest is matched. When deployed and connected with CCTV camera network across the city for criminal investigation, the technology alerts the police real time for any suspicious activity/criminal spotted in the surveillance zone. “This helps in speedy action by the police and hence leads to a faster turnaround time for investigating criminal cases,” said Koide.

How it will work in Surat?

Surat City police is the first city police in India to have deployed such an advanced technology for criminal and forensic investigation. According to Surat City Police, existing criminal database will be fed to NEC FRS system. The police department has developed a Picture Intelligence Unit (PIU) of CCTV cameras installed across the city which is further connected to an existing criminal database. The PIU technology has been developed by Japan based NEC Corporation and is equipped with technologies like Facial Recognition Solution, Automatic Number Plate Recognition System and Vehicle Speed Violation System.

NEC powered FRS technology is connected with the criminals face database and the CCTV cameras deployed at critical point of entry and exit of the city. The Live camera feeds are processed at the command and control centre and whenever a match is found, the system will send immediate alerts with the matched details to application dashboard. Optionally, the alerts would be sent to police official’s mobile phones for appropriate action. The system will empower the Police department for speedy action when required with highly accurate, real time intelligence.

The Surat Police can, identify a criminal in crowd even if the person is disguised or has undergone plastic surgery; detect vehicles used in criminal activities and get their details within no time; and penalize the vehicles violating the traffic rules, speed limit etc.

More states to go ‘Safe’

Koide told that NEC is also working closely with other state government authorities as a part of their safe city initiatives in the country. “NEC recently signed a MoU with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka governments to execute safe city initiatives in the two states. In Andhra Pradesh, NEC will work in collaboration with APTS in designing and implementing the Safe City Project at Tirupati, India,” he elaborated.

Koide also told that in Karnataka, NEC will work in collaboration with Keonics safe and smart City and Cybersecurity collaboration in Karnataka and pan-India. Globally the solution has been successfully deployed in more than 20 countries such as US and Brazil to name a few. NEC has also recently signed MoUs for safe city projects with Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka.


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