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NEC Australia & NT Police facial recognition take out top innovation award

By Shannon Williams, Fri 2 Sep 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

NEC Australia together with the Northern Territory Police Force have been awarded Infrastructure and Platforms Innovation of the Year iAward at the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) 2016 iAwards.

The award recognises the Watch House project, a facial recognition solution designed, customised and implemented by NEC and the Northern Territory Police.

The solution identifies people being brought into custody in under 10 seconds, a massive improvement from the standard system that can take from minutes to hours to deliver results, according to the NT Police.

Sergeant Chris Brand from Northern Territory Police says the new platform is designed to help fight crime and protect the Northern Territory community. He says it is also enhancing the workplace for Watch House officers and staff.

“The solution does this as it has been designed to meet the exact workflow needs of the Northern Territory Police,” he says.

According to Brand, the technology has already saved lives and has reduced 108,000 minutes of police administration work through the efficiency of the new system, and has diminished 1800 hours of printing administration duties time for officers to redeploy their time back into the community to manage other matters.

"Our facial recognition technology platform is now rapidly identifying people brought into custody and making a significant contribution to how we conduct investigations and combat crime,” Brand says.

“Importantly, it’s also improving overall safety and freeing officers to spend more time in-field."

Brand says no other similar agency in Australia is using NeoFace, NEC’s facial recognition technology, as a single point solution. NeoFace accurately matches, against Police databases, any images from CCTV footage, body-worn video cameras or phones.

“This information-matching from the face alone is overcoming delays in clarifying details as people come into custody,” he says.

The system also assists in the identification of individuals with medical issues or who might pose a risk to themselves, the public, or police.

Mike Barber, chief operating officer at NEC Australia, says, "The development of the Watch House project was the result of an intense, collaborative effort between NEC and the Northern Territory Police.

“And its success involved extensive customisation and field testing of the NeoFace solution by our Melbourne-based R&D team,” he adds.

“We are proud to support the NT Police in its drive to achieve a safer, smarter workplace as they protect their community. And it’s very gratifying for this innovative platform to be recognised by the AIIA iAwards," says Barber.

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