Expo 2020 Dubai: Russia pavilion uses facial recognition technology to control crowds

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Dubai - The system can also collect information about visit times and determine whether attendees are new or returning visitors


Anjana Sankar

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Published: Mon 11 Oct 2021, 4:58 PM

Last updated: Mon 11 Oct 2021, 5:00 PM

The Russia pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is using the latest facial recognition technology to control crowds at the pavilion and analyse visitors' gender and age to demonstrate how the video analytics can support smart cities of the future.

Dozens of cameras installed at the entrance of the pavilion, as well as in various halls, are connected to a central control room, where data on visitor numbers, including segmentation based on gender and age, are collected.

Installed by NtechLab, the technology partner of the pavilion, the system also collects information about visit times and determines whether attendees are new or returning visitors.

Andemir Bizhoev, head of sales Middle East, NtechLab, said the technology helps the pavilion manage queues and also understand their customers.

“It can notify employees when an excessively large number of people gather in one area. It will also provide information about queues in specific areas, such as what time they formed and how many people are in the queue. That way, you don’t need security guards to man the crowd,” Bizhoev said.

“For instance, the data will show me that the Russian pavilion had 179 unique visitors in the last hour, and 62 per cent were men and 38 per cent were women. Eighty-nine per cent of this were unique visitors,” he said, analysing the collected date for the day.

According to him, the technology can be used by retails firms and also by countries to plan smart cities of the future.

Bizhoev said NtechLab’s technology can be used by retailers to understand their target customers. “We are also showcasing the technology and how it can support smart cities of the future.”

He said the same facial recognition algorithm is integrated into the Moscow city video analytics system, allowing real-time, high-precision facial recognition in the video stream, which can be used to compare with databases of wanted and missing persons.

In 2020, over 5,000 crimes were solved in Moscow using a video analytics system with facial recognition technology, according to data by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.

The market for facial recognition access control technology is worth $3.8 billion and is expected to grow to $8.5 billion by 2025.

With governments investing in smart cities that rely on AI, Big Data and autonomous technologies, facial recognition technology is considered essential for offering safe and efficient digital solutions and services.

Dismissing concerns regarding breach of privacy, Bizhoev said the technology does not store facial images as data.

“We are just providing analytics so that they can make calculated business decisions based on the age or gender of the customers. For crowd-controlling, the system can be programmed to limit the number of people to 50 to 100 depending on the requirements," he said.


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Bizhoev added: “Such is the nature of our advanced video analytics platform that when working with face features, it is impossible to restore the original image of the face. This ensures compliance with personal data and privacy legislation. The systems can also be configured so data is not stored and only reports are saved. As a result, our technology is increasingly popular among clients in industries, such as retail, commercial real estate, entertainment and others."

He said NtechLab will host the first Russia-UAE video analytics event on November 23 on the sidelines of Expo to explore how the technology can support smart cities and retail giants.

Guests from both countries, including government representatives, will discuss the use of facial recognition for smart cities and private companies, including banks, shops and industrial enterprises.

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