MWC is using Canadian-made facial recognition tech to shorten line-ups

The world’s largest mobile technology conference, Mobile World Congress, has a fresh approach to line management this year, and it’s all thanks to Canadian company MEXIA Interactive.

Through the company’s MEXIA One division, the company will be providing mass facial recognition services that any of the over 108,000 conference-goers can opt into in order to gain entrance to faster-moving line-ups.

Those interested can enroll for the service when they register at the conference. When they do, MEXIA gains access to the image of themselves that they provided when signing up for MWC.

After that, customers can move through special fast lanes that have cameras installed above the entrance. The cameras scan faces and a light will flash green for those that match a previously supplied image or red for those that do not. If the red light flashes, a human gatekeeper will step in and resolve the situation.

Glenn Tinley, president of MEXIA, believes this is the first time such a solution has been produced at this scale for an event, though his company already offers facial recognition solutions to airports, security teams and entertainment venues.

He stated that deploying this sort of technology can be challenging for two main reasons: “The issue is that the facial recognition algorithm has to be extremely accurate and extremely fast to load.”

He also stated there is an exceedingly high bar for security when it comes to an event like MWC.

“There’s an absolute match of the person coming in against the image we have in our system. MWC is extremely careful about their level of security,” said Tinley.

The company secured the MWC deployment through its partnership with professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which it works with on multiple IoT solutions.

Those attending MWC can find out more about the opt-in biometric program here.

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