Tokyo 2020: First Olympics to deploy facial recognition technology to increase security

Tokyo 2020 will be first Olympics to use facial recognition technology to increase security around all venues. For this, games organisers have partnered with Japanese telecommunications and information technology giant NEC to develop the first system of this kind to be implemented at an Olympics games.

Key Facts

The facial recognition technology will use IC chips within identification cards to automatically verify the identity of those entering over 40 sporting venues. The system will not be aimed at spectators but instead will concentrate on strengthening security and decreasing waiting times for athletes. This system will help to prevent fraudulent entry by people borrowing, stealing or faking an ID card. The technology takes only 0.3 seconds to match up face with pre-registered photo, making it world’s fastest such system. More than 40 facilities, including main stadium, International Broadcast Centre, Olympic village and so on, will have this system. More than 300,000 athletes and Games staff will have to submit photographs to database before Olympics start in July 2020.


Higher security is needed for people involved in Olympics as they enter important areas. Tokyo’s Olympic venues do not always have enough space for security check or even space to wait for security check. When events are happening, many people are expected to come. This is why we introduced this facial recognition. NEC already has tested this technology during Rio 2016 Olympics and already implemented in various locations, including airports. During demonstration, technology correctly had identified string of people, including those in wheelchairs and of varying heights.



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