Hitting the Customer Journey Fairway with NEC I:Delight

It was exciting to join Dan Shube on the “Golf and Travel Show” to talk about the latest innovations making travel safer and airport security more effortless.

Most golfers enjoy traveling to take on new challenges at golf courses in the U.S. and around the world. Unfortunately, air travel has been chaotic and challenging the past couple of years, which has impacted these avid golfers’ ability to enjoy their favorite activity.

Safe and seamless air travel

i:DelightDan and I discussed advancements in Digital ID management, biometric technology and touchless transactions to make traveling safe and seamless.

Instead of fumbling with bags, tickets and passports, NEC’s biometrics and Digital ID management elevates the customer experience from curb-to-gate. Frequent flyers can eliminate paper boarding passes, as well as reduce wait times at airport security using our opt-in advanced face recognition technology.

NEC is continuously upgrading the biometric algorithm to meet health and safety guidelines, including face recognition while wearing masks. On the show, we shared a laugh about the innovations enhancing the customer journey and leaving the tech from “Star Trek” and “The Jetsons” in the dust. So, while air travel may never be “fun”, we are working hard to make it as stress free as possible.

Specifically, we talked about NEC I:Delight, a complete Digital ID management platform that enables touchless traveler verification and secure transactions. Using I:Delight, airports and airlines increase:

  • Privacy controlled by passengers who opt-in and choose how their Digital IDs are used.
  • Safety for travelers and employees, verifying identity with face masks in place.
  • Efficiency enabled by processing passengers faster with fewer touches and interactions.
  • Interoperability with existing technologies at airports, as well as iOS and Android apps.
  • Scalability to expand capabilities, including retail and restaurant purchases at the airport to car rentals and hotel check-in.

Listen to our conversation on the Golf & Travel Show here.

Learn more about the ways NEC is reshaping the aviation experience with a seamless, safer customer journey.

See how Digital IDs can work for you. Take a guided virtual tour and discover the frictionless, touchless capabilities of I:Delight by visiting our Virtual Customer Experience Center.

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Bold New Ideas Take Flight at FTE Global 2021

For the last several years, the air travel industry has been focused on creating a seamless “curb-to-gate” passenger experience at the airport. To that end, many stakeholders in aviation have had visions of touchless biometric technology that allows a customer to drop a bag at the curb, check-in, pass security and board the plane without ever having to use a paper document.

This year, at the Future Travel Experience | Redefining the air passenger experience conference and exhibition, we celebrated the future everyone has been talking about because it has arrived. Held at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, December 7 – 9, we were energized to meet our colleagues from around the world face-to-face at the show. During our time with experts in aviation, we discussed strategies to transform the passenger experience and underscored our collaborative efforts to face industry disruptions with advanced identity management solutions.

AIRPORT OF THE FUTURE IS NOW

Following the show theme, “New Approaches for a New World,” we introduced the NEC Biometrics & Digital Identity Summit that featured a joint keynote, case studies and a panel discussion.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) participated in a joint keynote session that talked extensively about the collaborative work that TSA and CBP did to cut through bureaucratic “red tape” and get technology into the field as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.

Our case study spotlighted the partnership with Star Alliance, Lufthansa and SITA to uncover how Star Alliance and NEC’s biometric identification platform improved the customer experience for frequent flyers at airports around the world. Click here to see the entire panel discussion.

The panel discussion included key representatives from Delta, TSA, Mastercard, Port of Seattle and ID2020. It revealed how to successfully collaborate, facilitate and scale new digital identity and biometric efforts on a global level.

Finally, the summit concluded with a virtual presentation from Japan Airlines. They shared insight into how facial recognition technology is powering experiences at airports and in stadiums in Asia.

See how NEC I:Delight Enables Travelers to Use a Digital ID to Personalize Their Travel Experience.

NEW APPROACHES FOR A NEW WORLD

On the show floor, the NEC I:Delight platform was highlighted with the help of our partners at SITA, Tascent and Smith Detection. To create a seamless journey throughout our booth, we showcased the NEC I:Delight platform running on SITA Smart Path. By demonstrating this technology, we were able to take attendees through a seamless journey on the show floor, highlighting the simplicity and security of managing their Digital ID. Using this application, travelers can expect shorter lines, faster identification, touchless services and a personalized customer experience during their journey.

Check out our photo gallery and learn more about the ways NEC and our partners take customer experience to new heights with aviation innovation on one platform.

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NEC Places First for Accuracy in NIST Testing, Again

  • #1 in Mugshot Identification
  • #1 in Border Security Identification

In an industry fiercely bent towards competition and innovation, we are proud to share that NEC’s facial recognition algorithm again placed first for accuracy in two key categories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) most recent Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) 1:N Identification.

This builds on two decades of success in which NEC has consistently outperformed the competition in terms of both accuracy and speed, even when faced with demographic differentials like race and sex, or when subjects are wearing facemasks for coronavirus.

The new NIST results published August 5, 2021, showed NEC’s algorithm outperformed the entire field of 291 entries submitted from all over the world on both mugshot identification and border security identification. Our NEC-004 algorithm demonstrated False Negative Identification Rate (FNIR) of just 0.0022 and 0.0345 at a False Positive Rate (FPIR) of 0.003, respectively.

These are the two most important categories for many NEC customers who rely on our technology for law enforcement, immigration, border security, access control for passengers boarding airplanes, for service members at military installations, for employees at government facilities, as well as for visitors of public venues like theme parks and stadiums.

The results from this week were an update to the NIST Interagency report 8271 originally published in September 2019. The major finding of that report was that massive gains in face recognition accuracy had been achieved in the years 2013 to 2018, and these far exceed improvements made in the prior period, 2010 to 2013. Here again today we can see the progress continues for NEC and it reconfirms the ability of face recognition technology to improve the user experience and serve as an effective tool for enhancing security for a wide variety of applications.

Over the last decade, our algorithms have consistently placed at the top of NIST’s ranking on a number of factors primarily due to our massive investments in research and a sharp focus on the needs of our customers. Ensuring algorithms are accurate is essential to helping our customers fulfill their important missions and building public trust in the use of these technologies.

In particular, assessing algorithms’ accuracy across demographic groups is a key component of efforts to mitigate the risk of bias and discrimination. We appreciate NIST’s work in this area and are proud that, when NIST evaluated face recognition algorithms’ performance across demographic groups in 2019, it found that NEC’s algorithm showed “undetectable” false positive error rate differentials across demographic groups based on race and sex.

In the era of COVID-19, NEC also demonstrated the ability to verify identity on subjects even when wearing facemasks. In testing performed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at its “S&T Rally” conducted last year in Maryland, the NEC algorithms again outperformed all competition in several key categories. In fact, we showed a True Identification Rate of 98.7 percent in scenarios that simulated a boarding gate at an airport with passengers wearing masks.

Throughout many years of NIST testing, the U.S. government has regularly benchmarked the entire facial recognition algorithm market against NEC’s industry-leading results. In 2019, NIST found that 19 companies had caught up to the NEC 2013 algorithm in overall accuracy. In 2020, a handful of companies were able to produce algorithms that met or exceeded NEC’s past performance. Here again NEC is setting a higher bar.

We are especially proud to bring home first place honors in these evaluations because it affirms our mission to serve as a trusted partner to our country’s public servants.

To read more, you can access the full NIST report, linked here.

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Take a journey with us by accessing our 360 degree photo realistic tour in simulated real-world environments in Aviation, Federal Government, Healthcare and Retail.

NEC, Star Alliance and SITA Team Up to Accelerate Seamless, Touchless Travel

NEC Corporation of America, Star Alliance and SITA are accelerating the future of touchless travel through a recent partnership agreement. Coming soon, loyalty customers of Star Alliance member airlines will be able to use their unique Digital ID across participating airlines and airports.

Star Alliance Biometrics, powered by NEC I:Delight, is an opt-in service that allows loyalty customers to create a unique Digital ID to unlock a personalized, touchless travel experience from reservation to destination. By connecting Star Alliance Biometrics to SITA’s Smart Path solution, the platform will be able to use SITA’s shared airport infrastructure already available in more than 460 airports.

NEC I:Delight platform, which is currently in use by Star Alliance member airlines at several airports in Europe, can be easily integrated with SITA Smart Path. The opt-in solution can quickly identify passengers with a high degree of accuracy, even when face masks or PPE are present.

Interested in learning more about this teaming agreement? You can read the full press release here.

You can also get a first-hand look into how Star Alliance Biometrics, powered by NEC I:Delight, is transforming the customer experience by watching this short video.

For more information about NEC’s aviation solutions, visit necam.com/aviation or complete the form below to schedule a virtual tour to see how we are refining the travel experience.

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Take a journey with us by accessing our 360 degree photo realistic tour in simulated real-world environments in Aviation, Federal Government, Healthcare and Retail.

Three Principals for Effective Hybrid Communications and Collaboration

Succeed with the New Hybrid Work Model

It’s been called everything from the “biggest shift to how we work in our generation” to “the new norm in 2021,” and many are sure it is here to stay. One thing is certain ― preparing for the new era is a business imperative.

One aspect of hybrid work is certain—the need for communication and collaboration tools that support continued productivity and business operations. Over 70% of executives expect to raise spending in this area, according to the PWC study. But along with the technology, you’ll need a vision for how your business’s hybrid work model supports communications and collaboration.

What is a Hybrid Work Model?

Let’s first define and examine the component parts of a hybrid work model—one that supports any and all combinations of worker types while ensuring no lapse in communication and collaboration either internally or with customers.

Your company’s breakdown of worker types will be different from that of companies in other industries, and the mix of worker types will constantly shift. Employees with shorter tenures may be required to start as in-office workers, while experienced veterans may find Work-From-Home (WFH) makes them more productive. As employees change roles, their work location may shift, and there is no doubt that worker types will evolve along with it.

Worker types could include:

  • In-Office Workers
  • Employees who choose to work at a remote location (such as coffee shop or library)
  • Work-From-Home Employees
  • Workers who are part time in the office and part time at home
  • Workers in Transit (working on the go)

The Keys to Hybrid Success

Designing a communications and collaboration solution for your hybrid work model shouldn’t be difficult, and won’t be if you keep three principals at the forefront: Flexibility, Business at the Center of All Communications, and Crazy Simple Communications and on-line meeting tools.

Flexibility

A hybrid work model requires your solution to stretch and expand, ebb and flow as the model takes shape and changes. Hybrid work isn’t a static concept—by nature it implies that where people work will change over time, so your communications solution has to embody elasticity.

Employees should be able to quickly and seamlessly collaborate with each other regardless of their physical location. Elastic communications technology doesn’t care about “where.” Location of either employee or customer is a nonissue. And it needs to be a central feature of your hybrid work model. Elastic communications and contact center solutions also support the unpredictability of a hybrid work model—when employees decide to move to a rural location where your business doesn’t have an office, customers and employees can still reach that employee without awareness of the move. A cloud-based contact center and unified communications allows your business to engage and support customers, no matter where agents or employees may be.

Keep Business At The Center

When your hybrid work model communications technology puts your business at the center of all communications and collaboration, customers reach you the same way they always have. Your business phone number doesn’t change, nor do your employees’ business phone numbers. Employees should never have to share personal phone numbers, because their business phone travels wherever they go. And all communications should be unified in the cloud such that you or your IT leader can measure, secure, and manage them regardless of location.

Management capabilities should let you add phone lines for unexpected growth or remove them when no longer needed. You should enjoy one console to manage permissions, set up hunt groups, set up auto attendants, and more, regardless of employee and customer locations.

Crazy Simple Communications & On-Line Meeting Tools

Let’s illustrate a bit further what we mean by “crazy simple,” at least for your communications and collaboration technology. One suite of tools should deliver all that you need—a business phone system with desktop and mobile applications, the ability to conduct virtual meetings with video, webinar, contact center solutions, security, chat capability, even secure and easy file storage and productivity applications. A central, single management platform and a service record that makes deployment easy. Uptime so good, so reliable, that the system rarely goes down. One system that delivers on whatever communications and collaboration need your employees may have, wherever they are.

NEC UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES – Designed for Hybrid Working

Flexible, business-centric, simple communications and collaboration technology is what NEC’s UNIVERGE BLUE offers. A cloud-based unified communications and collaboration platform, UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT enables users to be more productive and share ideas and content though a single system, regardless of location. CONNECT seamlessly integrates all your communication tools—desktop and mobile phones and computers voice; video conferencing, on-line webinars, and chat; secure file sharing, and contact center— into one easily manageable solution oriented around your hybrid work model and its employee’s needs and workstyles.

Are you ready for the world of hybrid work? Don’t waste time and money on servers, app install, and security patches. With NEC’s cloud-based business productivity suite, your business is your focus, not your IT. UNIVERGE BLUE CLOUD SERVICES can help define your hybrid work model and ensure your employees have the tools they need to work better, from wherever they might be.

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