NEC pushes new working style with touchless technologies

NEC Corp has started an experiment using its touch-less technologies to promote a new working style at its Tokyo headquarters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The experiment targeting 100,000 employees of NEC and its group companies is aimed at preventing the spread of infections as well as improving business and labor management practices at a time when an increasing number of people are teleworking.

Utilizing the company’s facial recognition and video analysis technologies, NEC employees participating in the project will be able to pass through office security gates without carrying their ID cards, even when wearing face masks.

NEC said employees can perform a range of tasks based on facial recognition, such as logging on to their personal computers, photocopying documents, and buying items from vending machines and in-house shops.

It said they will also be able to receive information on their PCs about the degree of congestion in restrooms and restaurants. As for employees not wearing face masks, they will be urged to do so via their smartphones if detected by cameras set up in the corridors of the head office.

Should someone at NEC come down with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, the company said it can swiftly identify those who were in close-contact settings with the patient by analyzing video footage.

For the experiment, NEC is required to have the consent of its employees, who need to be photographed by a smartphone app before they can start using the contactless service.