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NEC shows off prototype low-power, compact camera-style face-recognition sensor

Just how small can a face-recognition sensor get? Well, many manufacturers may have differing ideas about the extent of "small", but as far as NEC is concerned, such a sensor is not small enough until it has been shrunken down to the size where it is small enough to fit into a compact camera. Amazingly, this happens to be exactly what NEC has done with its new face-recognition sensor, which is currently in the prototype stage of development.

When it comes to sensor technology, bigger is always better, right? Well, not to NEC it is not: apparently, in its quest to deliver a facial-recognition sensor capable of estimating the age and genderof people that can be used in various appliances such as vending machines, Point-of-Sale machines and ATMs, the Japanese IT company has managed to outdo itself once again by producing a prototype that not only does the aforementioned tasks, but is also much smaller than the conventional face recognition sensors currently in use today.

According to a report posted by Japan Information Technology, the prototype sensor unveiled by NEC boasts a physical footprint that is 100 times smaller than the conventional systems that are currently in use today. And if that was not enough to get people interested, NEC has also revealed that its new sensor is capable of significantly low power draws, consuming roughly 2% of the power used to drive today's typical face-recognition sensors. NEC claims that the sensor was developed as a response to the need for processing age and gender-related data without having to utilize high-performance systems.

No official release date for the sensor has been released yet, although NEC has confirmed that it plans to commercialize the sensor before the year's end.

Source: Japan Information Technology

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