Photo: Sergey Savostyanov / TASS
Three Russian IT-company, which develops algorithms for facial recognition allowed for testing in the United States. This allows them to now participate in tenders issued by U.S. government agencies
The official testing program in the category “face recognition” conducted by the National Institute of standards and technology under the Ministry of Commerce (NIST) approved three companies from Russia — NTechLab, and 3DiVi “VOCORD”. It follows from the interim report published by the Institute in mid-may.
Testing applications for participation which this year are taken from the 11 participants, continues, but the inclusion in the trial gives companies the opportunity to offer their services in public tenders of the United States and several other countries, follows from the rules of testing.
That checks NIST
The national Institute of standards and technology conducts annual voluntary certification of technology companies from around the world. Thus determines the best developers in various fields of science and technology, including in information technology, including biometric research, in particular face detection. Focuses on this specialized test, which began in February of this year, determines the quality and accuracy of the algorithm in four directions. In a first for identification purposes, a standard picture on a visa (in the future can be used in border and immigration control at airports), the second is a comparison and search for photos in the third searches for a specific person on the basis of the selfie (may be used by banks and retailers), the fourth — the choice of a specific person on a photo from the video.
The invitation of foreign tenders
For the domestic players participation in testing — possibility of entering new markets where biometric technologies are more in demand. The global market for face recognition, according to MarketsandMarkets, in 2016 amounted to $3.35 billion and by 2021 is expected to grow to $6,84 billion.
Accurate data on the volume of the Russian market of face recognition there, but the CEO of VisionLabs Alexander Khanin previously estimated amount of contracts on it no more than a few tens of millions of dollars.
In addition to participating in the testing of NIST in Russia there are two companies involved in the development of face recognition technology — Systems and group speech technology Center (RTC), said the investment analyst FRÍA Maxim Kalyuzhny. Representatives of the Systems and the MDGs have informed RBC that they are also preparing to submit their algorithms to NIST this year.
According to the results of the first wave of testing NIST the results will be presented to various government organizations. On the Institute’s website States that the estimates are intended to further technology use facial recognition to “improve the lives of American citizens and to improve the economy of the country.” Potential “customers” — U.S. law enforcement, security and intelligence.
“Testing NIST is one of the priorities for independent producers of identification systems, explains technical Director, 3DiVi Andrew Roller. — A tenders for the supply of such systems contain a mandatory requirement for participation. After the publication of the test results to us began to turn even more customers.”
According to the representative NTechLab, the company has shown high accuracy for all four scenarios. “NIST is currently the only independent testing, recognised worldwide, which can speak about the quality of the algorithms,” he says.
It is important to not participate
According to experts, the Russian players will struggle to compete on the world market. According to the President of the Foundation Sistema Venture Capital (one of the investors VisionLabs) Alexey Katkov, the Russian company “weak product”. “By itself, the facial recognition technology, no matter what precision it was not, is not something special. Important products based on such technologies that are in demand by customers,” he explains.
Head of division “security Technology” “SKOLKOVO” Anton Ivanov said that domestic companies are very strong in the technological component, so you have a chance to oust Asian players and possibly developers from the United States. However, he also warns that they will have to compete on volumes processed images, the learning rate of the algorithm and quality.
According to the Director of data Analytics Institute Deloitte Alexey Minin, the Russian market of facial recognition seriously lags behind both the growth rate and in absolute terms due to the economic situation. “The crisis has questioned the expectations of most companies on the market as a whole and share it, so all chose to focus on approaches to optimize costs, not the introduction of innovative technologies,” said Minin. He believes that the potential of the technology in Russia is quite large and is estimated at several hundred million dollars. Most commercial companies are not yet ready for the implementation of such systems, although interest is definitely there, sums up the Minin.
Recently, the President of Rostelecom Mikhail Oseevsky told that the company is developing a single national biometric platform which needs to integrate different applications for people identification. It is a global solution which will allow for identification with the use of various technologies. A full launch could take place after January 1, 2018, when it will come into force amendments to the Federal law authorizing the use of biometric identification in the financial sector.
As explained RBC representative of “Rostelecom” in Russia the development of biometric technologies is constrained by legislation, but more by anticipation of the beginning of digitalization of economy sectors in the country. “Today it is possible to use biometric technology in commercial purposes, but some operations, such as, for example, opening an account for a new customer, require certain amendments in the legislation”, — he explained. After the experimental period, Rostelecom intends to discuss with the government the possibilities of expanding the applications of the platform in Russia, said Oseyevsky.
“The demand for biometric solutions in Russia is actively growing in the financial, educational, medical industry and in the industry of sports and entertainment. Actively promote appropriate changes to current legislation, implementation of the project the implementation of the national biometric framework”, — said the representative of the MDGs. To market developed even more rapidly and requires active steps to introduce uniform biometric standards, he said.