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Biometric bonanza

February, 2019    |  What’s new at MWC19 Barcelona? @ Mobile World Daily   |    By Diana Goovaerts

Entry into MWC19 will be a BREEZ! Following a trial programme last year, MWC has partnered with Comba Telecom to massively expand the availability of facial recognition technology for frictionless and secure venue access.

The service, called BREEZ, is being offered as an opt-in option to all registered attendees who upload a suitable profile photo, and will allow venue entry without the need to show a passport or EU National ID each time. Nearly 70 per cent of event registrants have already enrolled to use BREEZ. 

Marie Ma, GM of Enterprise Business and senior director of technical marketing solutions at Comba Telecom, said biometric options such as face scanning reduce wait times compared to traditional access options such as cards and passcodes. Verification with facial recognition only takes an average of one second to process, she added.

Ma also noted biometric options offer increased security:

“Unlike access cards, passcodes or other traditional access control methodologies, facial recognition technology verifies visitors using their facial features transformed into encoded unique datasets which are not easily replicated or stolen. Hence, it provides a more secure authentication method,” she said.

BREEZ uses Comba’s ScanViS computer vision solution, which is built on a facial recognition algorithm trained using over 100 million faces through deep learning, and matches more than 100 feature points to identify a visitor’s face from a database. Using 3D modelling technology which can detect live facial features, Ma said the system prevents fraudulent access attempts using photos of another person.

Privacy is also a key feature of Comba’s system. ScanViS detects and validates the feature points on a face for verification only. It does not collect or store images during visitor verification, and detected facial points are immediately destroyed after authentication is completed.

Additionally, Ma noted all venue entry and exit logs, as well as the database of registered users, are encrypted and stored locally on a server isolated from the public network to protect against hacking.

BREEZ lanes will be available at all MWC (Gran Via) and 4YFN (Montjuic) access points as well as at the Ministerial Programme. However, MWC policy still requires all attendees to wear a printed badge at all times.