Intel Core i5 CPUs Will Power Facial Recognition at 2020 Olympics

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockIntel today announced that its NEC Facial Recognition will power a tool called NeoFace at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The company said it will use a Core i5 processor (the generation wasn't mentioned) to scan the faces of an estimated 300,000 people at the stadium once the games kick off in July 2020.

NeoFace will be used to "identify over 300,000 people at the games, including athletes, volunteers, media and other staff for entry points of venues and accommodations," Intel said. The goal is to "prevent risks related to identification fraud," while also "reducing long wait times for ID checks."

It's early to tell, but this could be among the less controversial uses of facial recognition in public venues. The people Intel listed already have to be photographed to obtain ID badges. Using facial recognition to identify those people instead of manually checking those badges is mostly a matter of convenience.

Other uses of facial recognition can be far more invasive. (Or at least creepier.) Companies have demonstrated billboards that customize their appearance based on the people viewing them, for example, and activists have opposed the U.S. government's use of facial recognition.

That doesn't mean NeoFace can't be questioned, though. Intel didn't say how it plans to secure data processed by the tool, what happens to that data when the 2020 Summer Olympics end or to whom it will be available. We've reached out to the company for more details and will update if we get a response.

Intel's contributions to the 2020 Summer Olympics won't be limited to NeoFace. The company will also use Intel True VR to offer immersive versions of several events, its artificial intelligence composed the official "beat" for the games and its hardware will power Cisco's networking equipment at the show.