Singapore

ST Electronics’ facial recognition system might soon replace travel cards

ST Electronics
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There’s a high probability that you might not need your travel card at an MRT station. This implies, you won’t have to sweat over carrying them around or top up the EZ-link cards. A local firm – Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics has come up with an interesting solution which comprises the Interactive Traveller Terminal (ITT) and the Advance Fare Gate (AFG).

The AFG will identify commuters as they pass through fare gates. Andrew Mak, software manager of automatic fare-collection system at ST Electronics, was quoted saying that the software can process a passenger each second, i.e. up to 60 passengers every minute. This is way quicker than the current method of tapping in and out of fare gates, where the number narrows down to 40 commuters per minute. Commenting on this, he added,

The process of tapping the card takes time. Different people also walk through the gates at different speeds.

The passengers can pay through a post-paid method, akin to various telco subscribers, where they are charged on the basis of how much service they use. It caters to the technology-savvy commuters who embrace cashless payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards and the latest modes of mobile payment as well as traditional contactless Smart Card users.

The ITT, a one-stop interactive platform with full high definition video conferencing serves as a live helpdesk which allows commuters to seek assistance from customer service operators. ITT will allow commuters to access value-added services such as ticket purchase and card value top-ups.

The users can also chose not to use the facial recognition system and may avail the AFG’s radio-frequency identification capabilities. This will enable detection of travel cards while they are in bags or pockets of users. This implies, users won’t need to physical tap them on the gate readers.

Lee Fook Sun, Deputy CEO & President, Defence Business of ST Engineering and President of ST Electronics, in an official statement says,

The launch of the Interactive Traveller Terminal and the Advance Fare Gate is an indication of our ongoing efforts to deliver high quality, reliable and cost-effective solutions to a global customer base.

The system was developed and tested over a period of one year. It is ready to be deployed and is being showcased at the Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition 2016. Also, it has attracted attention of some local and overseas train operators, but ST Electronics chose not to reveal any names.

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