Japan firms offer high-tech security for 2020

Major electric appliance makers are focusing on security for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, applying their advanced sensor and information technologies to the development of security and anticrime devices as demand for both has increased recently following a series of terrorist incidents.

Panasonic Corp. has unveiled an entrance gate system with enhanced security functions for the athletes village.

The gate opens after authenticating entrants by comparing data in their ID cards when held over a reader with head shots registered beforehand. This function will prevent unauthorized people from entering the village even if they steal ID cards, the company said.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has developed a security camera that can send recorded footage wirelessly to tablet computers and other devices in remote places.

The security camera, equipped with a transmitter and a battery, can be moved to temporary venues used only for the Olympics, such as the marathon course, the company said.

After terrorists attacked a newspaper office in Paris in January and serial shootings occurred in Denmark in mid-February, electric appliance makers have applied their advanced technologies to security controls at airports to prevent terrorists from entering Japan.

For example, Hitachi, Ltd. has developed a sophisticated bomb detector that can find explosives hidden in hand luggage.

Tiny particles of explosives tend to stick to the surfaces of bags or other luggage used by terrorists to carry bombs. By blowing air on bags and suitcases on the conveyor belt, Hitachi's detector sucks in tiny particles from the air and analyzes them with a highly sensitive device to determine their constituents in seconds.

NEC Corp. is trying to market its advanced facial recognition system to immigration counters at airports. The system can authenticate travelers by comparing photographs of them taken at immigration counters with those stored in microchips built into their passports.

Experiments on facial recognition technology at Narita and Haneda airports were conducted by the Justice Ministry last summer, and the NEC system joined them.Speech