Face forward: The future of security in Malaysia

  • The cameras are now offline; future versions will include live-streaming, real-time face recognition
  • The database of persons of interest is supplied by the Royal Malaysia Police


Face forward: The future of security in Malaysia


FOR the first time, security personnel in Malaysia will be using facial recognition technology in their fight against crime. This is the claim made by Auxiliary Force Sdn Bhd (AFSB) in collaboration with Yitu Technology (Yitu), and will be used to identify persons of interest with the help of Artificial Intelligence.

It can be implemented either using a CCTV feed at their Balai and Pondok Polis Bantuan (Auxiliary Police outposts) , or with the help of one of 67 body-worn cameras supplied in conjunction with the project. AFSB have used body-worn cameras since April 2017, but they upgraded the product to not only take advantage of the facial recognition system, but because of additional features such as infra red and live streaming.

For the time being, the body-worn cameras are offline and the videos to be analysed will need to be downloaded back at the station, but there are plans to improve them.

"AFSB is committed to bring constant innovation and forward thinking to the security landscape in Malaysia," said Auxiliary Force Sdn Bhd CEO Rosmadi Ghazali.

"Looking ahead, AFSB also intends to expand the capabilities of our body-worn camera system to include real-time facial recognition and instant alerts to the presence of persons of interest from criminal watch lists."

All the data used to match faces will be supplied by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and it will be separate from their live system. AFSB will not be developing their own database or use data from any other source.

If in the course of duty a match is found, the AFSB's auxiliary policemen will alert the PDRM and assist in the arrest process. It is hoped that when real-time facial recognition comes online, the body cams can also be used during special events when vigilant monitoring is paramount and in the event of an alert, backup will be rapidly deployed.

For the moment, possible deployment locations include a diverse range of venues, including Oasis Damasara, a school in Dutamas, several mosques in Shah Alam and the MIC headquarters.

Face forward: The future of security in MalaysiaYitu’s face recognition technology

The system uses Yitu's award-winning facial recognition technology and AFSB is working in collaboration with Build Technology Converge, its system integration partner in Malaysia, to deploy the system.

Mark Chee, Yitu's Business Director for South East Asia, Hong Kong and Macau, is optimistic that this project will demonstrate his company's technological prowess. "We hope they will be the first mover and then show them this innovative way of doing things," he explained.

The business advantage that Yitu's face recognition technology gives is speed, with Chee touting an ability to match with a database of 1.8 billion faces in less than three seconds. 

"People get a bit impatient these days, everything must be quick and fast!" he pointed out. More seriously, he said some competing systems take up to a minute to conduct their face matching.

When asked about false negatives, Chee said that the system can see through rudimentary disguises. "If you don a pair of sunglasses, it will get you," he insisted. "If you grow a moustache it will (also) get you."

The system deployed at AFSB is a standalone, but Yitu will frequently supply updates to the algorithm. "In China (we) will continue to curate and train the system there with images," he said, adding that up to 70 million new images are added each day to the Internet, which the system taps to learn and improve using artificial intelligence. "It has reached a stage it can do it by itself."

Opportunities for face recognition technology in Malaysia

Chee added that since opening the regional office last September, Yitu has explored several markets for opportunities, including casinos, banks and shopping malls. The obvious implementation is to improve security, but Chee said that the technology can also be used to highlight a store's VIP customers as they walk through the door, or monitor their browsing patterns as they walk around the store.

It is apparent that the project at AFSB is an attempt by Yitu and its partners to make a mark in the Malaysian market. A representative from AFSB said the system was priced at around RM250,000, but also that most of the costs for this phase had been absorbed by the dealer or vendor.

"We really see Malaysia as quite a good market," concluded Chee.

YITU Technology is exhibiting its products and solutions at National Security Asia (NATSEC) 2018 in Kuala Lumpur (from 16 to 19 April 2018).


Related stories:

China’s Yitu to establish R&D Hub in Singapore

AirAsia launches Airport Facial Recognition System

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