What Does 3VR Face Recognition Korean Results Mean?

By: John Honovich, Published on May 06, 2009

Recently, results from a facial recognition test for the Korean National Police were reported [link no longer available] widely by 3VR of obtaining: "85-92 percent accuracy in recognizing and matching faces in a few crowded, highly-trafficked public train stations in Seoul."

The manufacturer claims these results are the best ever in any public video facial recognition study (compared to only 60% historically). One of the security magazine editors suggested that this was reason to "change the standard analytics copy

A Korean National Police spokesman praised the results, expressing interest and confidence in deploying facial recognition widely. It is always impressive to see end users expressing confidence in new surveillance technologies.

The Importance of Test Results

In the security industry, test results are key benchmarks for buyers and integrators in evaluating technologies. Improvements in test results can be important drivers for expanding the use of technologies. As such, accuracy and clarity in test results are essential in ensuring successful deployments.

In facial recognition test results, it is common that detailed reports are released and in-depth quantifications are offered. These tests are often administered by government agencies. (Read a facial recognition overview and examine the 2006 US government study [link no longer available] for good examples and background.)

The Korean National Police Test

Three material differences should be considered when comparing the Korean National Police Test to other previous publicly released studies:

  • While the test was sponsored by the Korean government, the tester, SK Networks, is a corporation that sells technology products, not an independent testing agency.
  • The tester, SK Networks, is marketing 3VR products (see SK Networks' marketing website and a 20 page marketing proposal for 3VR products, both dated 2008 [Note: the website has since been taken down]). 3VR reports that they were not aware of these documents and that they have asked SK Networks to remove them from the Internet.
  • No details were publicly provided on false error rates, system setup, or testing methodology. Small variances in any of these elements can result in significantly different accuracy statistics. 3VR reports that a 170 page test result document is available in Korean (NIA pub number NIA 111-RER-07113/2007.12) which they are in the process of translating but have not been given permission to share publicly.

Concerns about The Test

3VR's claim that this test result is the best ever raises concerns. First, since we cannot read the test results, it cannot be assessed how comparable the implementation and design of this test is to leading global scientific studies. Secondly, unlike other facial recognition tests conducted by independent testing agencies, SK Networks sells technology products and has a general interest in promoting the purchase and use of such products.

Setting appropriate expectations for advanced technology projects is crucial, especially when statistics are being cited. This is why the community depends on scientific, independent studies that can be peer reviewed by outside experts.

It is promising to hear end users interested in using facial recognition and pleased with their test results. However, comparable statistical claims require far higher scrutiny and clarity than provided yet for the Korean NPA test results.

Related Reports

Dahua, Hikvision, ZKTeco Face Mask Detection Shootout on Jun 19, 2020
Temperature tablets with face mask detection are one of the hottest trends in the current coronavirus driven market. But how well does face mask...
IronYun AI Analytics Tested on Feb 17, 2020
Taiwan / US startup IronYun has raised tens of millions for its "mission to be the leading Artificial Intelligence, big data video software as a...
Integrated IR Camera Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 30, 2020
The best and worst cameras tested in this IPVM shootout showed major differences in quality and performance. While many view IR as being a...
China Jaywalking Facial Recognition Guide on May 27, 2019
News reports touting the PRC's AI prowess often showcase facial recognition cameras being used to automatically catch and fine jaywalkers. In...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Axxon Face Search Tested on Oct 26, 2018
AxxonSoft has brought facial recognition to their Axxon Next VMS for free with the simply named Face Search, claiming to allow users to find...
Chinese Police Wearing Facial Recognition Are Here on Feb 06, 2018
This is a very interesting and highly atypical usage of facial recognition that the Chinese government touted this week [link no longer...
Lighthouse Deep Learning Camera Tested on Dec 07, 2017
A Silicon Valley startup, Lighthouse [link no longer available], with a Stanford PhD CTO, has released a deep learning AI camera with 3D sensors...
Disney Developing Re-Identification Analytics on Oct 27, 2017
When most people think of Disney, they probably think of cartoon characters or maybe innovative theme park rides and RFID bracelets. But Disney...
BBC Featured Deep Learning Face Recognition Analyzed (Digital Barriers) on Aug 30, 2017
The UK's largest broadcaster, BBC, recently featured Digital Barriers (also based in the UK) on a segment highlighting face recognition technology....

Most Recent Industry Reports

Verkada: "IPVM Should Never Be Your Source of News" on Jul 02, 2020
Verkada was unhappy with IPVM's recent coverage declaring that reading IPVM is 'not a good look' and that 'IPVM should never be your source of...
Vintra Presents FulcrumAI Face Recognition on Jul 02, 2020
Vintra presented its FulcrumAI face recognition and mask detection offering at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A...
Uniview Wrist Temperature Reader Tested on Jul 02, 2020
Uniview is promoting measuring wrist temperatures whereas most others are just offering forehead or inner canthus measurements. But how well does...
Dahua USA Admits Thermal Solutions "Qualify As Medical Devices" on Jul 02, 2020
Dahua USA has issued a press release admitting a controversial point in the industry but an obvious one to the US FDA, that the thermal temperature...
Access Control Online Show - July 2020 - With 40+ Manufacturers - Register Now on Jul 01, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our July 2020 Access Control Show. With 40+ companies presenting across 4 days, this is a unique opportunity to hear...
Hanwha Face Mask Detection Tested on Jul 01, 2020
Face mask detection or, more specifically lack-of-face-mask detection, is an expanding offering in the midst of coronavirus. Hanwha in partnership...
UK Government Says Fever Cameras "Unsuitable" on Jul 01, 2020
The UK government's medical device regulator, MHRA, told IPVM that fever-seeking thermal cameras are "unsuitable for this purpose" and recommends...
Camera Course Summer 2020 on Jun 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training...
Worst Over But Integrators Still Dealing With Coronavirus Problems (June Statistics) on Jun 30, 2020
While numbers of integrators very impacted by Coronavirus continue to drop, most are still moderately dealing with the pandemic's problems, June...