Situated in the Aerocity Hospitality District, in close proximity to New Delhi’s international airport, Lemon Tree Premier needed a top-end surveillance and security system. The sheer volume of daily visitors makes it tough for security personnel to keep tabs on everyone. Thus, the surveillance of the ten-storey, 81-room Lemon Tree Premier was recognised as a significant challenge in this regard. It needed a solution that helped identify faces throughout the property with high accuracy and auto-generated alerts.
Additionally, the hi-tech face recognition solution required the hotel to invest in upgrading the existing IT infrastructure. IT and security teams also had to rapidly move up the learning curve in order to suitably test, deploy and man the solution. According to Rahul Pandit, (now ex-) President & Executive Director, The Lemon Tree Hotel Company, “Being the third-largest hotel chain in India – by owned and operated rooms – safety and security of guests has always been paramount to us. At Lemon Tree Premier, Delhi Airport, our flagship hotel it was thus essential that we adopted a solution that merged innovative and path-breaking technology with accuracy and consistency but, most importantly, met the stringent guidelines defined by the Indian security agencies.”
What it does
NEC’s face recognition solution is designed to capture fast and accurate facial images from live CCTV cameras over a standard IP network and match the captured faces with a database at the backend in real time. The greatest advantage of the solution lies in the fact that the hotel staff need not disturb guests in order to verify their identity as it captures facial images from a distance.
Describing this in detail, a project head for NEC India said, “We were asked for a security system that would let the hotel staff identify a visitor even before he entered the hotel. This required us to engage deeply with the hotel security team to not just understand their exact requirements, but also conduct numerous Proofs of Concept (POCs) to demonstrate the value proposition of our face recognition solution”.
Against all odds
“The strength of NEC’s face recognition technology, NeoFace®, lies in its tolerance of poor quality images. With high tolerance for low quality, highly-compressed surveillance videos and images, including web images, the system has the capability to register and generate match results for the control of both ‘black-list’ and ‘white-list’ images using digital photographs. The captured face is compared to all facial templates in the database, irrespective of any attempts by the person to conceal identity via the usage of caps, hats, glasses or the slightest change in facial hair,” adds the project head.
This helps determine whether the person is blacklisted or a welcomed VIP customer for a particular facility.
Also, the hotel’s management is very interested in exploring the ‘white-list’ management that notifies the staff to the presence of a VIP customer and thus enables them to offer exclusive access or privileges to the guests as a part of enhanced customer service. As a result, every time the guest approaches the front desk, the staff will get a pop-up with the details of the guest, which will enable them to greet the customer by name and provide appropriate services.
The solution, once deployed, was tested for various use cases and potential challenges in recognising a facial image captured from a live CCTV camera and has delivered accurate results every time. The ability of the solution to respond in real-time is a great advantage as it ensures there is no time gap between identification of an individual and personalised reaction by the hotel staff. The technology is perfect for providing unobtrusive and seamless 360° security and it can easily be monitored remotely.
“We are currently evaluating its application for ‘white-list’ management of our VIP customers to provide a personalised experience and believe it will provide the additional differentiation in our customer service,” adds Pandit.