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No.1 (January, 2015) Special Issue on Solutions for Society - Creating a Safer and More Secure Society

Through the pursuit of our business activities, NEC seeks to provide society with 4 types of value: “Safety,” “Security,” “Efficiency” and “Equality.”
In order to safeguard individuals, cities and countries, NEC provides disaster prevention systems, cyber security and other Safety Solutions. With the aim of enabling citizens to live their lives with a sense of security, our contributions range from protecting vital facilities with surveillance and crime prevention to mitigation of traffic congestion. With the aim of utilizing our limited planetary resources with maximum efficiency, we endeavor to build a sustainable society through the optimized usage of energy, water and others. And with the goal of contributing to a society of equality, we strive to contribute to the improved efficiency of service providers ranging from the government to medical care providers.
In the domain of public service businesses, we provide these 4 values to a wide range of customers including the national government, local municipal offices and other administrative organizations; police and fire departments; educational institutions; medical institutions; and financial institutions. This special issue will focus on introducing the reader to our public solutions for the public sector.

Special Issue on Solutions for Society - Creating a Safer and More Secure Society

Remarks for Special Issue on Solutions for Society - Creating a Safer and More Secure Society

NISHIMURA Tomonori
Executive Vice President,
Head of the Public Business Unit


NEC’s Vision for Public Solutions

FUKUDA Shunsuke

Today society is undergoing dramatic change on a global scale. Environmental changes on a planetary scale are causing natural disasters that wreak devastating damage. Environmental destruction and increased urbanization fueled by the exploding global population are creating new challenges for society. Globalization of business and economic activities has contributed to a rise in cyber attacks with increasingly serious worldwide consequences. We face the challenge of solving a multitude of diverse issues while building and maintaining a society that promises safety and security for all. This article will provide an explanation of how we at NEC are endeavoring to innovatively integrate ICT, information and communication technology, to create new value, and undertaking global initiatives to provide this value through its pursuit of business in the domain of public solutions.



NEC’s Public Safety Initiative

Kunio Kondo, Boon Chin Tan

As cities grow and flourish, they also face increasingly complex challenges, ranging from the immediate needs of their citizens to long term security. To deal with immediate safety concerns, city planners need to have robust emergency preparedness schemes and the capability to manage both physical and virtual crimes. But cities also need to take the long term view and plan for renewable energy, green buildings and waste reduction. Technology can play a significant role in helping cities respond to security challenges. This paper describes the overview of NEC’s Public Safety solutions and our initiatives in delivering these solutions globally.



For a life of efficiency and equality

New Services Realized with the “My Number” System

KOMATSU Masami

The “My Number” system was established as a social infrastructure to help realize a fair and just society. All Japanese citizens will be advised of their individual numbers starting in October 2015, and from January 2016 onward this number will be used for social security, taxation and disaster management purposes. In the future, its use is expected to spread into the fields of healthcare, finance and private enterprises. The role that NEC will play encompasses not only the development of the necessary systems and networks, but also in helping to expand the usage of the number system. It will thereby contribute to the realization of a more efficient and convenient society. This paper introduces NEC’s activities with special emphasis on solutions for local governments, as well as on the potential for creating new services for the future that will be based on the “My Number” system.



“NEC Stadium Solutions” Played a Critical Role in Construction of the World Cup

FUJINAGA Seiji, Francisco Yoshihiro YAMAMOTO, Claudia Yokoo EGUTI
FUKUNAGA Kouichi, SAKAMOTO Shuusaku, KODA Takuya, KOBAYASHI Tetsuro

NEC played a critical role in the stadium construction projects for the World Cup, integrating and delivering ICT systems into a single optimized infrastructure. Using these projects examples, this paper discusses NEC’s expertise in contributing to integration and management on a global scale via our “Solutions for Society” business.



Deployment of Eye-Catching, Visually Appealing Flight Information Systems

KANAI Takeshi, AKAMATSU Manabu, HADA Yukitake
OKAMOTO Masashi, TARUKI Kazuya, HIRABARA Maho

As the world becomes ever more interconnected, emerging markets and urbanization are driving continuous growth in air traffic. With demand for air transportation soaring, airports are no longer mere facilities where passengers embark or disembark from aircraft. Instead, they now offer a wide range of amenities designed to appeal to passengers in transit, including entertainment services, bars, restaurants, and mini shopping malls. Given these trends, it is more important than ever to equip airports with display systems that can effectively deliver a variety of multimedia information to passengers in a visually appealing, eye-catching format. For many years, NEC has been developing information display systems that focus on flight information systems at airports. In this paper, we will examine those systems and discuss NEC’s commitment to continued development in this field.



NEC SDN Solutions Accelerate New Service Implementations for Railway Stations

MATSUMOTO Katsushi, NISHIYAMA Tomotaka, MATSUMOTO Yoshiyuki
NAGAI Hideki, YOKOYAMA Takumi

The complicated network layouts around stations may impose delays on the timely implementation of planned new services. East Japan Railway Company (JR-EAST) has been facing such an issue that has been resolved by using the “common station network” (JR-STnet) that employs an SDN solution. This strategy enables the timely updating or upgrading of a network without physically necessitating the construction of another network. This paper discusses NEC SDN Solutions introduced to the “common station network” at Tokyo station.



Cloud-Based Interpreting Service Using a Videoconference Telephone Compatible with Multiple Devices

IWAMA Eiji, YOSHII Seishiro

With Japan’s workforce shrinking in the face of the nation’s plunging birth rate and aging population, the Japanese government has undertaken a series of growth-oriented measures aimed at reversing this trend. Among the many initiatives recently announced as part of this growth strategy that includes the relaxation of visa requirements for foreigners visiting Japan in order to encourage the entry of migrant workers. As entry restrictions have eased, the lower yen exchange rate has also encouraged more foreigners to visit Japan, with the number of visitors topping 10 million in 2013 and even more expected in the future. However, the official government report reveals that the country is poorly prepared to accommodate the needs of foreign visitors, especially in terms of communication. To help overcome this condition, NEC has developed a cloud-based interpreting service that uses a videoconference telephone and can be accessed anywhere and at any time, wherever a tablet PC is available in an internet connected environment.



Easy-to-Use, Smartphone-Oriented Internet Banking, featuring Color Universal Design

MAESAKA Hirofumi

The internet banking service developed for use with smartphones by NEC is designed to promote ease of use when matching the properties of smartphones. This strategy is in order for smartphones to be of use to more types of people. For example, by taking color-blind people into consideration, the service has become the first smartphone-oriented service in Japan to acquire the Color Universal Design certification. By following the design process of the service that has been actually implemented, this paper introduces actual cases that apply the three design concepts - Color Universal Design, accessibility and user experience.



The World’s Best Face Recognition System to Achieve Safety and Security in Our Society

IMAOKA Hitoshi

Computerization and the consequent diffusion of network services have been increasing the need for biometrics year on year. Face recognition is a technology that imposes a low work load on users because it is based on natural authentication movements, such as viewing a camera. NEC Information and Media Processing Laboratories first joined the Facial Recognition Evaluation Program of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2009.Top ranking in recognition accuracy and search speed tests was awarded in the three consecutive years; 2009, 2010 and 2013. This paper describes the NEC face recognition technologies that achieved the top ranking performances, and discusses the results achieved in the NIST evaluation program of 2013.



Product Line-up for Face Recognition Solutions and its Social Applications

HAMADA Yasushi, SAKAMOTO Shizuo

Face recognition is one of biometric authentication technologies that can capture probe images without being noticed by targeted persons. As a result, it is expected to have a wider range of applications than other authentication technologies. This paper introduces NEC’s product line-up, featuring its high-performance face recognition technology together with its social applications. Also discussed are revisiting KIOSK systems in the Tachibana-dai Hospital, the criminal identification system of the Chicago Police Department and the Save the Memory Project, one of projects for supporting recoveries from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, conducted by Ricoh Company, Ltd.



For a safer and more secure life

Healthcare Challenge with ICT (Information and Communication Technologies)

SAITO Naokazu, TAKAHASHI Yasushi, KOZAKI Masami,
KUWAHARA Kazuyoshi, KUBO Masahiro, MIYAZAWA Kazuhide

As Japan is facing a hyper-aged society, Personal Health Records (PHRs), which patients collect and manage their own healthcare information, is currently attracting attention. NEC is advancing R&D to collect “symptom data,” “drug adherence data” and “continuously monitored blood pressure data” by directly and objectively accessing the source which are hard to gather sufficiently. With this technology, NEC will contribute to a reduction in the wasteful medical expenses caused by forgetting to take medicines, to the new drug development earlier with quality improvement of clinical trials, and to support higher accurate diagnoses and better medical care.



Information Governance

Paul Wang, Kang Wei Woo, Jens-Matthias Bohli
Joao Girao, Ghassan Karame, Wenting Li

Many of the challenges that city planners face require the cooperation of different government agencies. The scope of the problems requires the involvement of diverse groups -who may have conflicting practices or agendas. In order to launch a coordinated response, different arms of the government, with different security clearance, must contribute seamlessly, without the hindrance of such administrative overheads.
In NEC’s Inter-Agency Collaboration solution, the MAG1C (Multi-AGencies, 1 Concert) Suite, we provide a platform where resources and information owned by individual agencies can be shared without compromising the security model. In order to make this happen, a mechanism for a proper Information Governance is needed. This paper talks about the technologies used in our Information Governance Suite.
Minimally, it enables various agencies to access information they require, while protecting it using access rights. This means various agencies collaborating on a situation can have access to a set of data on a “need to know” basis. The value of Mag1c Authorization is the flexibility to apply many dimensions of control to cater to various operational demands.



Safety Awareness Network

Paul Wang, Kang Wei Woo, Kazuya Koyama
Salvatore Longo, Miquel Martin, Tobias Jacobs

There has been great interest in developing the capabilities of smart cities. Not only the use of advanced technologies, but how the plans are executed, and how they are received by the people they are supposed to help, is important. To help cities stay secure, NEC is at the forefront with its various sensors and analytics technologies.
It is also important to manage the scarce resource. NEC is a strong proponent of the smart pooling of resources, and has introduced technologies that enhance inter-agency collaboration, breaking down silos and strengthening teamwork. This paper talks about the Safety Awareness Network concept, providing a scalable platform for plugging in various analytic engines, and an information sharing mechanism.



Building a Safer City in Singapore

Paul Wang, Kang Wei Woo, See Kiat Koh

In January 2013, the Singapore government invited companies to participate in its Safe City Test Bed. A number of government agencies also participated in this test-bed to collaborate with the selected companies to validate the solutions that drive timely and accurate intelligence to the ground for better situation awareness of fast-developing situations.
A consortium led by NEC Asia Pacific was selected as one of the four consortia to develop such a system. Making use of an array of sensors and sense making through a unique fusion of information from the ground and cyberspace, NEC’s Multi-Agencies, 1 Concert (MAG1C) bus platform allows consortium partners’ analytic engines to achieve the desired goals and thus validated Singapore’s belief in innovative safe city solutions.



Securing the Future in Tigre

Jorge Vargas, Daniel Bergonzelli

A city just 32 km from the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires, the city of Tigre had experienced strong growth since the 1990s. As it did, the city’s planners looked to an advanced surveillance platform to bring improved security and safety to its residents and visitors. The city rolled a sophisticated video surveillance system with CCTV cameras and intelligent video analysis, and a command and control center in 2013. With its various video analysis solutions, NEC contributes in improving the security and safety in the city, by identifying possible threats and alerting the city officers in a timely manner.



New Congestion Estimation System Based On the “Crowd Behavior Analysis Technology”

MIYAZAKI Shinji, MIYANO Hiroyoshi, IKEDA Hiroo, OAMI Ryoma

There is a growing need to address various social issues by applying image recognition technologies in surveillance cameras, thereby contributing to the realization of a safer and more secure society.
In this paper we will introduce a crowd behavior analysis technology that utilizes NEC’s image recognition technology, and as a specific example of its implementation, a new congestion estimation system based on this technology.



Speech/Acoustic Analysis Technology - Its Application in Support of Public Solutions

KOSHINAKA Takafumi, HOSHUYAMA Osamu, ONISHI Yoshifumi
ISOTANI Ryosuke, TANI Masahiro

The advent of the age of big data has further raised interest in the need to extract useful information from the huge amount of data that accumulates in the course of our everyday lives. This may be facilitated by high speed and low cost data analysis solutions. These technologies that process the speech/acoustic information that forms the critical component of real-world information are also becoming more important for understanding the context of the analyzed data. They are expected to be employed for public solutions that will support the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. This paper introduces an innovative technology designed to extract meaningful information from speech/acoustic media and goes on to discuss its application in public solutions.



High-Sensitivity Camera for Round-the-Clock Surveillance

YATOKORO Masahiro, KAWAGUCHI Hiroaki, OKAWA Taizo
SENZAKI Kenta, TODA Masato, AKIYAMA Ikuo

With potential threats such as natural disasters, criminal activity and terrorism increasing in scale, destructiveness and cost, accurate and reliable video surveillance of critical infrastructure has never been more important. Advance detection of disasters and acquisition of evidence can be accomplished through the installation of surveillance, security, and disaster-monitoring cameras with higher resolution and image quality. Focusing on the latest high-sensitivity camera available from NEC, this paper discusses NEC’s component technologies for construction of surveillance systems that operate 24 hours a day, providing uninterrupted coverage day and night.



Imaging Solutions for Search & Rescue Operations

TSUNEMI Yoshihiro, ISHII Takakazu, MURATA Minoru

Over the past few years, Japan has once again been reminded of nature’s devastating power to inflict damage and destruction on people and property. In order to respond effectively to such disasters, accurate evaluation of the nature of the emergency, together with immediate implementation of targeted search and rescue operations, is critical. Statistically, the survival rate of victims trapped in collapsed buildings and other structures drops rapidly once 72 hours have elapsed from the time the disaster struck, literally making it a race against time. This paper discusses various imaging solutions offered by NEC that have been specifically designed to facilitate faster and more effective emergency response - from determining the scale and nature of the disaster to implementing search and rescue operations.



Emergency Mobile Radio Network based on Software-Defined Radio

TAKEUCHI Takashi, HONDA Atsushi, WATANABE Hideki
ETO Yasutaka, FUJITA Yoshitaka, YAGI Manabu

With growing awareness of natural disasters, border intrusions, and other crises, the demand for on-site information sharing has increased. However, conventional network systems entail some serious issues such as a variety of frequency bands, waveforms and protocols, and the use of base stations. These problems make it hard to communicate with each other when an emergency situation arises. NEC is rising to the challenge through improvements in on-site information sharing by virtue of development in Software-Defined Radio (SDR) and Ad-hoc network. This paper introduces Emergency Mobile Radio based on SDR and other SDR-based products.



For the security and safety of critical infrastructure

Centralized Information Control System Supporting Safe and Stable Shinkansen Transportation

IWASE Yoshihiro, SAIJOU Mitsuo

Since the opening of the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines, the Centralized Information Control (CIC) system has been supporting safe and stable transportation. In order to cope with the increased speeds and volume of data transmission, NEC has adopted some innovative solutions. These have been deployed by East Japan Railway Company as an updated version of the CIC system and are contributing to the efficient supervision and maintenance of the system as well as to transportation safety. This paper summarizes the upgraded CIC system and discusses its features.



Smart Water Management Technology with Intelligent Sensing and ICT for the Integrated Water Systems

KUMURA Takahiro, SUZUKI Naofumi, TAKAHASHI Masatake
TOMINAGA Shin, MORIOKA Sumio, Ivan Stoianov

The increasing demand for water arising from global population growth and urbanization in recent years is stressing the water supply to its limits. On the other hand, water infrastructure such as pipes has been deteriorating due to aging. Under these conditions, new technologies in the water infrastructure have been required to enable the distribution of high quality water to users in a safe and cost-effective manner, from the perspective of efficiently using our world’s precious water resources. The NEC Group is collaborating with Imperial College London to develop a Smart Water Management System based on ICT to operate the water infrastructure more efficiently. This article introduces our efforts.



A Water Leak Detection Service Based on Sensors and ICT Solutions

FUKUSHIMA Kei, MARUTA Yuuji, IZUMI Kazuo
ITO Yusuke, YOSHIZAWA Ayumi, TANAKA Toshiaki

Japanese infrastructures built in the high-growth period have recently been challenged by deterioration due to aging and various issues have occurred. As a result of the current water supply situation, NEC started a Water Leak Detection service in September 2014 for monitoring water pipe leaks on a permanent basis. This service detects water leaks in key underground water pipe infrastructures, and informs the waterworks departments of their precise locations. In contrast to traditional water leak detection procedures, with which human operators find water leaks by detecting sound, this service protects the city water supply by employing a leak monitoring technology instead of using auditory detection methods. Bearing in mind that water leakage is a global issue that has already grown to become a critical issue in many areas, this innovative leak monitoring solution is applicable worldwide. This paper introduces this technology and discusses features of the service and its future perspectives.



Harbor Monitoring Network System for Detecting Suspicious Objects Approaching Critical Facilities in Coastal Areas

NAKANO Masaki, SHIBA Hiroshi, KAWAHARA Akihiro
TABUCHI Toru, KOBAYASHI Minoru, YAGI Masahiro

The proliferation of weapons and the rise of terrorism have caused us to face various threats that were hitherto inconceivable. By focusing on sensor technologies, NEC’s Radio Application, Guidance and Electro-Optics Division is developing and proposing surveillance systems in the public safety domain to support the implementation of the “safe and secure society.” This paper introduces some of the imaging technologies, including the downsizable uncooled infrared (IR) sensor technology and one for an underwater surveillance system for monitoring suspicious underwater incursions that are hard to detect. We also discuss aspects of the integrated collaboration needed in applying these technologies as well as the types of major conceivable threats and the sensors that will deal with them.



Failure Sign Monitoring System for Large-scale Plants Applying System Invariant Analysis Technology (SIAT)

FUKUSHIMA Kei, KATO Masaya, HINO Isao
TERASAWA Satoshi, YAMAMOTO Takayuki, OOISHI Toshiyuki

The Failure Sign Monitoring System is an application for plant operation management of the System Invariant Analysis Technology (SIAT), NEC’s original big data technology. This system aims at the early and accurate detection of signs of equipment failure. In order to achieve this, the “normal status” of a plant is defined automatically by examining the huge amount of operations data, which includes the accumulated temperature and pressure data. “Unusual conditions” based on real-time comparative analysis of the latest operations data are also detected. NEC deployed the first operational system at the Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc.’s Shimane Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2 in July 2014.



Infrared Camera Image Processing Technology and Examples of Applications

TANJI Eijirou, OOKUBO Shuuichi

As the cost of infrared cameras comes down and their performance goes up, demand is surging and user requirements are becoming ever more diversified. As the market for infrared cameras continues to expand, these cameras are now being widely deployed as non-destructive inspection devices to ensure public safety and security. This paper discusses the image processing technology used to obtain the higher resolution required for non-destructive inspection and looks at different examples of infrared camera applications.



Cyber Security Factory - Our Commitment to Help Developing More Effective Methods of Coping with Today’s Increasingly Sophisticated Cyber Threat

YANO Yukiko, TAKAHASHI Hiroki, HIGUCHI Ken, ARIMATSU Tatsuhiko

In order to respond quickly and effectively to cyber attacks that are becoming more sophisticated, NEC established the “Cyber Security Factory,” a specialized unit dedicated to developing countermeasures against cyber attacks. Concentrating our technical resources, technologies, knowledge, and expertise to provide advanced and comprehensive cyber protection services in cooperation with Japanese security top vendors, the Factory became fully operational in June 2014. We will continue to develop services and technologies, expand cyber intelligence functions, and train security professionals to combat this ever-evolving threat.



Advanced technologies for a safer and more secure society

Technologies for Improving the Speed and Accuracy of Fingerprint Identification Systems in Support of Public Bodies

SHIMAHARA Tatsuya

In recent years, the technology of biometrics has been employed widely in the public domain, such as for citizen identification and election management solutions. NEC has long been conducting R&D for fingerprint matching technologies and for improving the speed and accuracy of large-scale solutions. This paper describes the proposed technological improvements that are required for the implementation of large-scale authentication solutions. It also discusses the strategies being adopted by NEC in support of further improvements. NEC’s world leading biometric authentication technologies have been cultivated over many years and are contributing to the creation of a safer and more secure society.



Compression Technologies Supporting Next Generation Broadcasting Services - Ultra-HD Digital Video Compression Technology and Real Time HEVC Compression Unit Corresponding to 4K HD Images

NAKATA Yasuhisa, CHONO Keiichi, MORIYOSHI Tatsuji
SHIMOFURE Kensuke, SUZUKI Noriaki, TOKUMITSU Kenta

Advances in image recording/playback device technologies have made it possible to provide next-generation broadcasting services that deliver ultra high definition video that surpasses terrestrial HD (High Definition) broadcasts. The ultra high definition digital video of 4K comprises a pixel count that is 8 times higher than HD, enabling it to convey a scene’s depth and presence more effectively to the viewer. However, since the amount of image data that must be processed is enormous, a highly efficient digital video compression technology becomes necessary for image transfer. And since the ultra high definition digital video will be used for sports and other live broadcasts as well, real-time compression is a necessity. In this paper we discuss NEC’s ultra high definition digital video compression technology and real-time HEVC compression unit corresponding to 4K, as well as our future activities.



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