Replacing traditional paper documents, the “My Number” card reader and face ID solution streamlines ID verification for access to healthcare and other government services

Seattle — October 28, 2021 —SAFR® from RealNetworks, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNWK), the premier facial recognition platform for live video, has been selected as the facial recognition technology provider to support the Japanese government’s evolution from paper documents to digital “My Number” ID cards with a face-based authentication infrastructure. Part of a larger digital transformation, My Number cards represent a new digital identification system designed to streamline and expand access to government services for Japanese citizens and residents.

The solution will be rolled out to hundreds of thousands of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies over the next two to three years. The My Number Card Reader provides online confirmation that supports My Number insurance cards together with facial recognition authentication supplied by SAFR. Certified system integrator Nextware, developed the card reader integration using SAFR’s lightweight and highly accurate facial recognition algorithm. SAFR was chosen because of its speed, precision and extremely low bias with regard to skin tones, age, and gender.

“In developing a card reader with face recognition to be used for online authentication, we needed the best facial recognition system available,” comments Mr. Takayoshi Toyoda, President and CEO of Nextware Co., Ltd. (JASDAQ 4814). “SAFR enables high-precision face recognition with little variation in authentication accuracy across gender, age and race based on its deep learning of about 10 million images. The availability of a device-embedded development kit enabled rapid development of the product.”

The initial rollout of My Number cards provides access to Japan’s universal healthcare system by allowing citizens to confirm their identity and medical information with specialized card readers and facial recognition features. As part of the new initiative, residents will no longer require multiple ID cards to access different government services. My Number cards contain an IC chip that stores a digital photo of the user. The My Number Card Reader reads the photo information and authenticates the user utilizing SAFR facial recognition even if the user is wearing a mask.

The new initiative is expected to significantly reduce resources and costs associated with the administration of healthcare information while increasing convenience and access for all citizens and residents. The new digital system will also enable health providers to access accurate historical medical data reducing treatment time and avoiding costly errors.

“We are happy to announce that SAFR facial recognition technology has been chosen for this important digital transformation project by the Japanese government,” said Noriaki Takamura, VP, APAC, SAFR. “Many Facial Recognition companies were considered, but SAFR’s excellent performance, high speed, small technology footprint and focus on privacy made it the ideal choice for this application.”

About SAFR

SAFR from RealNetworks ( is a high-performance computer vision platform. With fast, accurate, low-bias face recognition and additional face- and person-based AI features, SAFR leverages the power of AI to enhance security and convenience for customers around the globe. Specializing in touchless secure access, real-time video surveillance, and digital identity authentication, SAFR is optimized to run on cameras or edge devices and can be deployed on premises, in the cloud, or with leading video management systems. SAFR is headquartered in Seattle, WA, USA with offices around the world.

© 2021 RealNetworks and SAFR are registered trademark of RealNetworks, Inc. All other trademarks, names of actual companies and products mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

For more information please contact:
North America
Véronique Froment or Doug Hansel
HighRez for SAFR
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