Vietnam engineers develop state-of-the-art face recognition technology

/ 11:32 AM April 21, 2020

VinAI is working with Vsmart to implement identification technology on the phone, allowing users to use facial recognition to unlock their devices easily. Photo: VSmart via Viet Nam News/Asia News Network

HANOI — Smartphone users will soon be able to use facial recognition to unlock their devices – without removing their face masks.

Brand new, state-of-the-art technology has been developed by engineers in Viet Nam that will allow phone cameras to identify users even if the faces are partially covered.


As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe, many countries are following Vietnam’s lead and insisting people wear face masks in public to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Now, thanks to experts at Vingroup, people can unlock their phones without having to remove their masks, potentially stopping the spread of the disease.


The VinAI system has been developed by experts of the Institute for research and application of optimization (VinOptima).

It can successfully recognize people by analyzing just part of their face.

Other cellphone companies are yet to successfully launch the facial recognition technology with masks on their commercial products.

VinAI Research say they are willing to share their knowledge free of charge to the rest of the world to help combat the killer disease.

Dr. Bui Hai Hung, director of VinAI Research, said: “When users wear masks, the accuracy of current facial recognition technology can be reduced by more than 50 per cent.

“Therefore, smartphones have difficulty in recognizing the faces of people in masks. Masks are the top essential item in the COVID-19 pandemic, so facing the urgent need, VinAI has endeavored and successfully developed this technology.

“We hope this technology will be helpful for everyone and we are ready to provide free technology to partners for the purpose of serving public health.”


The VinAI’s system has significantly better accuracy than the current technology tested on MegaFace, the largest publicly available facial recognition dataset.

Advantage of VinAI’s recognition technology is a different algorithm and application of identification technology.

VinAI has also found a solution to automatically monitor users wearing masks on cameras. This solution can actively support the management of spacing among people in organizations and companies when they return to work after the pandemic.

Researchers are working with VinSmart electronic equipment manufacturers to install the new tech on Vsmart phones.

The hardware uses standard cameras already fitted on smartphone devices. Other recognition systems use infrared and depth sensors.

This keeps costs of the new product remarkable low.

A spokesperson for Vingroup added: “The achievement not only has practical significance during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also affirms Vingroup’s transformation into a leading technology corporation which has step-by-step adapted to advanced global and complex technologies.”

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TOPICS: coronavirus, Coronavirus Outbreak, Coronavirus Pandemic, COVID-19, facial recognition technology, smartphones, Vietnam
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