Hon Hai, Intel, APT unveil edge computing platform

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Dec 06, 2017 - Page 12

Intel Corp, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Asia Pacific Telecom Co (APT, 亞太電信) yesterday jointly unveiled a multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform and facial recognition technology, the result their collaborative efforts in 5G technology solutions.

“The technologies are applicable to a wide range of scenarios, such as a smarter shopping experience in department stores, smart security for home and companies, smart medical services and more,” Hon Hai business group president and APT chairman Lu Fang-ming (呂芳銘) told a news conference in Taipei.

The MEC platform represents Hon Hai and Intel’s first collaborative work on 5G technology that went public since the two companies inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in June last year for the development of network infrastructure on the foundation of 5G connectivity.

Hon Hai participated in the platform’s development with Intel and is in charge of sensor manufacturing for facial recognition technology, while APT provides network connectivity, the companies said.

The MEC is a cloud-based network architecture at the edge of the core network, which brings real-time, high-bandwidth and low-latency access to the network, largely reducing network congestion, Lu said.

The MEC is a solution to data deluge in the 5G environment, because it shares the workload of the core network to process data closer to the users, Lu said.

For example, the platform can prevent network congestion at a stadium during concerts or sports events, he said.

The platform is part of the foundation to build a high-speed 5G connectivity environment, Intel visual cloud division general manager Lynn Comp said.

Facial recognition is one of the applications that can be used on the platform, Lu said, adding that Hon Hai has been using facial recognition with door access control at two of its plants in New Taipei City for one-and-a-half years.

Instead of clocking in and out, more than 200,000 employees at the two plants use facial recognition to report for work and enter the plants, he said.

Facial recognition on the platform can also be used in department stores, Lu said. “For example, facial recognition can instantly provide the customer’s purchase history at the store or alert the sales personnel that the incoming person is a VIP customer.”

APT is in talks with domestic retailers to adopt the platform with facial recognition technology, Lu said.

“We expect to see progress with retailers in the next three to six months,” he said.