For the past nine years, the editors of Casino Journal have reserved space in the December issue for companies within the gaming industry that—through recent product introductions, improved performance, better strategy, key placements and a host of other reasons—have “emerged” from the vendor pack, making them deserving of notice and continued observation going forward.

Often, these emerging companies consist of nascent businesses that are relative newcomers to the gaming space and largely unknown to the operator community, which is the case with some of the companies profiled below. But some of the entities profiled here are long-established enterprises that bear mention because of noteworthy technical and strategic evolution, or because changing market conditions have given their offerings added gravitas and an economic boost.

So please read on to discover the new and established gaming vendors that have surged over the past year and look to continue forward momentum into 2020.

COGNITEC

Facial recognition technology is becoming commonplace across a variety of customer-centric experiences, including casinos. Cognitec, a Germany-based developer of market-leading face recognition technologies and applications for enterprise and government customers around the world, has years of experience in this field and continues to evolve its product portfolio that includes facial image database search, recorded video investigation, real-time video screening and people analytics, border control, ICAO compliant photo capturing and facial image quality assessment.

The company believes its latest enhancements will dramatically improve the operation of casino departments that still rely on manual processes and human judgement to keep people on banned person and watch lists from infiltrating the property. Cognitec’s FaceVACS-VideoScan enterprise solution delivers intelligent technology with industry-leading match speed, sending watch list alarms to designated casino personnel within seconds. In addition to watch list notifications, gaming operators can use the system to notify staff when VIPs and valued customers come through the door, identify problem gamblers in self-exclusion programs, and perform initial age checks to spot underage visitors, according to press materials.

But the FaceVACS-VideoScan software alone won’t produce optimal results, Cognitec warns. Equally important to a successful facial recognition solution are the choice of cameras, how the cameras are positioned and tuned, the server, VMS integration, configuration, training, deploying and supporting the system. Making these elements work together requires a face recognition company with a proven track record in the gaming and entertainment industry such as Cognitec, which can do everything from system design to hardware and software setup, with an annual subscription covering licensing and services.

The company’s suite of facial recognition services help operators create a safe environment for customers and staff while helping the property become more profitable, making Cognitec worthy of inclusion on our 2020 emerging companies list.