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New digital passport photo service launches nationwide

New digital passport photo service launches nationwide at your local pharmacy

Auckland – 1 November, 2012 – Your local Amcal, Unichem, Life, Radius and Care Chemist pharmacies are the first to announce a state-of-the-art digital photo service that guarantees passport photos will meet the new online requirements for renewals.

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs will launch a new Online Passport Renewal Service on 2 November 2012. Applicants are now required to provide a digital photograph that adheres to strict guidelines, which is then checked by facial recognition software against the existing passport photograph.

Over 100 Amcal, Unichem, Life, Radius and Care Chemist pharmacies nationwide have invested in facial recognition technology that mirrors the same validation process used by the government. The process automatically detects facial features such as the head, face, nose, eyes, ears etc., and instantly corrects the photo by rotating, re-sizing and cropping the image to fit the required passport.

“We have implemented a fast and convenient digital solution in more than 100 of our national pharmacies to coincide with the launch of this new service,” said Alan Wham, CEO of Pharmacybrands. “This means that you can get your digital passport photos taken by a trained technician and we will offer a money back guarantee of acceptance by the Department of Internal Affairs.”

The software solution used to deliver this service is a first for both pharmacy and New Zealand and creates peace of mind for consumers in local community pharmacies.

The digital photo service costs around $20 (individual pharmacies are responsible for pricing) and photos will need to be saved on either a USB flash drive or a CD both of which are available to purchase in-store.

To find the Amcal, Unichem, Life, Radius and Care Chemist Pharmacy nearest you who offers the passport service, visit www.pharmacybrands.co.nz

About the software solution

Biometric passports

With most countries now using biometric face recognition technology for passports, there are now stringent requirements for passport photos. So it makes sense to use the same type of technology goverments use, to create passport photos for your customers. The Pharmacybrands solution is unique in creating biometric passport photos in accordance with ISO/IEC-standard 19794-5, based on the geometric standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that are used by countries all around the world.

Automatic Face Detection and Image Validation

It uses special advanced algorithms to automatically detect the head, face, nose, ears, eyes, mouth, chin etc. and then instantly corrects the photo by promptly rotating, re-sizing and cropping the image to fit the passport type required.

Core Features include:

• Advanced production wizard GUI.

• Over 130 Passport and ID layouts (covering most countries globally)

• A on-screen summary of the countries requirements for the passport

• Direct warnings if photograph is not suitable for use

• Automatic rotate zoom and crop to perfect size for passport required

• Sharpness, gamma, contrast and brightness corrections

• Colour correction

• Ability to set a default Automatic correction to suit your printer, making adjusting for camera and the effects of store lighting easy

• Photo Touch-up ability using local colour detection and cloning

• Output options include:

• Print

• Save USB flash drive

• Burn to CD/DVD

About Pharmacybrands
Pharmacybrands Limited is New Zealand’s only listed Retail Pharmacy group and comprises the Unichem, Amcal, Life Pharmacy, Radius and Care Chemist brands as well as the Radius Medical group. In total the company represents 302 retail outlets operating throughout New Zealand including 140 Unichem Pharmacies, 76 Amcal Pharmacies, 26 Life Pharmacies, 26 Care Chemist Pharmacies , 33 Radius Pharmacies and 20 Medical Centres. Of the 302 retail outlets, the company has an ownership interest in 68 associate pharmacies.

ENDS

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