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News Link • Surveillance

'Minority Report' Long Range 3D Facial Recognition Systems Are Coming

Another glimpse into the inner workings of this mystifying company comes from Bloomberg Businessweek’s company overview, which says that “Digital Signal Corporation engages in the research and development of three-dimensional facial recognition systems for the department of defense and other federal agencies.” Well now, that’s interesting. And that may explain in part why information on the technologies DSC is developing is so hard to find. I’d like to know why exactly they got the $15 million. There are a lot of companies out there developing their own facial recognition technologies. Why did Columbia Capital, City Light Capital, SilverHaze Partners, Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Paladin Capital Group all go in big for DSC? Must be something pretty cool. At any rate, facial recognition technology is something cool. The first step in 2D face recognition, which compares the faces in pictures, is to find the faces–that is, to differentiate between a face and background patterns. Once a face is acquired, different features of the face are measured including distance between the eyes, width of the nose, and the length of the jaw line. These measurements are then transformed into a numerical code, called a faceprint, which is stored in the database. It’s tricky though. Early 2D recognition software required a straight-on image of a photograph, and any variation in light or angle would greatly affect accuracy. Three-dimensional face recognition was developed in an attempt to improve accuracy. It measures curves on the face at a high-resolution, sub-millimeter scale. In 3D recognition, the curve measurements provide the template. The hope is that the 3D data will ultimately be used to identify criminals, terrorists, and people in the crowd who are late on their taxes (just kidding about that last group, I think). But police departments don’t have 3D images, they have mugshots. It’s tricky business to match a 3D face to a 2D face because of the different types of measurements that went into creating the respective templates. Algorithms are currently being developed that will allow accurate comparisons between the 2D and 3D templates. What DSC is developing–biometric facial recognition–is the newest generation of facial recognition technology.

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