By Paul Schuepp
When it rains, it pours. Pouring excitement over a technology that makes a difference, that is.
The writer notes that “the age of practical facial recognition software has begun, and it’s only going to get more precise” driven by more powerful cameras, faster computers, better algorithms and cheaper data storage.
As we’ve noted in the past, The Atlantic accurately points out that police departments already use facial recognition, but it does not work like it does in the movies or on television.
It’s not a guarantee today, for example, for a facial recognition system to automatically identify a subject. Many police departments (who have access to a criminal FR system) will take an image of someone under arrest and compare that to a database of mug shots in an attempt to make a positive ID but often the results returned are - at best - the most similar looking faces from the database.
It’s very challenging for police departments to identify individuals in surveillance photos and video because the images are almost never ideal. Subjects are blurred or shadowed, faces are turned or obscured by sunglasses or hats.
ForensicaGPS uses 3D model creation which helps solve that problem by “pose correcting” the faces found in images. A normalized face turned to a perfect frontal view makes a huge difference in the face recognition system being able to find a match.
These popular and prestigious publications are quite enamored with our facial recognition technology because 1) it works and 2) bad guys will have a much harder time hiding from the law.