Exclusive: Finding faces fast


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Cutting edge technology from Cognitec is supporting timely suspect investigations with automated person searches in video footage and large databases.

Many police and intelligence agencies are still relying on human eyes to find suspects in videos or to connect identities found in different media.

Cognitec’s face matching and tracking algorithms power unique technology that greatly reduces the time and money spent on such investigations. Hours in manual viewing can shrink to a few minutes of analysing automated search results.

More than ever before, crime investigators receive photo and film material from a variety of sources, ranging from grainy CCTV footage to high-resolution movies and images. Not all materials are suitable for automated face recognition, but matching algorithms are ever advancing to handle lower quality images. In addition, algorithms are less prone to bias, errors and fatigue compared to human adjudicators.

FaceVACS-DBScan LE imports still images and video material, finds all faces and clusters the appearances of the same person, even across multiple media files, tracking their times and locations.

Investigators can open the original video material and find persons near the subject who might be connected to the crime. A click on another face produces all appearances of this person and opens new search paths. Any image of a face, regardless of its origin, can be selected for comparison against facial image databases. The software produces a candidate list of possible matches, sorted by match probability.

Investigators can choose to work with smaller, local image databases for quick searches in videos and for instant candidate lists but can also receive – within seconds – matches from central databases that store millions of images.

Furthermore, they can make use of various tools to inspect image pairs and determine their similarity. In accordance with laws and best practices, face recognition results have to be evaluated by human experts and only serve as a supporting measure to other investigative methods.

Face recognition in live video feeds and advanced video investigation

Cognitec’s other highly specialised technology, FaceVACS-VideoScan, has a proven track record to support physical security measures in casinos, shops, stadiums and airports by alerting security staff in real time about banned persons entering the premises.

Surpassing traditional video surveillance systems, the software detects people’s faces in live video streams or video footage and stores video sequences of cropped faces for each appearance in front of a camera. It then compares them to image databases and instantly finds known persons.

The software also employs anonymous face recognition technology to analyse the count, flow, demographics and behaviour of people visible in video streams.

An additional feature set allows users to perform complex investigations on persons appearing both in real time camera streams and stored media files. For example, security staff can upload videos recorded at a specific location and time to track possible participants in a crime. Users can find a person enrolled in an image database or search for an unknown person and locate their appearance in multiple videos.

As a component of the FaceVACS-VideoScan product, Cognitec offers a highly specialised IP video camera with built-in face detection and tracking technology. The camera provides optimal image quality for real time face recognition while requiring low computing hardware and bandwidth resources.

Government agencies and enterprises are looking for a cohesive, integrated system that combines hardware, software and services; this integrates seamlessly into existing systems and operations. Types of cameras, their positioning and tuning, high performance server choice, setting up an optimal network infrastructure, configuration of the solution, funding and deploying the system are all components that play an important part.

Making them work together and supporting their continuous operation and maintenance needs a specialist face recognition company with a proven track record in the industry. Cognitec offers a subscription-based, managed system with optimal computing and camera equipment to guarantee specific performance criteria.

For more information, please send Cognitec an e-mail via [email protected] or visit the company’s website here: www.cognitec.com 

This article was originally published in the June edition of ISJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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