Face recognition is growing to be very important. There are a lot of applications that use close range face recognition for security reasons. For example, your laptop may use a technology where it recognizes your face to unlock itself. There are smart phone applications which use face recognition to unlock the smart phones. Apple has been researching the technology for some time now to integrate it into its smart phone, the iPhone. And Samsung already has a second version of the technology in which it first recognizes the face of the user and then detects the blink of an eye to unlock the smart phone.
Now, the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command wants this technology in its binoculars so that it can detect people from a distance, from about 100 to 200 meters, or 328 to 650 feet. The command is seeking a “Wireless 3D Binocular Face Recognition System.” The command made a 15 month long study on the subject and then sketched out a plan to improve “stand-off identification of uncooperative subjects” Wired writes:
After scanning your mug, the binoculars then transmit the data to a database over a wireless network, where the data is then analyzed to determine a person’s identity.
The no-bid contract went to the California biometrics firm StereoVision Imaging, the money involved remains undisclosed. Greg Steinthal, StereoVision’s president says:
High level, it’s a surveillance and identification system,” Greg Steinthal, StereoVision’s president, tells Danger Room. It’s using the ubiquitous binocular for real-time identification. The data point here is that this is to be used to add objectivity to an operation that’s highly subjective. So this is not intended for kinetic action to go arrest or detain someone. It’s more a tool to put other eyes on him or her.
StereoVision already has a product, named 3DMobileID, which is face recognizing binocular system. This system has a maximum range of around 328 feet, or 100 meters, which is too less for the navy’s applications. Hence, the two organizations will start working together to make a better product.