Rarely are thieves, animators and illustrators frightened by the same technology — but all of the above should be on the lookout for Animetrics’ new software – Forensica GPS. This new software-based technology is able to turn low-res photos into stunning 3D renders.
While my mind is reeling with the possibilities, Animetrics specifically designed their software to help police investigators track down subjects — without the time-consuming sketch artist process. This automation process is able to capture distinct facial features like that of the trained eye of a sketch artist, but being a machine it can do it much quicker (and cheaper?).
The software is based on the growing technology of the facial recognition software movement, and uses facial recognition techniques to turn 2D images into 3D visualizations. Forensica GPS is able to best some of its 3D competitors and 2D counterparts by capturing small changes that make up definition, with things like lighting, tattoos and makeup.
“The application enables professionals to quickly, efficiently and accurately compare, analyze and ultimately verify digital facial images from grainy surveillance photos or videos where a suspect’s face is often shielded or distorted,” says Animetrics. “Up to five images of each subject can be compared to the other subjects’ facial images.”
Of course 3D facial recognition software isn’t new. I think I saw it on CSI: Miami once. Some police stations have been using facial recognition-based 3D software for a few years now, but the technology hasn’t been this accurate, nor is it widely used. (For our safety’s sake, hopefully police departments will finally get with the times and start using it). Forensica GPS however has taken a few initiatives that increase the viability of 3D facial recognition software for police investigations, by using things like a global coordination system, which provides multiple images of the subject for rendering. So even without a straight-on, unencumbered view of the subject the software can work its magic. This coordination system is what gave Forensica GPS its GPS-infused name, as it uses a coordinate mapping feature that recognizes and plots coordinates based on bone structure and distance measurements to create distinctive features on the subject’s faces. And somehow the results end up higher-res than the image the software began with.
So, lookout criminals, suspects of interest, terrorists and the sketch artists who draw them.
The uses of this technology goes far beyond taking surveillance photos captured during the commission of a crime to locate the suspects; the FBI and Homeland Security could combine this with conversation monitoring on social networks to turn tagged Facebook pictures into complete 3D profiles to circulate amongst law enforcement agencies. This already happened in NY.
Outside of law enforcement there are a myriad of other issues that the software could be used for (if it wasn’t earmarked for law enforcement only, as it is currently with Forensica GPS). We’re going to see some of them quite soon—as indicated by Facebook’s facial recognition technology currently in the works and the recent Apple patent on 3D facial recognition, 3D Object Recognition.
On a lighter note, here is an interesting Video.