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FBI FINGERPRINT ID SYSTEM GROWS BY 8-10,000 FILES PER DAY

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POLICE DRUG TESTING BY TAKING YOUR FINGERPRINTS.

UNIT TO BE SOON RELEASED

It’s generally understood that driving while under the influence of many substances can greatly increase the chance of getting in an accident. As such, it’s common for police officers to use a breathalyzer to check someone’s blood alcohol content, to ensure that they aren’t impaired. Unfortunately, alcohol is one of the only substances that they can check for, and receive immediate results. But that looks to be changing soon.

A company called Intelligent Fingerprinting has just unveiled a prototype hand-held drug testing device that can provide officers with immediate results. The company hasn’t released information on exactly what substances are they are able to test for, but we do know that the process involves little more than having your fingerprint scanned by the device. We should know more when the device is put into production sometime next year.

FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE TO SPOT REPEAT PRESENCE OF PERSONS IN FILM FOOTAGE

Chances are, you’ve seen at least one or two TV shows in which the police examine news footage shot at several different crime scenes, and recognize the same person’s face showing up repeatedly in the crowds of onlookers … the ol’ “criminal returning to the scenes of their crimes” scenario. Realistically, it’s pretty hard to believe that one person could look through all that footage, and remember all those faces. It turns out that a computer could do it, however, as scientists at Indiana’s University of Notre Dame have illustrated with their “Questionable Observer Detector,” or QuOD.

The system was developed by a team led by Kevin Bowyer, Patrick Flynn and Jeremiah Barr, of Notre Dame’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Bowyer was inspired to invent QuOD, when he heard military and national security experts describing how they needed a way of identifying IED bombers in the Middle East – such individuals are known to come back to bombing sites, to assess the aftermath of their work.

While most facial recognition systems match faces in footage to those in an existing database, there is no such database for QuOD. Instead, it creates a separate “face track” for each individual appearing in a video clip. For each new clip that it analyzes, it compares the face tracks created from that clip with those created from all the previous clips. Any time that matching tracks are discovered, they are grouped together so that a human operator can then view all the appearances of that one person.

One of those images could then possibly be matched to a photo in a database, or at the very least circulated in the form of a “WANTED” poster.

Although it has already been successfully tested on a relatively small scale, there are still a few challenges to be overcome before QuOD can become a practical tool. For one thing, the lighting and resolution of crime scene footage is often insufficient, and not all of the onlookers will be conveniently looking towards the camera. Also, the processing load on computers could become quite heavy, if large amounts of footage were being analyzed.

Nonetheless, the Notre Dame team believe that these problems can be solved, and that QuOD could one day be used to catch criminals who just have to come back for a second look.

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