Aussie Defense Department trials sneaky cameras
Published 3 June 2009
One of the biggest shortcomings of facial recognition devices is the angle of image capture; DSTO is toying with “attractors” — lights and sounds emitting devices that draw the attention of passers-by so they inadvertently look directly into a camera
Australia’s Defense Science Technology Organization (DSTO) is running facial recognition trials which will underpin biometric initiatives across the Department of Defense, Immigration, and new smartcard driver’s licenses.
Angles of image capture is one of the biggest shortcomings of facial recognition devices, which often must be obfuscated yet be capable of taking a straight photo. The agency has, therefore, toyed with so-called “attractors” including signs or noise-emitting devices that draw the attention of passers-by so they inadvertently look directly into a camera.
[. . .]Light and noise attractors were used to coax subjects to look into “pinhole” cameras, including one test which used an infrared beam placed before a doorway to trigger an alarm. Subjects typically turned in the direction of the noise and looked directly into a camera. Another placed a camera in front of an illuminated sign which drew the attention of passers-by.
[. . . ]Six trial types were tested including biometrics at a distance, identifying a face-in-a-crowd, and low light and night, and indoor and outdoor scenarios. In one trial, a specialized oscillating telescope was used for sub-pixel shift which produces better resolution.