Facial Recognition, How successful is it?

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How effective is the CCTV technology in catching criminals – not very - according to the Metropolitan Police officer in charge of the force's central forensic image team.

Currently the police forces in the UK hold a database of approximately 18 million mugshots.

Facial recognition system works by taking measurements between various points on an individual’s face, to enable the system to build an image of what they look like. The image is then matched against two databases to detect the suspect.

Det Ch Insp Mick Neville stated the problem is that the majority of images are not of a high enough quality to be able to produce any sort of match. Mr Neville told the BBC, that most CCTV images will not work; in 18 months they were able to identify less than 10 individuals using facial recognition.

From this recent news report from the BBC (February 2015), is it time that we look at other technology that can not only protect employees, but potentially help in catching suspects.

At Edesix we decided to produce a short video to demonstrate how our VideoBadge– a body worn video system based on an ID style form– can capture incidents when they happen and how the video footage could be used more successfully in facial recognition cases.

The footage was taken in a sandwich takeaway shop in Edinburgh City Centre. The video demonstrates the difficulty of making out the individuals face using traditional static CCTV compared to that ofVideoBadge. In the video you can see the clarity of the image from the VideoBadge footage is much higher quality than that of theCCTV.

VideoBadge can complement the use of CCTV and can help protect employees when faced with difficult circumstances dealing with the public. In a number of cases, customers have said how body worn cameras can change people’s behaviour when they know that they are being filmed. The video footage can also be used for admissible evidence in court.

Why use VideoBadge

  1. Clearer footage – facial recognition is far more successful with VideoBadge.
  2. Additional benefit of audio to back up visual evidence. With CCTV there is no audio.
  3. Controlled point of view. With VideoBadge you can easily place and point where you want to record. The view can be restricted when using static CCTV.

VideoBadge could help to increase the chance of catching suspects; it is the answer to protecting your employees and your business.

To read more information about facial recognition on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31112604