UWE Bristol reports 3D face recognition 'breakthrough'
07 August 2018 15:43 GMT

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has teamed up with leading British facial recognition company Customer Clever on a new 3D face recognition solution.

As part of a government-backed programme, joint funding of £170,000 has been allocated for a project to be supervised by experts from UWE Bristol's Centre for Machine Vision.

While the centre has been developing 3-D facial recognition systems in its laboratories for more than 10 years, Customer Clever, based in Nottinghamshire, is already successfully pioneering face recognition solutions for customers in a range of sectors, including retail.

Lyndon Smith, Professor of Computer Simulation and Machine Vision at the Centre for Machine Vision, part of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, said: "This funding is for us to go ahead and commercially implement the technology. We think it's on the verge of becoming really big", reported Phys.org.

"Facial recognition technology is a powerful technique with many security applications - it might be that you are running a retail store or restaurant chain and there are certain customers you don't want entering the premises. Alternatively, it could be used at a railway station to check everyone has bought a ticket, or a live sporting venue to allow access to your registered VIPs.

"Potential uses are increasing all the time but first we have to iron out problems with how the technology performs. Things which are easy for the human eye to deal with, like changes in background light and people looking in different directions, are big problems for this technology. There's a difference between making the system work in the laboratory and doing so in a busy supermarket, where there are changes in lighting conditions and people walking around in the background."

Professor Smith says his team's high-resolution 3-D technology is superior to existing 2-D face recognition systems, which have been used for security in airports, and more discreet than iris recognition and fingerprinting systems.

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