Special Report: Face to Face

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

Special Reports: Face To Face

Blink and you'll miss it

But you just saw what may be the future in fool-proof identification
“For every point on your face it registers an xyz”

It's a scanner programmed to read the human face--not a picture like any you'd take with a regular camera, but an actual measure of the shape of your features.

“It compares the model to an scan of your face.”

That's where MSU’s department of computer science and engineering, and a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation come in. They've developed the software, called 3D ID, to make those mug matches, and to help any operator decide whose legit and who's a fraud.

So we put it to the test...

Remember, the computer already has my scan on file. So what if we tried again in the dark?

You see the dark picture shows up in those splotches, but it's a match.

“That means two surfaces compared within a 1/2 millimeter difference.”

To the left of the original scan? That works too.

And how about a smile? Suddenly, I’m an imposter.

“It's a different face ‘cause your smiling.”

“When you smile your cheeks go up, your eyes raise, a little wrinkle forms between your eyes…what we're doing in research is trying to detect that smile.”

George Stockman is the professor in charge of the technology, intent on getting it out of the university and into the world as soon as possible
“I think what you've seen--you could see this devise in airports or other secure places in the near future.”

…like Airports and ATMs…

“…In corrective surgery, in facial reconstruction…”

Hospitals too. Stockman admits they haven't even thought of all the ways it could be used

One image that can't lie...and will, if 3D ID has it's way…change security in our ever more secure world.


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