UAE police testing facial recognition technology

November 2, 2015 - 

The Ministry of Interior is testing in the UAE a new facial recognition system comprised of a high-resolution camera and scanner that automatically scans and alerts the authorities if it identifies a wanted suspect, according to Emirates 24/7 News.

The facial recognition software is currently being used in a moving patrol car to automatically capture the faces of pedestrians, and comparing it to images of wanted suspects stored on a database.

If any wanted suspects are identified, the system will automatically notify police.

Lt. Colonel Faisal Mohammed Al Shimmari, executive director of the MoI’s Smart Government Programme, said the initiative aims to make the UAE the safest country around the globe.

Al Shimmari added that the facial recognition technology is proof of concept, which the Smart Government Programme is currently testing to improve its capabilities.

“We are exhibiting this year futuristic technology that is currently developing as proof of concept. The idea is to ensure the safety of the public,” said Al Shimmari. “These measures will go a long way to enable us to develop the UAE as the safest country in the world.”

The high resolution camera is installed on top of a patrol car and will be connected to the central command center.

The facial recognition system works similarly to license plate readers (LPRs), which use a camera to constantly monitor license plates within the area and notifies the police officer if a specific license plate entered into the system as a wanted vehicle is spotted.

In the case of facial recognition, the software quickly scans the person’s facial measurements to identify and match the individual against images of suspects stored on the database.

Previously reported, the Albuquerque police department (APD) said it is regularly using a facial recognition program to catch criminals after testing various technologies for the past two years.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.