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U of Nebraska prepares to do whole-body biometric recognition from far-off sensors

Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News  |  Surveillance
U of Nebraska prepares to do whole-body biometric recognition from far-off sensors

Researchers in the U.S. state of Nebraska are preparing for biometric experiments to test facial and whole-body recognition.

The Defense Department-funded project will measure the accuracy of AI systems designed to identify subjects from pictures and video shot by drones and from stationary towers positioned far from groups of subjects.

The goal is to find better ways to recognize individuals in situations that make it impossible to do today.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, is paying for the research as part of its Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range, or Briar, program. Briar is being run in three parts, the first of which will run 18 months. The entire program is scheduled to run four years.

Researchers from University of Nebraska’s Lincoln and Omaha campuses will collaborate on WatchID, a project within Briar. The other participants are the University of Maryland College Park, BlueHalo Co. and Resonant Sciences.

As part of the WatchID research, 200 volunteers will stand and walk in straight lines and circles in an open field, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. If the school’s systems are successful, they could advance to the next phase, where systems have to work with perhaps 600 subjects.

IARPA officials say cameras will 300 or more meters away from the subjects and at an angle of up to 20 degrees in the sky.

Sensors on simulated watch towers and drones will try to identify and re-identify volunteers through facial recognition and whole-body measurements including gait biometrics, body shape and proportions.

The government is dangling a $1 million prize for the best-performing experiment.

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