JULY 2--VisionSphere Technologies Inc. (Ottawa, ON, Canada; www.visionspheretech.com) is participating in the Project BlueBear pilot, sponsored by the Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC), to test and evaluate the effectiveness of facial recognition technology to securely search and identify suspects across Canada.
Currently, police departments can only check the identity of a suspect being booked against their own database of mug shots using text-based searches. Police departments that cannot afford to purchase a records management system cannot easily or quickly acquire and share critical information with larger police departments. The VisionSphere VSIdent system permits smaller police departments to search existing mug shot databases of participating police services.
VisionSphere demonstrated its VSIdent system by searching 11,000 mug shots located in databases in four major Canadian cities. A distributed network search was conducted by simultaneously comparing the live image of a suspect with the 11,000 mug shots. VSIdent found the person's duplicate image and ranked it first. Additional searches using a digital image, an image extracted from a video surveillance tape, and a composite image also produced exceptional results.
Sal Khan, VisionSphere's chief executive officer, says that VSIdent can be deployed using existing IT infrastructure and the Internet, "It doesn't require new capital investments, major upgrades, or the creation of a Virtual Private Network." He also underlined the high security facilities built into the system.
Lee Fraser, superintendent with the office in charge of forensic identification services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, says, "The key to VisionSphere's technology is its capacity to integrate into other databases."