Researchers at Jordan’s Mu’tah University are working on biometric technology that can identify individuals by the ‘victory’ (or ‘peace’) signs they make with their fingers. It’s an unusual modality, to say the least; but it stems from the need to identify terrorists and DAESH fighters, who often masked and giving the ‘V’ sign in PR videos.
The researchers, led by Ahmad Hassanat, compiled a database of 500 images of 50 individuals displaying the V sign, and developed algorithm software that would scan shape patterns between nodes at the ends of their fingers, the bottom of the gap between them, and at two points on the palm. They combined these with other statistical analysis to attain a biometric identification system that they say can reach an accuracy greater than 90 percent.
There are some caveats. As the MIT Technology Review points out, the Mu’tah University team’s data set is relatively small, and the team has not aggressively explore false positives. Another obvious issue is that presumably one would need an image of an unmasked individual giving the V sign as a basis for comparison, which might be hard to come by.
Still, it’s intriguing work, and part of a broader effort to pioneer and refine biometric technologies that could help intelligence and security experts to track the masked fighters so often appearing in the news.
Source: MIT Technology Review
March 11, 2016 – by Alex Perala