Tokyo Police to Use 3D Mugshots

Tokyo Police to Use 3D MugshotsTokyo police are preparing to start taking three-dimensional mug shots of criminal suspects. It’s a move aimed at enhancing police’s facial recognition capability.

Starting in April, the city’s police stations will begin to be outfitted with special cameras that will allow police to capture 3D images of suspects faces, which can then be matched against images from CCTV and other surveillance feeds using facial recognition technology. The advantage with 3D mugshots is that they should allow for identification from a number of different angles, enhancing the police’s ability to match a suspect in a CCTV image to one already identified in their mugshot database. While such technology is already in place at some regional police offices in Japan, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department will be the first to bring it to all of its stations.

It’s a considerable step forward beyond the 2D facial matching systems that police around the world are starting to use. While police generally seem to be very enthusiastic about that technology, the move to 3D imaging could have dramatic results, and indeed researchers in the Netherlands recently announced their own new system that could help to build sophisticated 3D face models for forensic investigations. With their own 3D mugshot system, Tokyo police are at the cutting edge of this kind of policing technology.

Sources: BBC News, The Japan Times

January 26, 3016 – by Alex Perala