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Id Got You, Under the Skin: Automated Thermal Face Recognition Based on Minutiae Extraction

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A thermal image of a person.

The next major step forward in biometrics could be thermal imaging for facial recognition.

Credit: Ace Baker/

A thermal-imaging scan for instantaneous face recognition could be the next advance in biometrics. The pattern of blood vessels just beneath the skin of a person's face is as unique as a fingerprint, iris, or other biometric indicators, according to researchers at Jadavpur University.

They say an infra-red thermal-imaging camera would be able to reveal the blood-vessel pattern, even if an imposter wore a realistic mask that simulated the pattern of blood vessels in someone's face, because it would detect the blood vessels in the skin of the imposter as well.

The researchers developed an algorithm that can analyze the minutiae of blood vessels in a person's face captured by an infra red scan. The thermogram reveals patterns almost down to the smallest capillary with an accuracy of more than 97 percent. The researchers say the level of precision would be enough for high-security applications, as long as the thermogram scan is tied to second or third forms of identity, such as a photo ID.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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