Articles by Alfredo Herrera
Cognitec Systems, the face recognition company, has significantly extended the feature set of its FaceVACS-DBScan product. The latest release combines the company’s renowned image database search technology with powerful video inspection tools for a multitude of investigation use cases. FaceVACS-DBScan LE enables fast import of video footage and detailed investigations of the extracted facial images. Agents can find known or unknown persons in multiple videos to quickly narrow down suspect investigations. The investigation can reveal, for example, if a suspect was seen in various locations within a set time window, always with the same group of persons, or in one location too many times during the day. With one click, the investigator can add the facial image seen in a video frame to a local database. If a person is already known, the technology can quickly compare the facial image to all connected databases and instantly display a candidate list of possible matches. “Searching through hours of video material continues to be one of the most tedious investigation tasks for law enforcement professionals,” says Alfredo Herrera, Cognitec CEO. “This tool will bring a new level of search automation and efficiency to the investigative workflow.” This product release maintains established features that have been in successful use for years by law enforcement professionals worldwide. Investigators can compare facial images from any source to multi-million image databases and instantly view a match list of the most similar faces. The use of image enhancement tools can improve match results, and side-by-side image inspections allow for precise match evaluation of probe and candidate image.
In response to the growing demand for biometrics enrollment during border crossing processes, Cognitec has extended its entry product line to offer an all-inclusive device for capturing standards-compliant biometric photos. Instant camera positioning, active lighting, and interactive user guidance lead to optimal, user-friendly capture conditions. The system finds the face of the person, adjusts the position of the camera to body height, and takes best-quality pictures. Border control processes Animated user guidance instructs the user to take the correct position in front of the camera. The technology supports automatic or operator-triggered image acquisition, and can be easily integrated into any border control IT system. Light-weight, slim design and flexible mounting methods allow for varied installation options on kiosks, walls or in free-standing pillars. Managing Director Alfredo Herrera noted, “In the past 20 years, Cognitec has contributed many pioneering products to automate airport and border control processes. This new product complements our Entry product for eGates, with both devices serving entry/exit systems at borders around the world.” The product includes Cognitec’s renowned software for ISO compliance checks. First released in 2006, the technology has been used by government agencies and commercial customers worldwide to take biometric photos.
Highly focused and innovative R&D (Research & Development) initiatives have again raised accuracy levels of Cognitec’s main matching algorithm and its age estimation technology. The latest versions are showing remarkably robust test results for facial images with masks. mask-tolerant matching algorithm Advanced neural network training and a new face finder have contributed to generally increase the robustness against significant facial occlusion caused, for example, by a mask or hands on the face. “The global COVID-19 pandemic situation has spurred our research and development (R&D) efforts for facial images with major occlusions,” said Cognitec’s Managing Director, Alfredo Herrera. He adds, “And we are proud to now offer our entire product line with matching and age estimation algorithms that work for images with or without facial masks with almost equal accuracy.” FaceVACS Engine for face recognition applications Cognitec is preparing the release of all products with the new algorithms Cognitec is preparing the release of all products with the new algorithms, including the FaceVACS Engine for various face recognition applications, the FaceVACS-DBScan solution used for comparing images to large databases, and the FaceVACS-VideoScan product for live video screening. The latter uses the age estimation technology to determine a person’s age range and can generate real-time alerts for people under 18 or 21 years of age. Facial recognition technology major Cognitec is the only company worldwide that has worked exclusively on face recognition technology, since its inception in 2002. The company is proud to maintain a stable, market-renowned position within the global security industry, and to uphold the trust that it has gained over the years, as a reliable and experienced provider of biometric technologies and solutions for a wide range of security applications.
Advanced deep learning methods and a new face finder are contributing to substantial performance upgrades for Cognitec’s FaceVACS face recognition engine. In particular, the new version shows higher accuracy rates for facial images with masks, strong poses and extreme mouth expressions. Extensive research and development efforts to enhance the company’s face finder technology resulted in a tenfold higher detection rate for faces largely covered by facial masks. A specialized algorithm version with less memory consumption serves Linux-on-Arm and Android platforms. For this algorithm, test results showed particularly high matching accuracy for images of people wearing face masks. Cognitec is already preparing the release of the next matching algorithm, expecting a further accuracy boost for general matching tasks, and especially for comparing images with partially occluded faces. Managing Director Alfredo Herrera noted, “Cognitec’s algorithm development is responding to our customers’ critical need for accurate identification and verification products in the current pandemic environment.”
Cognitec maintains a successful partnership with WorldReach to facilitate remote identity verification during self-service ID issuance processes via their smartphone app. Applicants for passports, visas, residency/settlement programs or digital on-boarding services are required to take a selfie during the enrollment process. An automated back-end process verifies the claimed identity, validates the ID document via NFC and chip reads, checks for watch list alerts, completes a liveness check, and forwards the application for completion of assessment. Uninterrupted digital services “We chose Cognitec’s market-leading face matching technology to achieve consistently high accuracy rates for the verification process,” says Gordon Wilson, President of WorldReach. “Government agencies require proven, reliable technologies for each step in the application process, as they aim to build the community’s trust in these new digital application methods. This partnership gives our companies a pioneering role in advancing e-government services.” Using the app eliminates the visit to an office facility and allows for uninterrupted digital services. Users welcome the app’s straight-forward design and the quick application process. WorldReach is currently applying this solution with passport and border control agencies in Canada, the UK, Ireland, and other organizations pursuing seamless travel initiatives. “The WorldReach solution brings the advantages of face recognition to modern ID management systems,” says Alfredo Herrera, Cognitec CEO. “We look forward to contributing our expertise as WorldReach evolves this trend-setting technology.”
The companies will apply face recognition to access control on electronic devices Cognitec Systems has signed an important software development and license agreement with Intel Corporation. Under the agreement, the companies will cooperate to apply face recognition to access control on electronic devices. Logon to PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and other computing devices will become both more convenient and secure as the technology replaces conventional passwords. “Intel is driving exciting advances in security and biometrics,” said Manish Tangri, Director, New Business, Perceptual Computing, Intel Corporation. “Our collaboration with Cognitec is a key ingredient in enabling secure yet easy-to-use, face-based authentication capabilities for consumers and enterprises.” “Cognitec is proud of being selected by Intel for this important application of our technology,” said Alfredo Herrera, Managing Director of Cognitec. “Face recognition will enable the owners of millions of computers, tablets and cell phones to protect their devices and access them conveniently and quickly without having to remember passwords.”
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