Night-vision goggles are so mainstream. The Navy’s next gadget of choice is the “Wireless 3D Binocular Face Recognition System,” as in binoculars that can scan and recognize faces from 650 feet away, Wired reports.
According to a Jan. 16 contract announcement from the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, a testing period of 15 months is planned to improve “stand-off identification of uncooperative subjects” during daylight. After scanning a face, the binoculars transmit the data to a database over a wireless network, where the data is then analyzed to determine a person’s identity, Wired says.
The no-bid contract went to California biometrics firm StereoVision Imaging, which already has a face-recognizing binocular system with a maximum distance of around 328 feet.
However, currently, ranges on most systems tend to max out at a few feet; systems are not intended to work at night and are less effective when a subject is moving, Wired reports.
The key to solving many of these problems, the article says, is in the system’s upgrade to 3-D. When the binoculars scan a face, they will create a 3-D model of the face instead of a 2-D image, which allows the system to separate the figure from a crowd and sharpen the image – which boosts the range.