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Mug Shot Maker

February 28, 2003

Surveillance cameras often capture a criminal act but produce pictures too fuzzy for the perpetrator to be identified. New software developed by doctoral student James Robinson at Staffordshire University in the U.K. could tighten up this hole in the law enforcement apparatus. The software stitches together several of the blurry still-frame images that have been captured on security camera film and creates a three-dimensional model of the mischief-maker’s face. Pivoting this 3-D mug shot, and enlarging the image, produces a clear view. The software also marks key features such as the outlines of the eyes and mouth. Robinson hopes to license the technology to manufacturers of imaging systems.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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