Mostapha Benhenda

Founder, Mindolia.com

Author Bio ▼

Mostapha Benhenda is founder of mindolia.com and showup.tech. Also a community organizer at Kiev deep learning meetup. PhD in mathematics.
March 6, 2017

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Biometrics

Faceless recognition: is it really superior to facial recognition?

Faceless recognition, also known as person re-identification, is a method of recognition based on general appearance and clothes.

It can track a person of interest in situations when biometric facial recognition fails: the face is occluded, or the person is viewed from the back.

Faceless recognition takes as input a picture of a person of interest:


Then it identifies this person in another place, from a different angle of view:

The case of the 2016 Berlin terrorist attack

For example, faceless recognition would be useful in the Europe-wide man hunt that followed the 2016 Berlin terrorist attack. In the video surveillance images released to the press, the attacker is caught either from the back or his face is partially hidden by his clothes.

In these cases, facial recognition is not an effective method. On the other hand, the attacker kept the same clothes throughout his trip from Berlin to Milan, so faceless recognition was appropriate.

Below are some CCTV images taken of the attacker, from the back and front.

Faceless recognition might soon be supplanted by gait recognition, which can recognise a person independently of clothes

Can faceless recognition replace facial recognition?

Not yet. Faceless recognition has two limits: first, it raises more false alarms than state-of-the-art facial recognition. Second, its efficiency is reduced when the person changes clothes. Therefore, this method is suitable for same-day tracking, but much less for tracking a person over longer periods of time.

However, faceless recognition can be complementary to facial recognition. It can help track a person within a wide network of video cameras.

Modern video surveillance systems produce huge amounts of video recordings, and faceless recognition can assist humans in digging into this data.

That’s why faceless recognition technology is provided by our company, Mindolia.

Will faceless recognition become a standard feature of smart CCTV?

We might think so, since faceless recognition is an active field of research, boosted by recent advances in artificial intelligence and deep learning. On the other hand, faceless recognition might soon be supplanted by gait recognition, which can recognise a person independently of clothes.

Gait recognition becomes much more accurate when used with a 3D depth-sensor, and this new generation of cameras will become more common in the future.

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