There’s No More Hiding from Police with 3D Mugshots

There’s No More Hiding from Police with 3D Mugshots

Japan's security force is building a 3D-enabled database of perps

Leo Lutero
  • 1 february 2016

Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department is getting a major upgrade with 3D cameras for booking offenders. The technology will capture a criminal’s face from every angle, making it easier to identify them through security footage.

Three-dimensional photos win over 2D when it comes to trying to match a perp to a database profile. They boast more information than a regular photograph and capture every rise and fall of the face. When a criminal shows up on CCTV, their face is usually captured in various angles and that’s why police usually take mugshots across several angles. For that reason, 3D mugshots are just easier to work with. The police can twist and turn the person’s face and there is no more imagining what a person’s face might look like from an obtuse angle.

According to The Asahi Shimbun, the police will use 3D mapping technology to take the photos. Projectors will put striped lighting on the person’s face while photos from three angles capture the image. These images are then converted into 3D information with the third dimension calculated according to the skewing of the striped lights.

Tokyo’s police has been way ahead though in considering the use of the technology. Back in 2001, the 3D photography kits were moved around by researchers to police stations who need them, The Asahi Shimbun reports. Now the plan is give each of the 102 stations their own 3D photography studio.

Not only will newly arrested criminals get to experience being scanned in 3D, Tokyo is planning to photograph each and every perp. This will help them build a huge library of 3D pictures. With it, they hope no one is left unidentified in security footage no matter how much they try to hide from the cameras.

The Asahi Shimbun

+3D mapping technology
+Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department

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