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iCop: Police to Use Facial Recognition App to Nab Criminals

DiscoblogBy Joseph CalamiaJune 16, 2010 10:47 PM


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Snapping iPhone pics may soon be an order for cops in Brockton, Massachusetts. But don't expect these shots to end up on the Facebook page for COPS. Using a special app, officers plan to turn the iPhone into a crime-fighting gadget that will use facial and iris recognition to identify criminals on the streets. As first reported by the Patriot Ledger, the iris recognition software looks for unique coloration in the area surrounding the subject's pupils. The face recognition software measures the spacing between the suspect's major facial features--comparing the outside distance between the person's eyes and the distance between his nose and chin, for example. These measurements will then go to a central database so that the officer can identify the suspect before bringing him into the station. The current system, called MORIS (Mobile Offender Recognition and Identification System), costs about $3,000 for each phone and currently only uses facial recognition, reportsPopular Science. Future versions will incorporate the iris technology and may even have a fingerprinting app. The phone will eventually be used by 28 police departments and 14 sheriff departments in the state, though the Patriot Ledgerreports that other states also soon hope to employ the system. Officers will only take shots when they have probable cause, Brockton Chief William Conlon says in the video above: "Were not going to just randomly stop people on the street and say, 'Hey, come here, we want to take your picture and look in your eyes.'" Follow DISCOVER on Facebook. Related content: Discoblog: Can an iPhone App Clear Up Your Acne? Discoblog: First iPhone App to Feature in a Film Festival Discoblog: Can an iPhone App Decipher Your Baby’s Cries? Discoblog: NASA iPhone App Lets You Drive a Lunar Rover (Just Try Not to Get Stuck)

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