Mobiles to be used to crack crime

New phones use colour displays for mug shot matches.

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By  Marcus Webb Published  April 3, 2002

New technology, unveiled at this week’s JavaOne conference in San Francisco, will allow law enforcement and security officials to check on suspicious faces through their mobile phones.

Visionics, Motorola and Wirehound, a U.S. company that develops vertical market applications using Java 2 Platform Micro Edition (J2ME), have made face recognition software accessible through J2ME enabled, colour screen i95cl phones.

Visionics' Face It system compares faces within a field of view with a database of mug shots. Wirehound's Birddog software retrieves image and location data and pushes alerts and pictures to the phone so that the official can corroborate the identity of a suspect on the spot. The phones can store multiple images though those that do not match are automatically discarded.

"One of the many benefits of Java technology-enabled handsets from Motorola is their ability to be customised to fit the specific needs of a variety of industries," said Peter Aloumanis, vice president and general manager, for the U.S. division of Motorola's iDEN Subscriber Group. "This application was developed in response to increased demand from the public safety sector to help law enforcement officers identify criminals, while out on patrol."

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