Mobile face scanning may soon help cops nab criminals

AN APP that can pick out the faces of wanted criminals in a crowd could soon be used by Australian law enforcement agencies.

The face-sharing augmented reality app, Social-Recall, uses a database of faces and scans groups to identify and provide information about individuals.

Professor Brian Lovell, of Imagus Technologies, said the technology was already used by CCTV systems but this was the first time it had been developed for an app.

Law enforcement agencies, stadiums, shopping centres and security firms are looking at how they could use it.

The technology could also speed up ticket checks at large sport or music events.

"You just walk up to with someone with a phone and it recognises they have a ticket and you let them in," Prof Lovell said.

"We're looking at making people's lives more convenient and speeding up these processes."

The homegrown technology was showcased at the Magnify World virtual reality conference in Melbourne at the weekend.

A new app recognises Mat Coleman in a crowd outside Flinders St Station. Picture: Jason Edwards
A new app recognises Mat Coleman in a crowd outside Flinders St Station. Picture: Jason Edwards

"There's a lot of interest in being able to … recognise people from watch lists," Prof Lovell said.

"Police may use this."

Similar facial recognition systems have been portrayed in crime and sci-fi TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters.

The homegrown technology was showcased at the Magnify World virtual reality conference in Melbourne at the weekend as a way for attendees to connect with each other.