Welcome to 2014, one and all!
You know, it amazes me how fast technology is moving these days…well I guess even earlier than now. It seems somehow that ever since we hit upon using bipolar devices..pardon the slight technical divergence…it’s my techie side coming into being! (the most common bipolar device was and is the diode, a semiconductor device that led to the development of transistors)…anyway, ever since diodes and transistors came into being, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds.
And it is precisely that technology that is made use of in the hunt to track down criminals, according to press reports.
The idea is to use reflections in photographs in the eyes of bystanders at a crime scene, by zooming in and processing those reflections.
The technology has been improved by researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland (I almost said England..oops!)…who say that faces of onlookers can be identified from even small, poor quality reflected images…amwazing!
The images in question were only a minute 27 to 36 pixels wide but faces could easily be identified clearly.
“For crimes in which the victims are photographed (eg, hostage taking, child sex abuse), reflections in the eyes of the photographic subject could help to identify perpetrators,” say researchers Rob Jenkins and Chistie Kerr – who published their findings in the PLoS ONE journal.
“One possible extension of this technique would be to combine pairs of images recovered from the subject’s two eyes,” they add.
“In principle, these images contain the stereo disparity information required to reconstruct a 3D representation of the environment from the viewpoint of the photographic subject.”
The camera that was used in this experiment was a high quality 39 megapixel Hasselblad, but the researchers say that high quality cellphone cameras now in abundance, the technique could become very useful to police all around the world.
There is speculation that crimes committed way back in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s could also be reviewed using these new techniques, although securing a prosecution on crimes that old may prove to be highly speculative.