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Exhibition to introduce automatic face recognition technology


Following the growing demands in areas like law enforcement identification, banking and security system access authentication and anti-terrorist video surveillance, automatic face recognition has attracted increasing attention in recent years. As traditional approaches to identity identification like password, identity card and passport are prone to fraud; while biometrics technologies like fingerprint and iris reading are considered ineffective as they require the necessary cooperation of the ones to be checked, the development of a face recognition technology to enhance security efficiency becomes of paramount importance.

Thanks to rapid technological advancement, face recognition technology has gained much from it in recent years. The "Automatic Face Image and Sketch Recognition" technology developed by the Department of Information Engineering of The Chinese University of Hong Kong achieves similar performance as using a real photo. With an aim to introduce to the general public this new technology, the "SciTech Profile", a thematic display of Science News Corner of the Hong Kong Science Museum (Science Museum), has in its latest display made face recognition technology the main theme. Apart from introducing the new technology to identify human face and human identity, the thematic display also provides such information as physiological features in identity identification, including fingerprint reading and iris verification.

Entitled "Automatic Face Image and Sketch Recognition", the new technology is capable of identifying one's identity without the presence and cooperation of the ones being checked. With the following techniques, including "Face Detection" (determining and locating the human face in an image), "Face Identification" (performing one-to-many matching of an input face with all images in the database), "Face Verification" (confirming a face of known identity by means of one-to-one matching with the image of the same person in the database), "Face Sketch Recognition" (identifying a person on the database through inputing a sketch of that person), and "Face Hallucination" (rendering a high-resolution large face image from a low-resolution one), the identity of a targeted face can be revealed. As face recognition technology requires no presence and cooperation of those being checked, it becomes the best choice for security surveillance in busy public areas and an effective investigation tool for law enforcement.

Apart from the thematic display, two new videos, entitled "Bahama Incident" and "On Shaky Ground" provided by National Geographic Channels are now featured at the "Science Window" of the Science News Corner. The "Hot Talk" of the Science News Corner, in addition, introduces the topics of "Biological Pacemaker" and "Earthquake Warning System". Both the Science Window and Hot Talk provides the visitors with the latest scientific information on ecological, geographical and medical researches. To tie-in with the thematic display, a lecture on "Face Recognition and Biometrics" will be conducted by the Research Assistant, Multimedia Lab, Department of Information Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Mr Wang Xiaogang, at the Lecture Hall of the Science Museum on February 16 from 2.30 pm to 4 pm. The lecture will be conducted in Putonghua. Admission is free and on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. It opens from 1 pm to 9 pm from Monday to Wednesday and on Fridays, and from 10 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It closes on the first two days of the Lunar New Year and every Thursday (except public holidays), and will close at 5 pm on the Lunar New Year's Eve. Admission fee is $25, with half-price concession applicable to full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. For enquiries, please call 2732 3232 or visit the Science Museum's website at

End/Saturday, January 11, 2003

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