University of Louisville Magazine

WIN-SPR 2014

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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2 6 | L O U I S V I L L E . E D U Through a Department of Homeland Security grant, the CVIP lab has developed facial recognition technology that uses cameras to track individuals within a prescribed fi eld of view and detect faces automatically. Features around the eyes, nose and lips are extracted to generate a feature vector and then enhanced to create a unique facial signature. These captured signatures are then analyzed and compared against other facial signatures stored in a database to fi nd potential matches. THE MANY FACES OF SECURITY For Farag and his team, advancements can be a path full of turns where the initial scope of a project leads to much broader applications. When the Department of Homeland Security wanted to examine the feasibility of facial recognition at long distances, Farag and the lab were tapped to develop a way to identify people from as far away as 150 meters, and then match them to an existing database. The result was the Biometric Optical Surveillance System (BOSS), and in a real-world application it could help security staff scan a crowd at a large outdoor event to identify people and cross-reference them to a watch list. Early tests were promising and the lab continues to follow up with Homeland Security and the Department of Defense with further extensions of the technology to address more complicated scenarios. Likewise, the lab's initial work on thermal imaging focused on identifying people by mapping the network of blood vessels that is unique to each person's face. But for Farag, it always comes back to taking what's been learned and using it to help people, and he sees advancements in video capture and thermal imaging as valuable resources for multiple applications. "Thermal imaging not only detects things like temperature and pulse, but also how the blood vessels are acting and that provides a picture of a person's state of mind. Anger, pain, distress, joy…this technology would allow you to measure stress and other conditions, and that is very important." Farag envisions using imaging and thermal sensors to help health care workers identify issues even when a patient can't communicate them, such as elderly residents in an assisted living setting. "We bring together the technology of remote facial recognition and thermal imaging, collecting data from people's expressions and thermal indications that can inform the caregivers and improve the level of care. And since the information is gathered from remote devices non-invasively, people don't have to be connected to a monitor, which makes it more comfortable." The CVIP lab is a long way from the small, rural village in Egypt where Farag grew up as a farm boy. He was able to attend Cairo University, which he recalls as a challenge. "It was not easy to compete with Egypt's culturally and wealthy elite. But it has always been natural for me to compete, and to connect with people." Nowhere is that competitiveness and personal connection more apparent than in the CVIP lab, where Farag's relationship with his students is warm and convivial, and he never seems to miss an opportunity to teach and to learn. His Photo Illustration U L _ 2 6 2 6 UL_26 26 1 / 2 7 / 1 4 9 : 3 8 A M 1/27/14 9:38 AM

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