Very good interview at Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) with James Wayman on face recognition and other biometrics. Mr. Wayman is the former director of the National Biometric Test Center at San Jose State University and is now an administrator in its Office of Graduate Studies and Research.
Okay, so, let’s start historically with the technology. It was developed in the early 1960s by a fellow named Woodrow W. Bledsoe, who I believe was an IEEE member. He later retired at the University of Texas at Austin. And what he was doing was marking facial images by hand—the centers of the eyes, the corners of the eyes, the corners of the lips, and the like. And then he projected these marks onto a sphere and he rotated the sphere, trying to get marks from two different images to line up, at which point he could say, aha, these are from the same person.
Well, all of this hand marking didn’t work so well, and in the late 1980s, Sirovich and Kirby came out with this very simplistic idea that is so simple it sounds like it’ll never possibly work, but it did.”
For those who prefer listening to reading, there’s also a podcast…