Criminals who cover their faces during a burglary or robbery can still be caught thanks to new technology. Scientists are developing technology that can identify them based on their shoes.
This technology is being developed by the British University of Staffordshire in cooperation with West Yorkshire Police. Police need images — video or photos — that can come from security cameras, police cameras or witnesses’ smartphones. Most importantly, at least one of the impostor’s shoes is visible.
After the suspect was arrested, his shoes could be compared to those in the photos. This is done using a 3D scanner, which scans the shoe in both visible and infrared light. Many night cameras also work with infrared light.
A 3D model of the shoe is then created, which can be compared to the shoe in the photos. Each shoe is unique. Think about wrinkles, scratches, and other irregularities that can only be seen on your shoes. The police can use these things to identify the criminal.
National Footwear Database
Megan Needham, one of the developers, explains in A press release This technique can be implemented simply and quickly. In total, the process takes only 30 minutes. Moreover, it is also very cheap. The cost of the equipment needed to implement this technique is less than 500 pounds sterling, equivalent to less than 600 euros.
Ultimately, the aim is to create a national footwear database in the UK, says Staffordshire University. Before this happens, the technology will be tested in a number of places.
Lots of demand
According to Selina Reddy, an identification expert at West Yorkshire Police, they are in high demand. “As the amount of surveillance footage increases and its quality improves, we are receiving more and more requests to identify the make and model of shoes captured on camera,” Reddy said. According to her, a database through which shoes can be easily searched is a tool that could become of great importance.
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