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The recent EU-Council Regulation on standards for security features and biometrics in EU citizens' passports will bring about the introduction of digital facial and fingerprints images in all future European passports.

At the same time technical specifications established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be implemented in the EU member states in order to boost biometrics support border controls. While according to the ICAO recommendations, from 2006 the biometric-enabled border control will be based on 2D face recognition technology, the drawbacks of this approach are known: the biometric performance of these systems is not by far satisfactory.

The 3D face project is clearly focused on research on 3D face recognition technology, including fusion with 2D face recognition technologies, and its application in highly secure environments. The project will follow the approach to exploit the rich feature space based on the geometry of the face surface. Not only one order of magnitude performance improvements are expected, but moreover fake-resistant sensor new technology will be developed. The latter is an essential precondition for cost savings and for increased reliability in self-service border controls. A major focus is on technology research for enabling privacy protection of the 3D biometric templates.

The technologies researched and developed in 3D face will be evaluated in a large scale field trial on some important European airport sites, in order to test end-to-end performance of the system and to analyse resulting social and operational issues. The core team of the consortium is already deeply involved in the ISO standardization work on biometrics. Consequently the project results will directly influence the work programme of the ISO relevant committee.

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IP - Integrated Project