Now there’s even more uses for all the new 3D technology.

With the progress in facial recognition technology, it looks like law enforcement officers will have it much easier to identifying suspects. While many law enforcement officers across the world may still be contemplating its effectiveness, one police department has confirmed that it is already changing the way they take mugshots. According to reliable reports in Japan, all the Metropolitan Police Departments in Tokyo will use 3D cameras that will snap a suspect’s face, morph it into 3D and store it in an identification database of all the images.

According to the reports, this futuristic mugshot process will begin in April, and is stipulated to change the way Tokyo police officers analyze CCTV footages. Under current security camera footages, a suspect’s face is often murky, thereby making it tough or virtually impossible to fully
confirm that the suspect being held in the station is actually the criminal being shown in the security footage.

These 3D mugshots that will be used in all 102 police stations in Tokyo will give officers unparalleled details of a suspect’s face, which will then be stored in a database for future use at a central department. These mugshots will be a step up from the regular two-dimensional mugshots that are currently being used by law enforcement officers all over the world.


Image Source:

The 3D shots will be adjustable to match the exact angle of the security camera footages, which in most cases, are shot from above and not at the face height. In the current mugshot practice, police officers only snap suspects’ faces from the front and sideways, thus making it very difficult to rightly match the taken mugshots to the images from security cameras.

This is, however, not the first time Tokyo Police has experimented with 3D mugshots. Their first experiments took place fifteen years ago and were done in the department’s labs before being wheeled out in privacy and only on request. This time though, the department will continue using the familiar front and side mugshots, as well as the new 3D mugshots so as to run a test match using a given kind of computer algorithm.

With the April project being just the start, it is reported that Tokyo Police is also likely to use the 3D technology to identify suspects on the streets using a series of private and public security cameras throughout the city. If it comes to fruition, Tokyo Police will likely have to deal with privacy advocates in Japan. Either way, this is a futuristic project that would give the police a lot more dirt on a suspect than fingerprints.