US spends $4.5m on heat-based facial recognition that works at 1,600ft

US Military plans to throw out traditional facial recognition technology for a new long-range infrared version.

Published   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:45 AM CST
1 minute & 12 seconds read time

According to a couple of new contracts posted on the federal spending database, the United States military is cashing in on developing a new form of facial recognition technology.

US spends $4.5m on heat-based facial recognition that works at 1,600ft |

If you assumed that the US military was already using facial recognition technology on the battlefield, then you would have been right. The current use of facial recognition technology today is to identify potential targets, but the current technology relies on images from standard cameras. The US military wants to move away from the traditional camera and jump into something that is a bit more technologically advanced -- such as facial recognition technology that reads heat signatures.

The new contracts reveal the US military's motivation towards developing a new technology that can analyze infrared images to identify individuals. Department of Defense (DoD) states the following when calling for contractors, "Sensors should be demonstrable in environments such as targets seen through automotive windshield glass, targets that are backlit, and targets that are obscured due to light weather (e.g., fog)".

The DoD also says that the device should be small enough that it can be carried by a single person and ideally not be a burden either. It is also stated that the device should have long-range capabilities at distances of 10 to 500 meters (32 - 1600 ft). The contracts state that the US military will be spending a total of $4.5 million on developing this technology.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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