Research shows eye-reflections in photos could be used to identify criminals

Did you ever watch CSI's tech boffins zoom into a photo, grab the reflection in someone's eye, and through processing magic generate a full facial image of the wanted criminal? If, like us, you rolled your eyes at the program's "Hollywood" technology, then maybe you did so too soon (again). Researchers at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, have effectively done just that. Okay, so the team was using near perfect conditions: a 39-megapixel Hasselblad H2D camera, shooting a subject from one meter away, in perfect lighting, but the results proved the idea is well within the realms of science fact. When looking at a close up of a subject's eye, the team was able to grab an image between 27 to 36 pixels wide by 42 to 56 pixels high showing the face of one of the "bystanders" they had organised to be in the subject's view. The reflected images proved good enough that when volunteers were asked to match the small image with that of the actual bystander, or someone of similar appearance, results came in well above chance averaging between 70- and 84 percent. As well as assisting in criminal investigations, the researchers claim the technique could also yield 3D environments, when images can be taken from both eyes. Of course, real-world application would require similarly optimal conditions, but as technology advances, the researches claim this could be an ever increasing scenario.