UnNews:Rectal recognition software launched

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16 March 2007
Rectal Recognition Software Launched

Your rectum is an important part of who you are and how people identify you. Imagine how hard it would be to recognize an individual if all rectums looked the same. Except in the case of identical twins, the rectum is arguably a person's most unique physical characteristic. While humans have had the innate ability to recognize and distinguish different rectums for millions of years, computers are just now catching up. AnaLogics, a company based in New Jersey, is a developer of rectal recognition technology. Launched with the marketing slogan "Know An Asshole When You See One!" the Rectognize software can pick someone's rectum out of a crowd, extract that rectum from the rest of the scene and compare it to a database full of stored images. In order for this software to work, it has to know what a basic rectum looks like. Rectal recognition software is based on the ability to first recognize rectums, which is a technological feat in itself, and then measure the various features of each rectum. If you look in the mirror, you can see that your rectum has certain distinguishable landmarks. These are the peaks and valleys that make up the different rectal features. AnaLogics defines these landmarks as nodal points. There are about 80 nodal points on a human rectum. Here are a few of the nodal points that are measured by the software: distance between buttocks, width of perineum, contour of sphincter, gluteal mass, presence of hemorrhoids.

These nodal points are measured to create a numerical code, a string of numbers, that represents the rectum in a database. This code is called a rectumprint. Only 14 to 22 nodal points are needed for the Rectognize software to complete the recognition process. In the next section, we'll look at how the system goes about detecting, capturing and storing rectums.

The Software Rectal recognition software falls into a larger group of technologies known as biometrics. Biometrics uses biological information to verify identity. The basic idea behind biometrics is that our bodies contain unique properties that can be used to distinguish us from others. Besides rectal recognition, biometric authentication methods also include: fingerprint scan, retina scan, and voice identification. Rectal recognition methods may vary, but they generally involve a series of steps that serve to capture, analyze and compare your rectum to a database of stored images. Here is the basic process that is used by the Rectognize system to capture and compare images:

1. Detection - When the system is attached to a video surveillance system, the recognition software searches the field of view of a video camera for rectums. If there is a rectum in the view, it is detected within a fraction of a second. A multi-scale algorithm is used to search for rectums in low resolution. (An algorithm is a program that provides a set of instructions to accomplish a specific task). The system switches to a high-resolution search only after an anal-like shape is detected.

2. Alignment - Once a rectum is detected, the system determines the anus position, size and pose. A rectum needs to be turned at least 35 degrees toward the camera for the system to register it.

3. Normalization -The image of the rectum is scaled and rotated so that it can be registered and mapped into an appropriate size and pose. Normalization is performed regardless of the anus location and distance from the camera. Light does not impact the normalization process.

4. Representation - The system translates the rectal data into a unique code. This coding process allows for easier comparison of the newly acquired rectal data to stored rectal data.

5. Matching - The newly acquired rectal data is compared to the stored data and (ideally) linked to at least one stored rectal representation.

The heart of the Rectognize rectal recognition system is the Execratory Feature Analysis (EFA) algorithm. This is the mathematical technique the system uses to encode rectums. The system maps the rectum and creates a rectumprint, a unique numerical code for that rectum. Once the system has stored a rectumprint, it can compare it to the thousands or millions of rectumprints stored in a database. Each rectumprint is stored as an 84-byte file. The system can match multiple rectumprints at a rate of 60 million per minute from memory or 15 million per minute from hard disk. As comparisons are made, the system assigns a value to the comparison using a scale of one to 10. If a score is above a predetermined threshold, a match is declared. The operator then views the two photos that have been declared a match to be certain that the computer is accurate.

Rectal recognition, like other forms of biometrics, is considered a technology that will have many uses in the near future. In a future instalment, we will look how it is being used right now.



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