MSU Licenses Tattoo Matching Technology to World's Leading Biometrics Company

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January 19, 2010

Michigan State University has licensed its unique tattoo matching technology to MorphoTrak, the world’s top provider of biometric and identity management systems.

The tattoo matching technology was developed by Anil K. Jain, University Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering at MSU and an internationally recognized leader in the area of biometrics and pattern recognition research.

With this innovative technology, the corrections and law enforcement community will now have the capability to accurately and efficiently search tattoo image databases to identify suspects, criminals and victims. This content-based image retrieval and matching technology uses features such as color, shape and texture present in tattoo images, instead of labels or keywords, to compute the similarity between images.

“This technology is an invaluable tool to assist law enforcement with intelligence gathering for suspect and victim identification. We trust MorphoTrak to bring this technology to bear at all levels of the law enforcement community,” said Jain.

The tattoo matching team at MSU consists of Jain; Rong Jin, associate professor of computer science and engineering; Jung-Eun Lee, computer science and engineering PhD student; and Nicholas Gregg, undergraduate student in computer science and engineering. The team worked closely with the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division; Inspector Greg Michaud, assistant division commander, and his colleagues provided a database of tattoo images as well as valuable suggestions.

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In photo above, Anil Jain’s tattoo matching research team met recently with a research engineer from MorphoTrak Inc., to discuss Tattoo ID, an automatic tattoo image retrieval system developed by Jain, University Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering. Clockwise from bottom left: Rong Jin, associate professor of computer science and engineering; Anupama Jagannathan, senior staff research engineer at MorphoTrak Inc.; Jung-Eun Lee, PhD student, computer science and engineering; and Nicholas Gregg, computer science and engineering senior. Photo by G.L. Kohuth, MSU University Relations