L.A. Noire: Facial recognition like you've never seen it before

By on December 17, 2010, 4:36 PM
Australian company Depth Analysis has developed a technology called MotionScan, which recreates a person's face into a high-resolution 3D image. This is not just capturing facial animation we're talking about here: the entire head is recorded.

MotionScan isn't just technology being used in some prototype or for research purposes. You'll see it put to use in L.A. Noire, an upcoming video game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games. Unfortunately, it's only going to be available for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 (you can watch the trailer on YouTube). The game is set in a recreated Los Angeles of 1947, where players are asked to solve a series of murder mysteries. That's where the facial recognition comes in; the embedded video below explains it best:

Well, this certainly raises the facial recognition bar. In related news, Facebook this week announced a new feature called tag suggestions, which uses facial recognition technology to suggest which friend is probably featured in a certain photo. "When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software similar to that found in many photo editing tools to match your new photos to other photos you're tagged in," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos."

In other words, the square that magically finds faces in a photo will now suggest names of your Facebook friends to streamline the tagging process, especially with the same friends in multiple uploaded photos. The feature will be rolling out across the US in the following weeks. While we think it's quite impressive that the technology is ready for mass consumption, until Facebook can do this for videos, we'll still be much more impressed with what L.A. Noire is bringing to the table.

User Comments: 17

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veedubguy said:

Wow, I am really looking forward to this game, and this technology! The realism is incredible! I am interested in how many game studios are going to pick this one up!

RaiDeR55 said:

This is some cool tech ..For games and other apps.. Sure adds more realism to the game/sim.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Wow really impressive, the level of detail is amazing.

Guest said:

So FB knows I'm smirking at it...?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

They'll be getting an angry letter from Max Headroom's lawyer.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Looks quite good that, i shall look forward to crashing the software with my face...


Looks very good... but not for PC? That is cruel... Come on Rockstar I know your pissed at people pirating your games, but there are still plenty of us legit PC gamers out here who buy our games. I loved GTA 4, played it 3 times completely through. I love the freedom, the details, the stories, all of it... I've always enjoyed the cut scenes as they made me feel like I was part of the story, and this technology for LA Niore looks like it would really be something if used in a GTA 5.

Either way i'm disappointed it won't be available for PC. Just a tip though... one thing that would help cut down on piracy a little would be release a demo of your game. A good demo that really shows off how good the game is. I usually don't buy games until they have come down in price, but having a demo for Mafia II, made me go out and buy it the day it came out. I have never done that before, so demos really do help.

Guest said:

is that.... is that.... walter from fringe?

Johny47 said:

I saw this vid on YouTube a couple of days ago, looked brilliant, another 'next gen' leap for games, I hope this get's used in all character/story driven games, especially Rockstar ones, maybe they'll use it in GTA V and the next Red Dead =)

Guest said:


Udo Woermann, law enforcement forensic and biometric expert and president of UNIDAS said, "It's impressive to see Animetrics 2D to 3D algorithms extract accurate 3D facial geometries from common 2D images." UNIDAS will implement this technology into its I.S.I.S. Law Enforcement Application Suite to open the 3D world for the facial identification process in anti-terror and police investigations.

"The goal is to get most of the population, if not all, in our database for instant recognition."

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"The goal is to get most of the population, if not all, in our database for instant recognition."

I bet we hear that sometime in the future...Another argument against civil liberties.

hassaan said:

Amazing. I don't think you could play game with that image quality on Xbox 360 or PS3 though.

nismo91 said:

looks good. except, i believe you will need to have pretty good webcams to capture your face image in that quality. my kinect cam doesnt take very clear pictures.

Guest said:

of course you can't :)

Guest said:

Again, another Game that is going to going to console only. I really think that it is time for all PC Gamers that own a console(s) to boycott these games. I am a PC gamer first. I have consoles for my kids. I am really getting tired of us gamers getting shafted. We created this industry, and many of companies would not be where there are today if not for our hard earned money. I really think that if we boycott these Console only Games or Games that are just ports of Console games maybe we might make our voices known.

Guest said:

This new feature only brings with it more opportunities for Facebook to use the now vast amount information it holds on individuals for profit. I dont see any good that can come of this addition and have deleted my Facebook account and am looking for more secure sites. I hear Mycube and Diaspora are good options

db119 said:

wow, it's hard to wrap your head around where this kind of thing could go. I know Google is already reading the content of videos automatically, so it will be interesting to see how others besides facebook are rolling this out.

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