Interview with Juergen Pampus, V.P. Marketing, Cognitec
Jul-15-08 FB You just recently announced an agreement with Lockheed Martin. Can you elaborate on that? Cognitec We were really happy to close that agreement with Lockheed Martin. It is a co-operation where Lockheed Martin will offer our Facial Recognition technology in a number of opportunities they have world wide, especially in the U.S. Federal Government area. This is an area where we have not been very strong in the past. We really hope that Lockheed Martin will help us to get into some of the really large projects there. Recently Lockheed Martin won a number of biometrics projects, and we hope to get into there as the Facial Recognition Provider in a later stage of these projects. FB You also had several deployments in Russia with AxxonSoft focusing on Video Surveillance. Can you describe this area for us? Cognitec AxxonSoft is one example of a number of companies that we have worked with in the Video Surveillance area where such companies would use our technology and develop their own surveillance applications. This is an example of a company deploying such systems to government agencies, police agencies but also to the retail industry and so on. Video surveillance applications with face recognition really work well now and the demand is really growing fast. We are investing a lot of our resources into improving this type of application…not only the underlying technology but also the applications around Facial Recognition technology. We have our own complete systems as well now and have started to deploy them, and we are also investing into embedded hardware, intelligent cameras and so on. We think that this is a really important market for us. FB In which vertical markets are you seeing the most growth? You are involved in a number of significant deployments…ePassports, video surveillance, etc. Can you tell us which area has the greatest growth?
Cognitec The strongest or largest market segment for us in recent years has been the ID document market, which is the Passport, Visa, and the Drivers License Issuance market. This sector asks for Face Recognition technology in different ways, one being the large database search applications where the organization would look for duplicates in their passport image database. This is one of our main applications. The other application is image capture compliant to the ISO standard for ePassport images defined a couple of years ago. There is demand from all ePassport issuing authorities to check the quality of their passport images. We have a very comprehensive piece of software that can automatically check the quality against this ISO standard. We have seen a number of projects around the world where we have been part of ePassport contracts when we supply that piece of software. FB Can you give us a brief update on your product line? Cognitec One area of development for us is always the basic underlying recognition algorithms. We have a team of scientists working on the improvement of those all the time. Actually, the Face Recognition Vendor Test in 2006 showed that we are in the top group of face recognition companies. Since then we have seen a lot of improvement in that technology. We are in the top tier there, so you can understand that it has become relatively difficult to add another % of performance, another % of recognition rate to the existing technology, but we have really improved the recognition rates by 30%. That was a great improvement with the new algorithms, which we published last year. On the product development side, as mentioned, Video Surveillance application has been a focus. We are investing into application development and into hardware development for this specific use. Another product that has started to be deployed is a version of our software used for Border Control using ePassports. More and more governments have started to install or at least are thinking about automated passport checking systems at borders. The passport image which is stored in the passport chip would be used to verify if the passenger is really the same person. Such e-gates can be used by everybody who is the bearer of an ePassport. Such e-gates have already been installed in Portugal - deployed by a Portuguese Company. They use our technology. Another example is Australia - they were the first country to deploy Face Recognition for border control years ago when we started the SmartGate project. Germany is discussing a trial as well as a couple of other countries. FB In summary, has this been a good year for the company and what is next for Cognitec? Cognitec
2007 has been a really good year. We have increased our revenues every year since we started. This has continued and we have seen an excellent first 6 months this year, so we are very confident that we will improve our numbers this year again considerably again. Yes, we are very happy with the results.
If you would like to learn more about facial recognition, please visit findBIOMETRICS.com.