Speakers » Nicole Spaun

Nicole Spaun

Principal Facial Biometric Expert for Criminal Justice and Public Security, MorphoTrak, USA

Presenting with Scott Swann

Advancements in face recognition and video analytics

  • Distinguish face recognition as a biometric modality, and appreciate the history of its development.
  • Explain the basic concept of video analytics and how they impact facial recognition.
  • Illustrate how face recognition and video analytics work together, and understand how they can be used to advance the mission of their agencies.

Full synopsis
Facial recognition may appear to be a recent development in biometric identification technology. In fact, reliable and usable facial recognition has been 50 years in the making. Similarly, the time is quickly approaching when video analytics will no longer be an afterthought for supporting investigations or categorized as a wish-list tool. The approach traditionally used by agencies for analyzing video lots of people working overtime – is not effective for handling massive amounts of video and images. The challenge to law enforcement and government agencies of handling daunting volumes of video is compounded by the heightened public perception that digital evidence must be processed quickly, and increasingly, juries expect to see video presented during trials. This panel discussion will provide attendees with an understanding of facial recognition and video analytics as separate technologies for identification, incorporate use cases to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of sample implementations and, finally, suggest ways that facial recognition and video analytics can bolster one another when used for investigative purposes.


Dr Nicole Spaun is Principal Facial Biometric Expert for MorphoTrak’s Criminal Justice and Public Security unit. She received degrees from Boston University and Brown University in Planetary Geology while working with NASA’s Galileo mission. Dr Spaun continued her research at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

After the attacks of 9/11 she switched from space to security, working as a Forensic Image Examiner at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She specialized in biometrics and developed the FBI’s first Facial Identification course. Her expertise led to her election as the first chair of the Training subcommittee for the Facial Identification Scientific Working Group (FISWG). Dr Spaun left the FBI to become the first Biometrics Program Manager for Intelligence for the US Army in Europe (USAREUR).

Now at MorphoTrak, Dr Spaun provides end-user guidance on facial recognition and teaches courses in Facial Identification and Comparison. She also assists customers with facial recognition policy development and mentorship.

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