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Siemens recognizes biometrics partner in Viisage

Firm to mix its hardware and optics capabilities with Viisage's face-recognition algorithms to create security apps.

Software maker Viisage on Tuesday joined forces with German electronics giant Siemens to produce new 3D face recognition products for security applications.

The agreement enables Viisage to use Siemens' 3D image acquisition technology to develop, manufacture and jointly market a 3D image sensor to be used in advanced face-recognition products.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, face recognition technologies received a boost. A study released by the U.S. Department of Commerce identified 10 companies that have made significant progress on the technique.

Billerica, Mass.-based Viisage, which makes 2D and 3D face-recognition algorithms, made the Commerce Department's list. Viisage hopes that combining its software strength with Siemens' hardware and optics capabilities will give the companies' an edge, particularly in applications where images of a person are taken in only two dimensions today.

Under the agreement, Siemens Building Technologies, a Siemens arm that supplies building automation and fire safety and security solutions, will market Viisage offerings as part of its portfolio.