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Assessing Face Overlay



Mary F. Theofanos, Brian C. Stanton, Charles L. Sheppard, Ross J. Micheals, Yee-Yin Choong, John W. Wydler II, Kevin C. Mangold, Michelle P. Steves, Emile L. Morse


The United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology's (US-VISIT) has embarked on an effort to improve the quality of facial images captured at US ports of entry. One aspect of this effort was the identification of usability and human factors issues that may impact face image capture. The report describes a usability test that assessed the use of a face overlay guide to assist the camera operator center and align the face image. Use of the overlay in this study showed that it could be used to frame a face with a camera without additional instruction with an effectiveness rate that was clearly superior to the images captured without benefit of the overlay. Additionally, there was no effect on task efficiency, and users who used the overlay were more satisfied with the image framing process than those who did not use the overlay.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7578
Report Number


"facial recognition, usability, biometrics, affordance"


Theofanos, M. , Stanton, B. , Sheppard, C. , Micheals, R. , Choong, Y. , Wydler, J. , Mangold, K. , Steves, M. and Morse, E. (2009), Assessing Face Overlay, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created August 17, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017