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Camera Recognition



Michelle P. Steves, Brian C. Stanton, Mary F. Theofanos, Dana E. Chisnell, Hannah Wald


The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program is a biometrically-enhanced identification system primarily situated at border points of entry such as airports and seaports. In a 2004 assessment of the quality of facial images captured by US-VISIT, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) discovered a widespread problem: many subjects were 1) not directly facing the camera and 2) had a pose angle of greater than 10 degrees. The findings of NIST’s subsequent follow-up studies suggest that the camera used to capture facial images of travelers should look as much as possible like a traditional camera. Knowing where to look will help the subjects being photographed orient themselves in such a way that they are frontal to the camera – thus improving picture quality. This study explored whether participants could discern image capture devices (i.e., cameras) from other types of technology, and the attributes they relied upon to make that distinction.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7921
Report Number


usability, biometrics, affordance, facial recognition, cameras


Steves, M. , Stanton, B. , Theofanos, M. , Chisnell, D. and Wald, H. (2013), Camera Recognition, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created March 26, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018