Behold: A technology capable of spotting that peculiar criminal, the arsonist, in a large crowd. The “Questionable Observer Detector” (QoD) tracks faces at multiple crime scenes.
The idea here is that the criminal may be hanging out in the crowd that gathers after the event. In fact, arsonists are known to lurk within the crowd at the scene of a burning building; they are, in effect, watching their work in progress. Kevin W. Bowyer, a computer vision expert at Notre Dame, hit upon the idea of creating a practical tool to process all the available video clips of similar events, to see if it might spot someone turning up unusually often as part of the crowd, giving authorities a possible lead.