Biometrics has historically found its natural mate in Forensics. The first applications found in the literature and over cited so many times, are related to biometric measurements for the identification of multiple offenders from some of their biometric and anthropometric characteristics (tenprint cards) and individualization of offender from traces found on crime-scenes (e.g. fingermarks, earmarks, bitemarks, DNA). From sir Francis Galton, to the introduction of AFIS systems in the scientific laboratories of police departments, Biometrics and Forensics have been "dating" with alternate results and outcomes. As a matter of facts there are many technologies developed under the "Biometrics umbrella" which may be optimised to better impact several Forensic scenarios and criminal investigations. At the same time, there is an almost endless list of open problems and processes in Forensics which may benefit from the introduction of tailored Biometric technologies. Joining the two disciplines, on a proper scientific ground, may only result in the success for both fields, as well as a tangible benefit for the society. A number of Forensic processes may involve Biometric-related technologies, among them: Evidence evaluation, Forensic investigation, Forensic Intelligence, Surveillance, Forensic ID management and Verification.
The COST Action IC1106 funded by the European Commission, is trying to better understand how Biometric and Forensics synergies can be exploited within a pan-European scientific alliance which extends its scope to partners from USA, China and Australia.
Several results have been already accomplished pursuing research in this direction. Notably the studies in 2D and 3D face recognition have been gradually applied to the forensic investigation process. In this paper a few solutions will be presented to match 3D face shapes along with some experimental results.