FacePrint Global Solutions

In the Boardroom With...
Pierre Côté
President and CEO
FacePrint Global Solutions, Inc. (FCPG.OB)
Please give our audience a brief overview of your background and the company’s history.

Pierre Cote:
I’ve been a businessman for the past 25 years, having done just about everything under the sun. I created nine educational board games that proved to be quite successful and I did a one-year international law program at the University of Montreal’s law school.

But since the mid-80s, I would say that my pride and joy has been the conception and development of unique software that mixes facial imagery, morphology segmentation and biometric coding technology – in other words, high-tech sketch artistry for cops. When I began developing this composite picture software, I was looking for a product that would blend education, safety and crime prevention – I wanted to provide a tool for the law enforcement community that would speed up investigations and assist crime victims in being able to help cops catch the bad guys. I also saw that this product would help people of all ages to improve their observation, memory and computer skills.

It all began, literally, with hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of paper that I collected inside a cardboard box, each containing drawings of eyes, noses, chins and so on. I would mix and match them together and make faces. The key was to turn all that into a highly sophisticated software that used actual photographic facial features. This proved to be the start of my research into facial imagery. It caught the law enforcement world by storm in the late 1990s. The product became known as FACES, the Ultimate Composite Picture. And while my team and I developed FACES in Montreal, Canada, we unveiled the product during the 1998 Las Vegas Comdex exhibition and distributed free copies of FACES to just about every law enforcement agency in North America. We wanted to give back to the community, and before long, multiple crime cases were being solved as cops were using FACES on the frontlines. The FBI even started a FACES course for its personnel and America’s Most Wanted, the TV show, hopped aboard, using FACES and promoting it in their investigations. Between 1995 and 2000, I served as president and CEO of InterQuest – the Canadian predecessor of the company that eventually moved to Fresno and became IQ Biometrix. In 2002, we sold the company and launched FacePrint Global Solutions to bring a new generation of facial imagery technology to a higher level. We are very proud of what we have accomplished and with the new millennium there’s been a host of new, advanced technology identity solutions and products. We believe these products, all based on our E-DNA BioPrint Coding System and our associated e-learning tools, will revolutionize the worldwide biometrics marketplace. The need for biometric advancement is there, especially in the wake of 9/11, the 9/11 Commission and homeland security, and FacePrint Global Solutions plans to be on the forefront of that technological advancement.
There are three primary revenue and profit drivers at FacePrint Global Solutions: biometrics, e-learning, and infotainment. Can you please give us a brief overview of each?

Pierre Cote:
Our focus at FacePrint Global Solutions is threefold: prevention of crime, crime solving and education – and all of our products are intertwined with those themes. Our FacePrint technology will bring biometrics into a new dimension, thus providing law enforcement agencies, for example, with the most advanced tool on the market to help them capture criminals. The great thing about our facial imagery product is that it comes with backup training. Our exclusive e-learning program will be offered to all law enforcement personnel by experts in criminology, homeland security and intelligence gathering. These experts are affiliated with the criminology and victimology department of California State University in Fresno. This literally means that any police, private security, customs or other personnel involved in security can have direct access to our expertise with a simple click of the mouse. The third aspect of what we do – our series of most-wanted criminal playing cards – may appear on the surface to be all fun and games, but it also has a very positive, preventive and educational aim. Thanks to the exclusive distribution licence we have with America’s Most Wanted and 20th Century Fox, these cards, featuring 54 of this country’s most wanted fugitives, serve as an important awareness tool for the public. We want to spread these photos among the public to help police capture these suspects. We are helping bring greater cooperation between civilians and police. And while it is entertaining, it is also a very constructive part of being a good corporate citizen.
Focusing first on biometrics, what makes FacePrint’s technology unique?

Pierre Cote:

Well, for one thing, speed – which is the most crucial part of any police investigation. A witness can literally create a facial image using the E-DNA-based software in a matter of minutes. In the old days, a police sketch artist would have had to be brought in to the investigation, sit down with the victim and draw the composite – a process that would take a long time. With FacePrint, it’s done in minutes and on the spot, thus allowing cops to distribute the photo-perfect composite via their cruiser laptops immediately, while the case is fresh. The other unique aspect is that these facial images can be stored cheaply, can be transmitted very fast and can be re-created in just seconds by police. That’s because each facial feature is assigned an alphanumeric code called the E-DNA code. When these E-DNA codes are put together, the suspect’s face is assembled before your very eyes and immediately distributed by FacePrint software.

The other unique part of FacePrint is that it contains a database of about 10,000 unique facial features that are capable of creating an almost unlimited number of unique facial images. This means that FacePrint will be capable of creating a photo-perfect image of the face of every single person alive today in the world – and there are about 6.3 billion people on Earth – as well as every person who has ever lived and billions of people who are yet to be born.

We are also developing, for release in January 2006, a unique product called EZ-Match, which will integrate the FacePrint technology. EZ-Match will allow efficient and rapid creation and distribution of code sets unique to individual faces. These codes will be found hidden in passports, so that when an airport customs officer swipes the passport through a reader, a composite image of the true passport holder will appear on a computer screen – all of this courtesy of the codes embedded by FacePrint.

Another thing: FacePrint will be extremely user friendly. Even those with limited computer skills can become fully proficient in just a short period of time. And for those who need that extra help getting accustomed to this type of software, they will have access to our web-based e-learning tutorial.
Let’s turn now to the company’s e-learning division. You mentioned earlier that FacePrint and CSU, Fresno are jointly developing e-learning tools for the law enforcement, corrections, and victimology communities. What will be unique about your product offerings?

Pierre Cote:

Perhaps the most unique aspect of our e-learning program is that we are bringing our expertise directly to cops. One of the things that came out of the 9/11 Commission is that law enforcement agencies didn’t share information and their intelligence gathering left a lot to be desired prior to 9/11. Well, we are encouraging cops to share information and showing them how to gather intelligence, through our e-learning program, which is easily accessible and affordable. Police don’t have the money or the manpower to send their investigators away on training courses. With our e-learning, cops don’t have to travel. They can access our expertise with a computer mouse. Our affiliation with CSU Fresno’s departments of criminology and victimology means that experts from these fields are available to assist police personnel from anywhere in the country.
And, finally, let’s look at the infotainment area. FacePrint has been working with 20th Century Fox and America’s Most Wanted television show since 2003. Please tell us about that relationship.

Pierre Cote:

Our relationship with the team at America’s Most Wanted goes all the way back to the late 1990s – and we are proud to say that they have always believed in our product and what it can do for crime victims and police. AMW has used our product on their show to create composites of wanted fugitives over the years. This has led to dozens upon dozens of criminals to be captured, included the notorious South Florida serial child rapist, who in late 1999 was captured hours after a FACES composite of the rapist had been broadcast on the TV show. One of the young victims helped a forensic artist with the description of the assailant, who used our product to quickly recreate the assailant’s portrait. The reign of terror, in which 12 young girls were assaulted, ended when the suspect was finally captured by police.

Currently, our licence agreement with 20th Century Fox and America’s Most Wanted paves the way for the distribution of 54 playing cards that feature the faces, bios and rap sheets of America’s 54 most-wanted fugitives. These cards, produced by FacePrint, are promoted on Fox’s America’s Most Wanted TV show. What makes this an ideal partnership is that all three of us – FacePrint, Fox and America’s Most Wanted – believe in creating public awareness, education and crime prevention through these cards. It is a unique tool that teaches people to be on the alert and allows them to play a role in helping law enforcement agencies capture criminals. We are pleased to be able to do our part, and our relationship with America’s Most Wanted continues to move forward.
You’ve mentioned several important strategic partnerships. Can you tell us more about those relationships?

Pierre Cote:

Our affiliation with California State University in Fresno is a very important one, in that we’ve teamed up with some of the brightest minds in the criminology and victimology domain. Their expertise has been extremely useful to the service that we offer America’s law enforcement community. Our advisory board, along with America’s Most Wanted and 20th Century Fox, forms a key partnership. We are also in collaboration with Paradox Learning and continue to negotiate with them for a future partnership.
Thank you for your time today, Pierre. Are there any other topics you would like to cover?

Pierre Cote:

My quest to improve intelligence gathering and help police do their work hasn’t waned since 1987, when I was back in Montreal, putting together the original prototype for our composite picture software. Today, as the technology improves and FacePrint moves to the next level, with our series of products, ID cards, chips and other facial imagery advancements, I am still filled with that 1987 enthusiasm. I am still a cheerleader for victims’ rights and for helping cops do their work. And I still profoundly believe in the concept of crime prevention through education. This is our philosophy at FacePrint Global Solutions.