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Last Updated: Sep 15, 2017 - 4:49:58 AM
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NIST biometric workshop studies voice, dental, oral standards

Jan 25, 2013 - 5:00:00 AM


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a workshop to discuss proposed supplements to the biometric data format standard that support voice recognition, dental and oral data, disaster victim identification and special data needs for mobile ID applications. The ANSI NIST-ITL Standard Workshop 2013 will meet Jan. 28-30, 2013, at the NIST Gaithersburg, Md., campus.

Biometric data standards specify formats and data necessary to accurately exchange biometric identification information between different agencies and systems. In November 2011, NIST published a revised biometric data transfer standard* that greatly expanded the type and amount of information forensic scientists can share across international networks to identify victims and support criminal investigations. A little more than a year after the 2011 revision, two working groups will be presenting proposed additions to the standard.

A proposed data record developed by one working group for recognizing voices could enable law enforcement agencies to identify, for example, a caller of potential interest by matching their voice sample to voice data collected from prior bookings. The standard data record would note the type of recording equipment used and other details useful in the analysis of the voice recording.

A working group of international dental and forensic experts has developed a draft dental and oral biometric data record that would ease identification of bodies in disasters such as an airplane crash. For instance, if bodies are burned beyond recognition, photographs or fingerprints might not offer practical means of identification; in such instances, forensic analysts turn next to dental and oral information. Developing this standard was challenging due to the variety of ways dentists around the keep dental records, but could offer an interoperable mechanism to exchange such information in the future.

Oral measurements and images include attributes such as lip prints and soft palate impressions. Lip prints can sometimes be linked to specific persons and may be found on objects at crime scenes.

The proposed Dental and Oral Supplement would enable the exchange of images and descriptions of pattern injuries on persons, some of which may resemble bite marks, and to allow transmission of imagery such as X-rays and sonograms.

The workshop also will collect information to develop recommended best practices for identifying disaster victims. A panel will discuss the use of various biometric data in identifying victims, including DNA, facial characteristics, tattoos, dental records and fingerprints. This project is in conjunction with the international Scientific Working Group for Disaster Victim Identification (

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