FaceVACS Technology

Leading the industry

Cognitec's products incorporate state-of-the-art technologies relevant to working with facial images, in particular image processing, computer vision, and pattern recognition technologies. Algorithmic optimization since 1995 has resulted in superior independence from facial variances such as pose, mimic, age variance, different hair styles, glasses or temporary lighting changes.

The latest version of our technology, the FaceVACS Engine 9.4, was released in February 2019 and incorporates the B12 matching algorithm. Cognitec concluded extensive research and development efforts to further advance accuracy and speed of the algorithm.

The B12 algorithm achieved superior results in the 2018 NIST FRVT 1:1 with visa photos, and most recently, in the 2019 FRVT: Identification (1:N). The FaceVACS Engine also includes the A16 matching algorithm, featuring a much smaller memory footprint suitable for the development of face recognition applications for mobile devices.

Technology licensing

Cognitec’s FaceVACS Engine enables clients worldwide to develop new face recognition applications. It provides a clear and logical API for easy integration in other software programs.

Cognitec provides the FaceVACS Engine through customized software development kits, with a set of functions and modules specific to each use case and computing platform, and based on tailored software licensing agreements. Such specific use cases include: image quality check, verification for document issuance, and verification for access control.


  • powerful face localization and face tracking on images and video streams
  • industry-leading matching algorithms for enrollment, verification and identification
  • accurate portrait characteristics check for gender, age, pose deviation, exposure, glasses, eyes closed, uniform lighting detection, unnatural color, image and face geometry
  • ISO 19794-5 full frontal image type checks and formatting as required for ePassports
  • supports multiple algorithms to work with two-dimensional intensity data, or two-dimensional data and corresponding range data (3D data)

Programming and development

  • advanced face recognition APIs: C++, Java, Microsoft .NET, BioAPI 2.0 Verification Engine (C API)
  • documented examples for main use cases and customized implementations
  • tools for biometric evaluations: e.g. generation of identification match lists, similarity matrix data

Android and iOS development

Cognitec's technology also supports the development of portable face recognition applications. Law enforcement agents use handheld devices to capture suspect photos and compare them to image databases on the device or central systems. Face recognition can add security to login and authentication procedures, for the device itself or via apps on the phone or tablet. An app could be used to make mobile payments, take biometric photos required for ID documents, to index photo galleries saved on mobile devices or in the cloud, or to communicate with an access control system.