Innovation has formed much of the rich history in biometrics. The field of soft biometrics was originally aimed to augment the recognition process by fusion of metrics that were sufficient to discriminate populations rather than individuals. This was later refined to use measures that could be used to discriminate individuals, especially using descriptions that can be perceived using human vision and in surveillance imagery. A further branch of this new field concerns approaches to estimate soft biometrics, either using conventional biometrics approaches or just from images alone. These three strands combine to form what is now known as soft biometrics. We survey the achievements that have been made in recognition by and in estimation of these parameters, describing how these approaches can be used and where they might lead to. The approaches lead to a new type of recognition, and one similar to Bertillonage which is one of the earliest approaches to human identification.
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