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Saturday, February 27th, 2021

S&T tests face, iris recognition systems through checkpoints

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At the first Biometric Technology Rally, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) established a series of checkpoints used to identify biometrics, mainly facial and iris identification, quickly and accurately.

Attendees at the DHS Maryland Test Facility were scanned, and their images matched, in real time. In all, 11 industry participants were involved, from 10 countries. The efficacy of the biometric system was gauged by how well they acquired, processed, and matched images in under 20 seconds, how long volunteers used each system, and how quickly they could understand them. In all, 364 people participated over the course of the 10-day event, performing 4,368 individual system assessments.

“We are very pleased by the outcome of this rally,” Arun Vemury, S&T Program Manager and Biometric Technology Lead, said. “Not only will the results be beneficial for understanding to capabilities of cutting-edge systems and driving future research and development, but industry participants gained a better understanding of the strengths and possible areas for improvement of their biometric systems, having now used them in a systematic, rigorous, and realistic, high-throughput environment.”

DHS intends to use results from the rally to inform their procurement of future tests, pilots, and systems.

“Today, TSA got to see a bunch of different solutions, a bunch of different use cases, and that’s really important market research for us as we move forward in implementing biometric technology,” Melissa Conley, senior advisor for the Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis, said. “S&T is doing all of the legwork for us to make sure these algorithms and these technologies and these companies meet certain thresholds so we can streamline our procurement process.”