Rapid Development of Iris Recognition Technology

Realizing the promise of biometric identification and getting the most value for it


These systems are appropriate for any kind of critical infrastructure or any facility where access is limited by design (e.g., chemical plants, data centers, refineries, seaports, biological laboratories, banks, military facilities, border crossings). They can be integrated with most commercial enrollment devices, are interoperable with all leading iris matching algorithms and can be used in conjunction with other biometric modalities to increase security and certitude. SRI Sarnoff has developed a model of Iris on the Move that can be used in any kind of weather-the only iris scanning system with this capability. The company expects to introduce a second "all weather" system within the year.

Don't Blink: You'll Miss What's Next

While these new iris identification systems have opened up a host of applications for this tool, the technology continues to develop very rapidly. Soon we can expect to see handheld devices, where iris identifications can be made rapidly and at a distance.

Current handhelds continue to need cooperative subjects and have a very limited standoff. For police and military-who may not want to get close to potential perpetrators-this is problematic.

Expect the new generation of handhelds to be much smaller, akin to today's smallest video camcorders. These will have a much greater standoff distance, and begin to include functionality such as off-axis capture that will enable identification of individuals as they are milling about in groups or crowds. Law enforcement and military will likely be the early adopters of this technology, which is expected to be on the market sometime in 2012.

Mark Clifton is vice president, Products and Services, at SRI International Sarnoff, Menlo Park, Calif.