Biometrics go mobile at ASIS

Mobility and ease of use were the two major themes in the biometric industry at ASIS, as once-fledgling technologies like facial recognition start to gain a foothold and the mobile revolution touches the space as well.  


"The general sentiment on biometrics is along the lines that for years we have seen biometrics in the back end and not primary to installations,” Lumidigm’s Bill Spence explained. “But we've evolved the technology to where we can do customer-facing applications and add value, and it works! We actually have choices to offer that work, and because of that innovation, we can get business that we have been unable to get in the past." 


Just a few years ago, facial recognition technology was, frankly, overpromised and under-delivered. But vast advances in the technology have made it viable for a few markets, which is where iView Systems is thriving. Fresh off an ASIS Accolades award, the company’s iGWatch IP iDentify FaceSearch product enables the use of facial recognition for government, banks and primarily, casinos. Once enrolled, the software – which works with the supplier’s iTrak incident reporting platform – gives the operator a list of likely face matches in order of priority. According to company president Martin Drew, the price of the technology is dropping, the accuracy has improved, and using the incident reporting software makes life much easier for casino security.


The benefit of the technology is clear in practice. Imagine a known cheater walks into a Vegas casino. The software is able to match a surveillance image to a database face image. Now casino security knows the cheat is there, but the best part is that the incident management software allows the operator to pull up known associates, and search the database for specific characteristics. The added benefit of being able to use pre-existing images to build a database is also a key.


A newer company, Artec ID, was also touting face recognition; however, the company plans to use it for access control. Interestingly, the unit creates a live 3D facial image that can be recognized for access despite using many of the methods that can traditionally defeat the technology, such as a hat and sunglasses. In fact, company marketing officer Sergey Sukhovey demonstrated how the “Broadway 3D” technology could “see through” a hat and sunglasses and still grant access. The technology is cool and definitely neat to watch; however, I’m not sure the cost-effectiveness of using the technology will ever catch up to its “eye candy” aspects. Accuracy will never be a problem for this technology, but price point likely will.  


Perhaps the most interesting innovation in the biometric space could be mobile – that’s right, mobile biometric authentication is here and on display at ASIS in the 3M Cogent booth. Adding to it’s MiY platform, the company introduced the MiY-Mobile multi-functional biometric access control reader.


Able to read both government and non-government credentials, the device can capture fingerprints, portraits and read credentials in compliance with PIV, CAC, TWIC and others.