Child Identification Program Using Iris Recognition Hailed a Success

Secaucus, NJ (May 30, 2006) – When Sheriff Robert Garvey of the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office in Northampton, MA officially launched the Children’s Identification and Location Database (CHILD) Project in May 2005, he expressed his hope that over the coming years every sheriff in the nation would have a CHILD Project Iris Recognition System at their disposal. The CHILD Project is a secure, nationwide network and registry enabling law enforcement and social service agencies to positively identify missing children and adults using the iris recognition system from Panasonic System Solutions Company. The system features Panasonic’s BM-ET330 Iris Recognition Reader, which provides the most accurate form of non-invasive authentication and identification available. On the one year anniversary of the launch, over 1600 Sheriffs in 24 counties in 17 States are either using or have committed to using the technology.

“The CHILD Project is an unqualified success and we are proud to be a partner in this worthwhile and ongoing initiative,” said Frank DeFina, President of Panasonic System Solutions Company. “This achievement truly gives support to Sheriff Garvey’s hope for a nationwide implementation.”

The CHILD Project system uses a specialized Panasonic video camera to capture a detailed close-up of both irises. The system’s biometric software, developed by Iridian Technologies, Inc., the world leader in authentication technology based on iris recognition, makes a template or 'map' of each person's iris pattern for storage in the system. To verify identity later, an individual simply looks at Panasonic’s BM-ET330, and the system compares the patterns in the individual's irises against the templates stored in the system. If there's a match, the identity is verified.

The Nation’s Missing Children Organization and National Center for Missing Adults (NMCO), a non-profit agency providing nationwide assistance to law enforcement and families of missing persons, hosts the database at its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. Unlike fingerprint, voice, facial or photo ID card programs, data obtained using the Panasonic Iris Recognition System will never become obsolete because peoples’ iris patterns remain the same for life after one year from birth.

According to Sean Mullin, President and CEO of the CHILD Project, enrollment in the Project has grown in ways they never anticipated. “Not only has the interest been overwhelming but registrations are exceeding our expectations as well,” said Mullin. “Enrollment campaigns, mounted by local organizations, community groups and even high school students, are drawing attention to the Project. What’s also gratifying is the fact that these campaigns are reaching out to senior citizens to include them in the registrations.”

In addition to the CHILD Project, Mr. DeFina notes the Panasonic BM-ET330 Iris Reader is used in the new Identification System, Sea I.D. from BIË› Technologies for the maritime, cruise and port industries and in the Senior Safety Net System. It has also been selected by the TSA for use in the Frequent Traveler Program, available at numerous airports around the country.