New iris scanning system scans 30 passengers per minute at a distance

by Charlie Leocha on April 26, 2010

Sarnoff Corporation has developed a new iris scanning system that allows passengers to be scanned with only a glance, from a distance — Iris on the Move (IOM). This process just won “Best New Product Award and Best Biometrics and Identity Solution at the Security Industry Association New Product Showcase.” It may be a solution for identity safeguards at our nation’s airports.

This technology was developed under a government grant to create an iris recognition at a distance solution.

Sarnoff’s patented IOM biometric identification systems quickly and accurately capture the iris image of subjects in motion at distances of as much as 10 feet, verifying identities at speeds of up to thirty people per minute. Other iris scanning technologies require users to stop or stare directly into a scanner.

IOM systems deliver accurate identification regardless of whether the subject is wearing prescription glasses, most sunglasses, or contact lenses.

This system is now being tested by DHS and on the ground in Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

IOM is ideal for Schiphol’s testing program since it’s a proven biometric verification system that operates differently from any other biometric identification solutions on the market today. The technology works by quickly capturing the iris image of a person in motion, combining the advanced security of iris recognition with the speed and convenience of a pass-through system.

Iris biometric is as unique as a fingerprint and, in fact, is faster than a fingerprint in providing positive identification.

How do you feel about iris scanning? This may be the wave of the future.

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  • Hapgood

    OK, so there is now a machine that claims to make “positive identification” quick and reliable. I guess that’s a good thing. But I don’t understand how either the traveler or National Security will benefit from it.

    Airlines will presumably enjoy the benefit of infallible enforcement of the non-transferrability rules for tickets, closing a loophole that can create a revenue hemorrhage. And the TSA will be able to reliably match passengers against the various databases and watchlists, presumably the main benefit for National Security.

    The only problem here is those databases and watchlists, which by all accounts are a crazy quilt of dubious and unverified names continually added to by agencies that care more about “making their numbers” than about accuracy. That can only mean that iris scanning will produce more “matches” and create more hassles that make the TSA look “effective” but do nothing for security.

    “Positive identification” can only be beneficial when the data against which it’s matched is the reliable product of a coordinated, accountable system. Since the nature of Bureaucracy precludes that from ever happening, we can now look forward to travelers getting hassled more “precisely” than. New technology in the hands of an inept and unaccountable bureaucracy usually means more garbage goes in, and that garbage goes out more “efficiently.”

  • John

    I think it’s a good thing. Much harder to fake an iris than a passport!

  • K

    It’s an interesting concept… On the other hand, the scanner is only a single piece of the puzzle.

    The scanner just captures the image, and checks it against a database. It then reports the results. Now, who builds the first database, and who sees the results?

    If we had a reliable database of everyone’s iris, then you could check in without even stopping at the airline counter. Just walk up to security, and the computer could say, “Oh, John Q Public is here. Does he have a ticket today? Yep, on American, leaving an an hour.” and turns on the green light. Or, “Oh, this guy is on the no-fly list.”, and automatically deploys a Taser until security comes.

    The same thing for luggage scanning. If we could turn the job over to computers, we could open the security checkpoints up again. It wouldn’t be any more complicated than getting on the subway.

    Why turn it over to computers? Because computers never have an ulterior motive. If you tell a computer to forget something, it forgets it. It doesn’t look at your naked body on a body scanner and think dirty thoughts.

  • Bill

    This sounds like the next iteration of the quick screening systems that have tried and failed to gain traction. I’d certainly be fine applying to by-pass the standard security line, however it still doesn’t address x-ray check and everything else that slows security down. The only benefit is a few seconds saved between a quick iris scan and a TSA agent checking my ID and boarding pass.

  • David in DC

    This is just like the movie Minority Report – I think that this is a really cool technology.

  • http://yahoo.com harvey aldrine

    thanks this is a really good help to my report…

  • http://www.tripso.com/author/ned/ Ned Levi

    This sounds like “big brother” to me. As others have pointed out, you’ve got to have a database of passenger’s eyes to compare the scan to. So to get the database each airplane passenger will now have to have their retinal scan in a government database. It’s as if you’ll be finger printed for the privilege of flying to Las Vegas.

    This is nonsense. The vast majority of air passengers are not criminals, but increasingly we are being treated like criminals. It’s especially maddening since most of what TSA does in screen passengers themselves is nothing but security “theater.”

  • Whodo

    Big brother really wants to control you. Hi officials and their families would never have an iris scan

  • Anonymous

    wow  this new techolnogy can increase the passing…

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