Researchers working on improving the capabilities of iris capture technology at the CyLab Biometrics Lab in Pittsburg have begun to incorporate facial biometrics into their developments in hopes of creating a better multi-modal system, according to a Wired article. As the original intention was to be able to better capture and authenticate irises from as far as 12 meters away, the researchers came to the conclusion that the entire face would be available for scanning from such a distance as well.
The immediate intended purpose for the technology is for military access control applications where, in areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq, dependable and accurate biometric access control technology has become more and more necessary. The major problem that the Department of Defense needed solved, and has awarded CyLab $1.5 million to do so, is to increase the minimum distance required between a user being scanned and the security personnel operating the system as current system require enough cooperation between the two that the security officer frequently is forced to put away his weapon when operating the equipment.
While the iris capabilities are the major issues the agency needs solved, the three-dimensional face capture and authentication technology being looked into would benefit the program as well. The 3D face capture technology is expected to be utilized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well once the project is completed.
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