Iris Readers Speed Travelers Through Security
Verified Identity Pass Inc., New York, the operator of the Clear (flyclear.com) airport security fast-pass system, is deploying biometric iris readers from Panasonic, Secaucus, N.J., at airports around the United States to help speed frequent travelers through security checkpoints. Clear, which is already available to more than 100,000 members at 14 airports across the country, uses biometric data in the enrollment and verification process to deliver speed and accuracy.
Panasonic’s BM-ET330 Iris Reader features a dual camera design that captures both iris images simultaneously. Biometric software, developed by Iridian Technologies, Moorestown, N.J., makes a template or “map” of each person’s iris pattern. When a Clear member inserts his or her card into the kiosk and looks into the iris reader, the system compares the patterns in the cardholder’s irises against the image stored on the Clear card. If there is a match, the identity is verified.
Clear members have access to a separate express security lane by using an identity card containing their encrypted fingerprint templates and iris images. Once verified, travelers can proceed directly to the security checkpoint, avoiding the regular security queue. Clear lanes typically speed travelers through security in four minutes or less.
Most recently, Clear was implemented at the San Francisco International Airport, where 11 Panasonic BM-ET330 Iris Readers have been deployed in Clear kiosks in various terminals.
According to Frank DeFina, president of Panasonic, iris recognition technology offers both convenience and high security. Convenience is a result of the low error rate. Panasonic’s iris readers offer a false acceptance ratio of only one in 1.2 million. Additionally, no contact with the reader is required, which eliminates wear-and-tear and contamination. Authentication is also more accurate because unlike fingerprint, voice, facial or photo ID card programs, data obtained using iris readers will never become obsolete because iris patterns remain the same for life after one year of age, and no two irises are identical.
“Panasonic has been working with Verified Identity Pass since the launch of their first system at the Orlando International Airport in 2005 when this program was in early pilot stages,” DeFina says. “Our iris readers are a good fit for Verified Identity Pass’ proven identity verification solution. The Clear fast-pass program has helped elevate iris technology as the benchmark for non-invasive biometric solutions with fast and accurate identification.”
“We are pleased with the quality and performance of the Panasonic iris readers,” says Steven Brill, founder and CEO of Verified Identity Pass Inc. “We promise our members that Clear will provide a predictable, hassle-free experience through the security checkpoint.”