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Will Advanced Biometrics Automate Future War Machines?

By Network World

September 30, 2011

At the recent Biometric Consortium Conference, researchers unveiled several prototypes of advanced camera-based systems that could be used to remotely capture needed biometrics information on combatants or suspected terrorists.

"Gathering biometrics covertly from a distance—there are dozens of technologies that hold promise," says U.S. Air Force Maj. Mark Swiatek. "They will be able to be deployed in the next few years."

Carnegie Mellon University professor Marios Savvides gave a presentation on a long-range iris-capture prototype, which maintains a database of more than 6 million finger, palm, and iris biometrics on individuals. The camera-based system can automatically tilt and pan to capture iris scans in a crowd.

"We're looking at people trying to evade the system," Savvides says. "We have a beard category."

University of Notre Dame professor Kevin Bowyer gave a presentation on how iris texture can reveal with about 90%  accuracy whether someone is Asian or Caucasian. Boyd noted that gender accuracy is only 60%, and women "seem to be more complex than males" in determining their gender through iris texture.

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