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Biometrics - Case Studies

Panasonic iris readers speed travellers through security as part of Clear®

panasonic iris readers speed travlers through airport security The BM-ET330 Iris Reader from Panasonic System Solutions Company is being deployed in Clear kiosks at airports around the U.S. as part of Clear®, the airport security fast-pass system operated by Verified Identity Pass, Inc.®

Clear was developed to help speed frequent travellers through security checkpoints, typically in four minutes or less.  Clear, which is already available to 100,000+ members at 14 airports across the country, utilises biometric data in the enrolment and verification process to deliver the highest levels of speed and accuracy.  Clear kiosks are not only deployed at participating airports, but also at enrolment sites located in the business districts of select cities, a convenience for frequent travellers.

"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," said Frank DeFina, President of Panasonic System Solutions Company.  "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."

Clear members have access to a separate, express security lane by using an identity card containing their encrypted fingerprint templates and iris images.  To enrol in the program, travellers can complete the application form either online or at an enrollment centre.  Once the application is completed, the applicant must appear in person at an enrolment centre and present two forms of approved government-issued photo identification, along with an enrolment fee of $128.  A photograph of the applicant is taken as well as fingerprints and iris images.  After the application has been screened and approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a Clear card is issued.                             

When using the Clear card at participating airports, a member enters the Clear lane and inserts his or her Clear card into the kiosk to perform the biometric data authentication.  The kiosk verifies the traveller's identity with an iris or fingerprint match.  Once verified, travellers can proceed directly to the security checkpoint, avoiding the regular security queue.  Most recently, Clear was implemented at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where 11 Panasonic BM-ET330 Iris Readers have been deployed in Clear kiosks in various terminals.

Iris recognition is one of the most reliable biometric technologies available, and the Panasonic Iris Reader enhances that reliability through its dual camera design that captures both iris images simultaneously.  The Reader's biometric software has been 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.  When the Clear member inserts his or her card into the kiosk and looks into the Panasonic 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.

"We are pleased with the quality and performance of the Panasonic Iris Readers," said 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.  The speed and accuracy of Panasonic Iris Readers help us to deliver that promise."

According to Mr. DeFina, iris recognition technology offers both convenience and high security.  Convenience is a result of the low error rate, and Panasonic offers the best performance in the industry with a false acceptance ratio of only one in 1.2 million.  Additionally, no contact with the Iris Reader is required, which eliminates wear and tear and contamination issues.  Also, authentication is more accurate because unlike fingerprint, voice, facial or photo ID card programs, data obtained using Panasonic Iris Readers will never become obsolete because iris patterns remain the same for life after one year of age, and no two irises - even your own two or those of identical twins - are identical.

In addition to Clear, Panasonic Iris Reader solutions are also utilised in the National Child™ Identification Program (The Children's Identification and Location Database), a secure, nationwide network and registry enabling law enforcement and social service agencies to positively identify missing children and adults; Sea I.D.™, an identification system for maritime, cruise and port industries; as well as Senior SafetyNet and SORIS (the Sex Offender Registration and Identification System).

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