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Face And Iris Recognition Developments Could Benefit National Security

Biometric recognition identified
BAE Systems’ investment in helping highly innovative small and medium sized businesses accelerate their own technologies is delivering significant advances in face and iris recognition that could benefit national security.

An important example is the development of a technology demonstrator that integrates biometrics or face and iris recognition into one prototype platform that can recognise subjects when they are on the move. The demonstrator is on display in BAE Systems’ exhibition at this year’s Farnborough International, 19 - 26 July 2010.

The project combines the biometric capabilities of OmniPerception Ltd and Smart Sensors Ltd, the integration skills of Human Recognition Systems Ltd and the financial support, expertise and experience of BAE Systems. It has delivered a system that can identify and verify a subject from digital video and raise an alert to security operators to indicate the presence of that subject.

The system integrates face and iris recognition to provide a dual layer of security – particularly useful in verifying individuals in highly populated environments where security is vital. Future applications could include mass transit systems and schemes that require high volume enrolment or verification such as airports, exhibitions, sporting and entertainment fixtures.  The system uses information derived from key points around the face and eyes to identify a subject. Identification can be made using cameras at a variety of angles, so a direct face-on picture is not required – particularly useful in crowded and busy environments.

BAE Systems’ Investment in Innovation programme was launched in 2008 and is a multi-million pound annual investment fund for small and medium sized organisations to develop technologies for the company’s defence and security customers. It also provides non-financial support, drawing upon BAE System’s engineering, project management and technology resources including test and evaluation facilities.

David Mullin, Manager, Investment in Innovation, BAE Systems, said that the approach being taken to bring these capabilities together was an innovation in itself, as it allowed a fair and transparent partnership with mutual benefits for all concerned. “Investment in Innovation helps small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) develop their products quicker and gives BAE Systems the opportunity to integrate those products with our own capabilities to meet emerging customer needs,” he said.

Stewart Hefferman, CEO OmniPerception Ltd, added: “The product development support we have received has enabled OmniPerception to bring our product to market many times quicker than we would have achieved on our own. The contractual flexibility and agility with which BAE Systems responds to our needs is fundamental in enabling us to deliver new high-technology products. Through BAE Systems introduction to other companies, Smart Sensors and Human Recognition Systems we have been able to integrate our products into a new capability and broaden our customer base considerably.”

Neil Norman, CEO Human Recognition Systems Ltd, comments: “Innovation is always a challenge for an SME; we often have great ideas but struggle with the capital and time to bring these ideas to life.  BAE System’s Investment in Innovation (I3) programme is a refreshing change for our business, they give us difficult problems to solve based on their 3-5 year vision and importantly the freedom to think about how to go about it.  By engaging HRS, OmniPerception and Smart Sensors early with a long term vision we have been able to develop new technology capability with clear market potential.”


About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services.  In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).


About OmniPerception Ltd
OmniPerception, a private British company based in Guildford, Surrey, is a global supplier of computer vision capabilities, specialising in facial biometrics and advanced image processing.
The company’s software is in widespread use in the UK and internationally, providing automated solutions for the recognition of objects and people in a wide range of customer applications – including secure biometric access control and facial imaging for police custody management and criminal investigations.


About Smart Sensors Ltd
Smart Sensors Limited is based at the University of Bath’s Innovation Centre in the city of Bath, UK. With a portfolio of 9 granted and pending patents, the company develops and researches video analytics technology for image recognition, which is now deployed in several products sold internationally for the recognition of persons by using iris (front of the eye) biometrics. A particular focus for Smart Sensors is its work on iris biometrics acquisition of subjects on the move and at a distance. Applications include secure hands-free access control and automated border crossing.


About HRS Ltd
Human Recognition Systems Limited is one of the UK’s most recognised industry experts in biometric and identity management consulting, with specialist expertise in human behavioural analytics. Established in 2002 by entrepreneur Neil Norman, HRS quickly established itself as the market leader in developing multi-biometric, smart surveillance and identity management solutions for companies and organisations such as Manchester Airport, Carillion, BNFL and the UK MOD.  The business provides biometric solutions to a number of sectors including defence and national security, transport and construction.