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Iris Scanning in a Mobile Phone

BLOGDIAL | May 23 2006

The UK based, xVista says that it has developed a portable iris scanning and verification system which could be built into a mobile phone. Developed through a US$3.4 million, six year partnership with the University of Sussex, the xVista system is designed to discreetly and securely map the iris for individual characteristics. The iris is first registered on to a central database creating a template that can be checked against all further scans to verify the user’s identity.

The system is capable of running from any low power computing device or camera equipped mobile phone. A 256 Mb mobile phone memory card will be able to hold over 250,000 separate iris templates and from a database of 1,000,000 irises, it will take less than one second for it to verify an individual iris.

Previously the realm of science fiction, biometrics are increasingly becoming an important part of modern security systems, with a pilot iris scanning scheme having recently been introduced into passport control at Heathrow’s Terminal One. There are now plans to introduce similar biometric security systems into other airports across the country.

Karlis Obrams Managing Director of xVista says “The xVista technology performs a similar task to the traditional signature, photograph or pin number in confirming an individual’s identity, but is far more reliable. The fact that the system can run from portable devices like the mobile phone and SIM card opens up fantastic potential for its use, making it far more effective than other scanning systems that are usually bulky and limited to fixed points.

“Using an airport as an example, the xVista system can be deployed across all members of a security team in a discreet handheld device, enabling staff to know within seconds whether a pilot, crew member or baggage handler is who they say they are, offering peace of mind against threats such as identity theft and terrorism.”

xVista is currently in discussions with the Defence Diversification Agency - the government agency responsible for identifying new civil technology with potential for defence and homeland security application.



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