Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Nov 29, 2002
Face recognition may be the next best biometric bet
BANGALORE, Nov. 28
AFTER finger printing, palm imprints and iris scans, the next best biometric bet that could securities high-risk zones is said to be face recognition.
The Bangalore-based ILI Technologies, one of the few and early movers in biometrics, has entered into the face recognition segment through a tie-up with Japanese major Omron Corporation.
ILI is currently evaluating Omron's software development kit to make it network enabled and will take the scanners to the market as a full fledged solution, Mr Kishan Chowbene, Director and COO, told Business Line.
"Manufacturing is also part of the plans and we will be looking at new partners for that."
This should make ILI, which offers a suite of security, tracking and authentication products, the first in India to get into face recognition, he said. The project may need an initial investment of $1 million from either side.
When ready, the scanners can be placed at airports, ATMs, labs and other zones for a random photograph, both to register and give access to genuine users.
Although biometrics is coming into the picture slowly in the country, it has an Rs 23.5-billion potential market in the country; and face recognition may account for five per cent of this, Mr Chowbene said. High security sectors like defence establishments, airports and airlines and banks with ATM chains are prime candidates for this segment, especially after the 9/11 attacks, he said.
It can revolutionise public services such as pension, provident funds, banking and many other areas where foolproof personal identity systems are needed.
Its partner, the $4-billion Omron, which came up with the technology about six months ago, is now looking seriously at the Asian market. It develops and manufactures hi-tech products in healthcare, electronics, security solutions, computer peripherals and social system solutions. Sony, United Airlines, Hitachi and Whirlpool are some of its clients.
ILI currently provides simple finger print based security and attendance system to HAL, Hutch, Raman Research Institute, SRF, Gokuldas Images, Campco of Mangalore, and Tecumseh in Hyderabad. The Abu Dhabi police also use its system for prisoners on parole.
The Hyderabad Central Jail also uses this as a prison identification system to keep an account of its 1,500 prisoners, 300 visitors and 200 staff. Soon this will be enlarged into radio frequency tracking of these people.
The Andhra Pradesh Government is considering introduction of one of its systems at its huge Cherlapally prison.
ILI also offers voice-based and radio frequency (RF) based tracking for a host of uses to track anything and anyone for security reasons from vehicles, hospital cylinders and hotel housekeeping assets to visitors, contract labour, doctors and patients, all with the help of a wearable, washable radio badge. With security becoming a global concern after 9/11, it could also be an effective walk-in attendance and tracking system, Mr Chowbene said.
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