DHS to Host Biometric Technology Rallies


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will host a Biometric Technology Rally in March 2018 at the Maryland Test Facility in Upper Marlboro, MD; the first in a series to support industry innovation and advanced biometric technologies that support DHS and its Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE) operations. The results of these rallies with be used by DHS to inform planning activities, shared with industry participants to improve product capabilities, and shared with researchers to enable the development of next-generation capabilities.

The March rally will evaluate face and iris biometric acquisition systems and challenge industry to provide solutions to meet the requirements of traveler identification in a high-throughput security environment using an unmanned system. “Recent improvements in biometric matching technology have greatly reduced biometric matching error rates; however many systems still fail to quickly and reliably acquire biometric information in the first place,” said Arun Vemury, DHS S&T program manager for the agency’s Borders and Maritime Security Division and lead of the S&T Biometric Technology Engine. “This event aims to further reduce the failure rate by challenging industry to develop more intuitive, faster, and more reliable face and iris collection systems.”

The rallies were developed in conjunction with the initiation of the S&T Biometric Technology Engine (BT-E) in 2017 as a method to rapidly screen emerging technologies. DHS considers BT-E as a shared repository for data related to biometric technologies examined by S&T with the goal of informing future large-scale acquisitions across the department.

To be considered for participation in the March rally, organizations would need to submit a white paper and video demonstrating system functionality no later than December 8, 2017. Participants will be notified of their selection on December 18, 2017 and data collection will take place in March 2018. A maximum of twelve systems will be selected for the March rally. For additional information, visit the Biometric Technology Rally website.

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