The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is already moving forward with plans for its next Biometric Technology Rally. Developers interested in participating in the 2021 Rally must submit their applications by July 15, while the Rally itself will take place at the Maryland Test Facility later in the fall. DHS will also discuss the Rally during an informational webinar on June 9.
The annual Biometric Technology Rally evaluates leading facial recognition systems to assess their ability to capture biometric images, and to match those images once they have been collected. The 2021 edition will place a strong emphasis on mask recognition, with DHS noting that covered faces have become far more common in the aftermath of COVID-19. As a result, effective algorithms will need to be able to identify people with masks moving forward.
Mask recognition was also a major concern at the 2020 Technology Rally. At that event, Corsight was the most accurate solution in the unmasked scenario, while NEC was the most accurate provider when masks were involved. Innovatrics rounded out the top three with strong scores in both categories.
“In the past year, we have seen tremendous innovation from the biometrics industry to adapt to new challenges during the pandemic,” said S&T Biometric and Identity Technology Center Director Arun Vemury. “We observed strong performances from technology developers; especially in their ability to recognize individuals under previously challenging situations. Now it’s time to see if further innovation and improvement can be achieved to further reduce errors and provide more consistent and equitable performance under challenging conditions.”
This will be the fourth time that DHS has hosted the Biometric Technology Rally. Vemury indicated that future iterations of the event could look at solutions’ ability to process small groups of people, though he stressed that the focus will remain on masks in 2021.
May 26, 2021 – by Eric Weiss