NEC has bested the competition in the NIST’s latest Iris Exchange (IREX) 10 evaluation. The company ranked first in the ongoing benchmark test, after previously achieving the top spot in a prior IREX test back in 2018.
The news solidifies NEC’s position as one of the world’s top developers of biometric technology. The repeat IREX ranking demonstrates that the company can deliver a consistent and high-level performance over an extended period of time, and that NEC has continued to improve its technology in the intervening years. In that regard, NEC noted that its current iris recognition algorithm does a better job of handling low-quality images, which has in turn led to a significant reduction in the error rate observed in earlier versions of the technology.
The IREX score also shows that NEC has a truly multimodal portfolio. The company’s facial recognition algorithm placed first in a NIST Facial Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) back in August.
For its part, NEC is planning to combine the two technologies to provide multimodal authentication and access control. Face and iris recognition are both contactless modalities, so a solution that blends the two can offer a high degree of security while still eliminating shared touchpoints during the pandemic. They also offer a more streamlined user experience, insofar as iris recognition can be used in a walkthrough access control solution.
NEC believes that its face and iris tech will have a number of different applications, including industrial access, clean room access, and in-store retail payments. The company is already using the technology to manage employee entry at its own headquarters, while a payment system is being demoed at a retail outlet in Tokyo.
The iris recognition algorithm, meanwhile, was 99.59 percent accurate when matching in the 1:N identification scenario looked at in the IREX 10 evaluation. The test dataset included images of both eyes for a sample group of approximately 500,000 individuals.
September 24, 2021 – by Eric Weiss