Singapore Government Turns an Eye Towards Iris Scanning

Iris Biometrics

Biometrics are gaining traction in border control. According to recent analysis by Acuity Market Intelligence, the global automated border control eGate and kiosk market is set to exceed $1.2 billion by 2020.

Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has announced that it’s looking into the possibility of introducing biometric iris-scanning technology as a complement to their current security apparatuses at airports and other such travel facilities, according to a new AsiaOne Travel article by Hoe Pei Shan. The ICA is asking potential vendors to submit their proposals by October 10th.
The ICA hopes to use the technology with pre-registration of citizens’ iris patterns, allowing travelers’ faster and more hassle-free passage through security checkpoints. If it goes forward with implementing such a program, it could be the first Asian country to do so.
Pei Shan does point out concerns about such a move, however: Britain implemented iris-scanning technology at certain airports about a decade ago, only to phase it out after complaints that it was actually increasing travelers’ wait times. And various forms of eye disease may actually change individuals’ iris patterns, which of course would defeat the purpose of relying on such biometric security. The technology continues to improve, however, and major vendors like 3M are now providing iris-scanning technology that can provide accurate results in seconds.
October 1, 2014 – by Alex Perala