TECH5’s biometric technology played an important role in municipal elections in Oman, thanks to the company’s strategic partnership with digital identity verification startup Uqudo.
Based in Dubai, Uqudo offers MEA countries a digital identity solution that can verify their national ID cards and passports, among other identity documents. In the recent municipal elections in Oman, the company was involved in the development of a digital voter identification system that enabled voters to scan their biometric identity cards with their smartphones, and to then confirm their identity with TECH’s facial recognition technology, backed by liveness detection. All of which could be done remotely, with no need to visit a physical voting location.
According to the companies, the entire voter identification and polling process took less than a minute, and was fully automated. What’s more, the system was designed to ensure that virtual ballots were not directly associated with voters’ identities.
Omani authorities appear to have been impressed. H.E. Khalid bin Hilal Al Busaidi, the country’s Undersecretary in the Ministry of Interior and Chairman of the Main Committee for Elections, said Uqudo’s identity platform and TECH5’s biometric technologies “played a major role in easing the entire voting process and letting voters cast their votes without any technical issues while also reducing the number of election workers.”
For TECH5, the successful deployment is an important marker in its efforts to expand in the MEA region. Having previously worked with Uqudo as well as iLabs Technologies on a COVID-19 immunity credential early in the pandemic TECH5 announced a strategic investment in Uqudo in December of 2022, with TECH5 Strategic Advisor Rob Haslam explaining at the time that Uqudo was “a great partner for the integration of both companies’ offerings to create unparalleled digital KYC and National Identity programs in the Middle East, Africa, and other regions.”
News of the deployment comes shortly after TECH5’s acquisition of Imageware Systems through its US subsidiary last month. Whereas the Uqudo partnership has extended TECH5’s presence in the Middle East, the Imageware acquisition is expected to raise the company’s profile in the North America market.
February 2, 2023 – by Alex Perala