Infinity Optics goes for sweet spot with enterprise-grade iris and facial biometrics

January 24, 2018 - 

Infinity Optics believes it has found a way to address an enterprise security market which has previously been underserved, by providing a scalable and affordable enterprise-grade biometric authentication technology.

While biometric identity applications are growing in popularity in several fields, including government, mobile device access, and consumer payments, the security requirements for enterprise access control and data protection have been beyond the capacity of legacy technology to deliver in a cost-effective, usable solution. Further, while iris recognition has long been considered a highly secure biometric due to the amount of individual data contained in a pair of irises, Alfred Chan, CEO of Infinity Optics, says that capturing the data with an acceptable user experience has been significant barrier to enterprise use.

Iris recognition technologies typically only work at a distance of between roughly 250 and 350 millimeters. This hampers their usability, and many also require further user interaction.

Infinity Optics utilizes a single-element Extended Depth-of-Field (EDoF) optic to deliver both iris and facial authentication applications. Its solution has a range for iris recognition of up to 600mm, and facial recognition up to 2 meters, allowing easy scanning without requiring any specific user actions. The combination of face and iris recognition gives the technology a false-acceptance rate of one in more than 10 million, making it robust enough for any application.

The special optical lens which provides both can be manufactured with a thickness of roughly 2.5mm, making it practical for even most small mobile devices. This technology holds several significant advantages, including reduced BOM (bill of materials).

The company is currently working with a number of partners to make the technology available in different devices and form factors, including several Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs), and camera module manufacturers. It is also currently going through the validation process with a Chinese mobile phone company, and working on a Beta program for the Android OS.

“The fact that we’re able to put all the technology in one piece of plastic makes it very cheap,” Chan told Biometric Update in an exclusive interview. “Manufacturers like that because everybody’s trying to drive down building material cost and we are able to build an embedded and dual biometric application using a single sensor that can fit various devices large and small.”

Infinity Optics is currently working with chip manufacturers to have the capability to utilize its technology built into smartphones engines.

An option now available for organizations to deploy enterprise-grade security from Infinity Optics is a USB device that plugs into a laptop and integrates with Windows 10. CEREBRO sits on the desk and captures the enterprise employee’s biometrics as he or she begins a session without requiring any special behavior or position.

“The device is very flexible,” Chan says. “You can swing it to whatever angle you want. It works up to two feet away, which is a lot of space on a desk or a table. Its as good as sitting in front of a laptop, so its very convenient, basically friction-free. We want to make the technology easy to use, at the same time as we’re delivering a very reliable and secure biometric.”

The company is also working with a bank in Malaysia to pilot the technology, and is also in talks with other major financial institutions. Chan says he believes Infinity Optics’ solution is the most secure, giving it a distinct advantage in talks with potential partners and customers.

Most companies offering combined facial and iris recognition use two different cameras, and then blend the results of each modality, according to Chan. By providing both modalities with a single lens, Infinity Optics delivers its superior FAR in a form factor which is both inexpensive and easy to integrate into product design.

Chan believes the potential market for Infinity Optics’ technology is very broad, due to its combination of enterprise-grade security with the smallest form factor and best user experience. “If we can make it affordable and at the same time deliver enterprise-grade security, it could be very widespread.”

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About Chris Burt

Chris Burt is a writer and contributor to Biometric Update. He has also written nonfiction about information technology, dramatic arts, sports culture, and fantasy basketball, as well as fiction about a doomed astronaut. He lives in Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter @AFakeChrisBurt."