Chinese iris recognition technology charging into global market with state support
Iris recognition has come a long way in China since researcher Tan Tieniu established a team to develop the technology at the CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences) Institute of Automation in 1998, state-run publication Xinhua reports.
The CASIA team has worked on hardware design and identification algorithms, published more than 120 research papers, and created an iris image database which is among the most widely used in the world, with more than 20,000 research teams in 180 countries applying to use it, according to the report.
The Institute launched IrisKing in 2006 to bring its technology to market. It began supplying time and attendance systems to the mining industry, which could not use fingerprint or facial recognition systems effectively for miners covered in coal dust. Since then, the company has provided products to the banking, public security, government, and access control markets. IrisKing has also created a national platform with more than 400 enrollment points for parents to voluntarily have their children’s irises scanned, in an effort to combat child trafficking.
China’s recent increase in support for the artificial intelligence sector has boosted the technology in the country, and iris recognition startups are growing in number, Xinhua reports.
IrisKing CEO Ma Li says public acceptance of iris biometrics is increasing, and the market is maturing. The article cites a Transparency Market Research prediction that the global market for iris recognition will grow by 28.6 percent CAGR to $2.45 billion by 2020.
“We will keep improving the technology to offer better user experiences. For example, we have developed iris recognition-based smart door locks and anti-fatigue driving vehicle systems, which will make daily life more convenient,” Ma said. He also noted that the company’s products and services have been exported to the U.S., India, and countries in Africa and the Middle East.
“We have exported our products to the Middle East, where we used our technology in the banking and financial services industry, including iris recognition-based automated teller machines for quick and secure user authentication,” he said.
Chinese lawmakers proposed including iris recognition in the country’s national ID scheme earlier this year.