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DHS Science and Technology calls for 2020 Biometric Technology Rally submissions

DHS Science and Technology calls for 2020 Biometric Technology Rally submissions

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has announced the opening of submissions for its 2020 Biometric Technology Rally, challenging the industry to develop biometric recognition technologies that are fast, accurate, and easy to use for improved checkpoint security and user facilitation.

This year’s event, the third since the launch of the annual Rally in 2018, will focus on the technical challenge of identifying small, free-flowing groups in crowded environments like airports or other ports of entry reliably. The 2020 Rally will be held at the department’s Maryland Test Facility (MdTF) in the fall. Submitted technologies will be tested in controlled scenarios based on DHS operations, according to the announcement.

Companies providing face and multi-modal biometric systems, along with algorithm providers, are invited to take part.

“Past rallies were limited to testing technologies using individuals one at a time to help industry identify and address the challenges of processing people in high-throughput use cases,” said Arun Vemury, Director of DHS S&T’s Biometric and Identity Technology Center. “Now it’s time to take the training wheels off and see how well these systems deal with more realistic conditions—identifying groups of people that opt-in to using the system, while avoiding bystanders in a crowded environment who have not opted-in. We believe that this structured scenario will challenge the biometrics industry to continuously innovate for the benefit of travelers and DHS stakeholders.”

This year’s Rally will include both an initial individual processing phase and an advanced group-processing phase for technology providers qualifying with strong performance in the first phase. The scenario testing data will also be used to assess the performance and interoperability of matchng algorithms, as it was last year.

Companies qualifying for the group-processing phase of the challenge will showcase their capabilities for government and private sector representatives at the Stakeholder Demonstration Day. Representatives from DHS, the Department of Defense, NIST and other government agencies, as well as international government partners, the aviation industry, and critical infrastructure organizations have attended past Demonstration Days.

The results will inform DHS’ planning and provide feedback to industry participants to guide the development of new capabilities.

DHS will discuss the application process at the upcoming Connect:ID 2020 event.

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