SAFR wins $1.9 million deal with U.S. Air Force for biometrics innovations
SAFR from RealNetworks has received $1.9 million in funding for innovative facial biometrics projects, consisting of two Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts from the U.S. Air Force (USAF), each worth roughly $950,000, the company announced.
The contracts came through ASWERX, an innovation hub started by USAF in 2017 to encourage non-traditional innovation and reduce the bureaucratic process. The investment will help RealNetworks further develop its computer vision platform with real-time biometric facial recognition for use in force protection, perimeter security and secure access control by the Department of Defense. Federal agencies can sign no-bid contracts for technology developed under the SBIR/STTR program.
Real-time facial recognition technology from SAFR will be enhanced for use in fixed and mobile devices with cameras to boost security at an Air Force base.
“Enabling Air Force Security Forces to detect persons of interest before they arrive at entry control points enhances force protection capabilities and the personal safety of our Defenders,” said 1st Lt. Moore, USAF, in the announcement.
Under a collaboration with a separate USAF wing, the technology will be improved to prevent spoofing attacks and to leverage IP security cameras to enable authorized contactless access to contain COVID-19.
“Strong biometric identity authentication using face recognition has the potential to reduce the likelihood of contracting and spreading infectious elements including COVID-19 and seasonal flu into facilities, thus providing additional protection to our operational readiness,” said Donald Hudson, GG-15, Technical Director, USAF.
“SAFR is used by commercial customers around the world for tens of millions of recognitions per month using on-premise and cloud deployments for secure access, perimeter security and a variety of other use-cases,” explained Dan Grimm, general manager of SAFR from RealNetworks. “As a U.S. company, we are honored to partner with AFWERX and these two Air Force wings to adapt our technology for mission-critical use by the US Air Force and other DoD customers.”
The SAFR platform comes with enhanced live video features, as it ensures 99.87 percent accuracy of facial detection and recognition in a moving video frame un less than 100ms. Based on the NIST report from January 2020, RealNetworks says its technology has reduced bias and lowered the accuracy difference between demographics by conducting extensive training with diverse data.
The technology is ready for commercial use in both on-premises and hybrid cloud deployments. It supports live video seeds, edge deployments on autonomous devices that that support ISR missions and require a small footprint and offline operation.