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U.S. Army trials face biometric access gates to secure Redstone Arsenal

Employees, military staff, and dependents with valid ID are automatically enrolled
U.S. Army trials face biometric access gates to secure Redstone Arsenal

The U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama is trialing a new facial recognition program at its gates to ease base access, writes WZDX. The program is said to be the first of its kind within the U.S. Army and will be conducted over three to four months.

Base commander Col. Glenn Mellor noted that any Arsenal employees, military staff, retirees, and other dependents who use a military access card will be enrolled in the program automatically. The face biometrics gates will allow individuals to enter the base without having to stop their vehicle. Redstone Arsenal is currently testing the program for its effectiveness and will pass its data to the Department of Defense after its completion.

“It is a safety measure for us. There’s no exchange of ID’s or anything else. You don’t even have to roll down your window with facial recognition. It measures some data points on your face and allows you to roll through at about three to five miles an hour at the gate. So, you never even have to stop.” Mellor said.

At the gate, a camera will register an individual’s face biometrics by measuring fourteen facial points of the person in question. Individuals can only use the face recognition option if they travel alone and if their face is visible. Accordingly, the cars’ dash area needs to be cleared and windows/windshields must provide enough visibility. Masks and hats also need to be taken off to pass through. Despite these restrictions, the measure also brings safety and convenience as persons entering need not stop or roll down their windows.

The facial recognition gates will be installed at lane 3 of Gate 1, and lanes 3 and 4 located at Gate 9. At this time, only individuals traveling in cars may use the facial recognition option. Motorcyclists and cyclists are not eligible.

Idemia NSS explained the need for more efficient and secure military base access controls, and how face biometrics fit into its ‘installation of the future’ in an interview with Biometric Update late last year.

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