Research Subsidiary to Initiate Data Collection at Waco Airport for 3-D Face Recognition Prototype

ADIR will collect 3-D images of approximately 10,000 airline passengers at the Waco Regional Airport.


CHATSWORTH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 18, 2006--IRIS International, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRIS) today announced that its Advanced Digital Imaging Research, LLC subsidiary (ADIR) has received approval to utilize the Waco Regional Airport in Waco, Texas, for the next phase of development of its biometric 3-D face recognition system for airline passenger security screening and commercial security applications.

Under a recently signed agreement with the City of Waco, ADIR will collect 3-D images of approximately 10,000 airline passengers at the Waco Regional Airport. These images will be used to further develop and test the mathematical algorithms that are used in ADIR's software for its prototype face recognition system. The second phase of the program, a larger scale, blind testing of the system's face matching accuracy, will be scheduled upon successful completion of this initial data-gathering phase.

"The facilities at Waco Regional Airport are ideal for this phase of the project's development, and we have received very strong support from the airport management and the Waco city government," stated Dr. Kenneth Castleman, President of ADIR. "The Waco airport will provide access to a diverse sample of airline passengers as part of our data collection process and facilitate the initial phase in our plans to create a working prototype of a 3-D facial scanner. This is a challenging task, but we remain confident that our work will result in a viable system."

"We are pleased to participate with ADIR in the development of new technology for airport security," stated Richard Howell, the airport's Director of Aviation. "More than 140,000 passengers passed through our airport last year, and we hope that this project will lead to safer and more convenient air travel."

Cesar Garcia, President and Chief Executive Officer of IRIS International, noted: "Our approach to face recognition is based on sound mathematical principles and trade secrets acquired during the development of our diagnostics imaging programs. We are very pleased to get access to a sizeable airport. The Waco Airport is an excellent site where we can collect data in a well-organized and controlled environment to develop the statistically valid performance estimates that are needed to support system performance claims."

ADIR plans to begin acquiring 3-D facial images at the airport in May 2006. The facial images will be collected as passengers pass through a device similar in size and shape to a walk-through metal detector. Signs will be posted in the boarding area advising passengers that their participation is strictly voluntary.

Developing and testing a 3-D face recognition system requires a large database of facial images. ADIR will use the images collected at the airport to optimize the mathematical parameters of its face-matching software and to calculate its error rates. The images will be of anonymous airline passengers, and no identifying information will be retained. In addition to passengers, identified volunteers will also be photographed for control purposes. The ultimate goal of the development project is to reduce face-matching errors to near zero.

ADIR was awarded a $2 million research and development grant by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in May 2004 to fund the face recognition project. Dr. Castleman is the Principal Investigator on the project, with academic collaborators at The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and Indiana University. The objective of the program is to develop an unobtrusive and effective 3-D face recognition system capable of screening and identifying individuals at airports and other security checkpoints, as well as providing identity verification for access control at secure facilities.

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