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.
IRIS International, Inc. (www.proiris.com), based in Chatsworth, Calif., is a leader in automated urinalysis technology with systems in major medical institutions throughout the world. The Company's Sample Processing business unit (formerly the StatSpin(R) subsidiary), based in Westwood, Mass.,(R) manufactures innovative centrifuges and blood analysis products. Iris Molecular Diagnostics is a development stage subsidiary with platform technologies for ultra-sensitive detection for high value applications in microbiology, oncology and infectious diseases. Advanced Digital Imaging Research, LLC (ADIR), based near Houston, Texas, is the Company's imaging research and development subsidiary.
SAFE HARBOR PROVISION
This news release contains forward-looking statements made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the Company's views on future financial performance, market growth, capital requirements, new product introductions and acquisitions, and are generally identified by phrases such as "thinks," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," and similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statement. These statements are based upon, among other things, assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management, including management's own knowledge and assessment of the Company's industry, R&D initiatives, competition and capital requirements. Other factors and uncertainties that could affect the Company's forward-looking statements include, among other things, the following: identification of feasible new product initiatives, management of R&D efforts and the resulting successful development of new products and product platforms; acceptance by customers of the Company's products; integration of acquired businesses; substantial expansion of international sales; reliance on key suppliers; the potential need for changes in long-term strategy in response to future developments; future advances in diagnostic testing methods and procedures; potential changes in government regulations and healthcare policies, both of which could adversely affect the economics of the diagnostic testing procedures automated by the Company's products; rapid technological change in the microelectronics and software industries; and competitive factors, including pricing pressures and the introduction by others of new products with similar or better functionality than our products. These and other risks are more fully described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which should be read in conjunction herewith for a further discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: ADIR Dr. Kenneth R. Castleman, 281-535-1889 or The Wall Street Group, Inc. Ron Stabiner, 212-888-4848 KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA TEXASINDUSTRY KEYWORD: MEDICAL TRAVEL AIRLINES TRANSPORTATION SOFTWARE NETWORKING HARDWARE LEGAL/LAW AEROSPACE/DEFENSE GOVERNMENT MARKETING AGREEMENTSSOURCE: IRIS International, Inc.