Lenel integrates iris identity technology into OnGuard platform

June 2004 Access Control & Identity Management

Lenel Systems International has now integrated iris identity technology into its OnGuard security platform, providing a new way of controlling physical access to an area by authenticating the identity of individuals previously enrolled into an OnGuard system.

Iris identity integration is configured and managed as part of Lenel's OnGuard IdentityCenter application. Iris data capture is performed at an OnGuard cardholder enrollment station. An Enrollment Optical Unit is used to acquire an image of the iris and an iris template unique to that person is created. The template is stored with the cardholder record in the OnGuard database and is also encoded on the individual's contactless smartcard during the encoding phase of the credential printing process. OnGuard can store data for the left and/or right eyes, and optionally their photographic images as well. The iris information can be stored either as raw data or in a number of encrypted formats.

When facility access is desired, the cardholder first presents his smartcard credential to a smartcard reader attached to the iris access system. The cardholder is then prompted to present his eye to a Remote Optical Unit device installed adjacent to the door. The cardholder positions himself to see his own eye's reflection in the device, and can be located up to 30 cm away from the reader. The iris reader then compares the live image against the stored iris data for that person. Cardholder verification is an extremely fast process. The requirement that both card and biometric information readings be made before access can be authorised provides an added level of security when verifying access using the OnGuard system.

"We are very pleased to have added iris identity technology to our biometrics tool chest," says Rudy Prokupets, Lenel's chief technology officer and executive vice president of Research and Development. "Lenel has developed an industry unique methodology by which the same card, the same data and the same readers can be used for multiple applications and environments. Furthermore, customers who require biometric readers can save time and money by managing a single database within a seamlessly integrated, total security knowledge management solution."

Iris identity is regarded as the best biometric authentication process available. Iris scans analyse the features of the coloured tissue surrounding the pupil of the eye. The uniqueness of individual eyes makes iris scans highly accurate and the incidence of false positives very small. Advantages of iris identity over other biometric technologies are that it is stable, fast, unique and reliable for each individual, and non-invasive. An iris scan creates an accurate enough measurement that it can be used for identification purposes, not just verification. Iris scans can even be made through spectacles and OnGuard can be configured to detect if a false eye is being used to fool the system.

The OnGuard solution offers unique advantages over other security management systems that utilise biometric technology. Full iris template management can be integrated system-wide and eliminates the need for separate software and communication networks to support IrisAccess devices from LG Electronics Institute of Technology. Iris templates are distributed on smartcards, which offers easy scalability as well as simple integration into existing access control infrastructures. An unlimited number of biometric readers can be integrated into the OnGuard system without requiring data entry of biometric information at each of those readers.

For more information contact Robert Pethick, Lenel Systems International, 0944 1585 248 9720, rpet@lenel.com

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