NEC iris recognition technology ranks first in NIST accuracy testing

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iris recognition technology

NEC Corporation announced today that their iris recognition technology ranked first in the world recently in the iris recognition technology benchmark test, IREX 10 (*1). This test was conducted by the worldwide authoritative U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

In this benchmark test, the technology was evaluated with an accuracy rate of 99.59% for “1:N Identification” for images including both eyes among half a million people (*2).

The new technology from NEC has proven its prowess by achieving first place rankings in the NIST iris recognition benchmark test in 2018 (*3), as well as face recognition benchmark test results, published August 2021 (*4).

In recent years, NEC has capitalized on its leading artificial intelligence (AI) to strengthen the performance of iris recognition technology against images with deteriorated quality that often occur in practical situations. This improvement resulted from incorporating AI into their system which reduced error rates significantly (*5).

NEC intends to use the technology for “walkthrough” iris recognition (*6) and in combination with face recognition in order to provide very accurate multimodal biometric authentication. Multimodal biometrics provide high precision results even when face masks and caps are worn, and encourage the maintenance of a hygienic environment with contactless identification.

As these technologies promote secure living, NEC predicts that they will be used in a variety of applications, including payments at stores and access to facilities, such as data centers requiring high security management, as well as clean rooms, food and pharmaceutical plants, and medical sites that require strict hygiene controls.

To encourage the usage of multimodal biometric authentication, NEC is illustrating entry and exit management for employees at NEC headquarters, also over a payment system at a store within Tokyo.

With these easy-to use systems, people can complete operations on their own and are expected to contribute towards secure access control as well as contactless services over a wide range of industries

In addition, on the basis of NEC Group AI and Human Rights Principles (*7), NEC will proceed to accord the highest priority to privacy considerations and respect for human rights when handling data collected from sources such as biometric systems and AI.

Going forward, NEC will be able to capitalize on its portfolio of biometric identification solutions, ‘Bio-IDiom’ (*8), including face recognition technologies and ‘NEC the WISE’ (*9), state-of-the-art AI technologies of the company, such as in the form of video analytics, FinTech, digital IDs and more.

Face and iris recognition for access control and payment

Walkthrough iris recognition

(*1) Iris Exchange 10: Ongoing Evaluation of Iris Recognition
Results presented in IREX do not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of any particular system, product, or service by the U.S. Government.
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(*2) As of August 24, 2021. The identification rate at 1% of False Positive Identification Rate (FPIR) for the database of 500 thousand people.
(*3) NEC Iris Recognition Technology Ranks First in NIST Accuracy Testing
(*4) NEC Face Recognition Technology Ranks First in NIST Accuracy Testing
(*5) Comparison with the certification error rate of "IREX IX," the previous iris recognition benchmark test. When authenticating using an iris image database consisting of 0.16 million people, the authentication accuraty rate was 99.33%.
(*6) NEC develops iris recognition technology that works even with walking subjects
(*7) NEC Unveils "NEC Group AI and Human Rights Principles"
(*8) Bio-IDiom
(*9) NEC the WISE

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