By Craig Guthrie
While biometric security is clearly an essential part of progress towards the ideal of truly seamless travel, past failures have underlined that usability and aesthetics can be equally as important as new technologies in travel deployments.
In newer implementations of smart borders, designers are increasingly taking this into account. Strolling through modern airports, passengers are no longer subjected to intrusive scanners and clunky mantraps, but instead presented with sleek multi-modal tech that blends better into our surroundings.
After years of trying, it seems the designers and techies are really finding agreement on the importance of the user – something that is naturally crucial in high-throughput, high-pressure surroundings such as an airport.
An important example of this design evolution is the InSight One device, launched by biometrics developer Tascent earlier this year.
Combining both iris biometrics and facial recognition in a sleek, compact unit, the device is small and nimble enough to not just be deployed at borders, but also in a plethora of other scenarios where secure access is required.
Planet Biometrics quizzed Joey Pritikin, Tascents VP of Marketing and Product Management, about the development of the InSight One.
What trends led to the development of InSight One?
InSight One is the product of years of R&D that went into the InSight Duo and Tascent Mobile product families. It combines InSight Duo’s standoff, automation and image quality with Tascent Mobile’s compact form factor, speed of capture and versatility under different lighting.
While developing InSight One, it was clear the world is entering an age of mass adoption for biometrics. Smartphones now come with fingerprint readers and facial recognition. People are starting to get comfortable with the technology, and expect it as part of their day-to-day lives. We wanted InSight One to reflect that growing feeling of familiarity.
Given the range of applications for Insight One, how did you approach key usability questions?
We took a human-centric approach that kept user experience front and center. We knew InSight One would often be used in environments where people have been traveling, where they’re tired and stressed and might not speak the language. Under those conditions, InSight One had to look welcoming, work quickly and be effortless to operate.
For example, InSight One automatically captures face and iris images at a comfortable standoff distance of 20-40 inches (0.5 to 1.0m), respecting users’ personal space and requiring minimum effort. We also gave it a large capture volume, so it would work equally well for people short and tall. And of course, the design itself is attractive, not at all intimidating the way security and ID systems often are.
All these advantages add up to a better user experience and better customer outcomes: shorter wait times, greater automation and superior accuracy.
InSight One has a sleek, IOT-style look. What was your design approach?
It comes back to human-centric design. Our goal was to create a leading-edge biometric device that would appeal not just to security professionals, but to architects, interior designers and the people who would use it. The appearance had to be elegant, and the experience had to be quick and accurate. Versatility was also important. The InSight One is just 3.5 kg (7.6 lbs), and can attach to a desktop stand, a pole or e-Gate mount or any VESA-compliant mount. It’s easy to transport, simple to set up and fits into any environment.
What technical advantages would you say the InSight One has over competitors?
No other device combines the speed, accuracy, automation and versatility of InSight One. Thanks to our patented technology and best-in-class iris imaging, InSight One can perform simultaneous dual-iris and face captures in about 2 seconds at a standoff distance of 0.5 to 1.0 meters while delivering images that meet or exceed ISO / ICAO standards.
InSight One can operate as a secure locked-down network appliance or a point-to-point USB peripheral. Behind the scenes, it uses an open architecture and a standards-compliant design that make it easy to integrate and deploy with new or existing infrastructure.
Security is a top priority as well. On one side, InSight One provides advanced liveness and anti-spoofing capabilities that are built upon our core technology as well as the inherent uniqueness of the iris. Data collected by InSight One is kept safe with leading encryption technologies for both data-at-rest and data-in-transit.
Can you tell us how it works?
InSight One is the first in a new generation of iris-recognition systems. It captures unsurpassed dual-iris and face biometric images at a comfortable standoff distance, while presenting a sophisticated appearance that is equally at home in airports, border control checkpoints and government offices.
InSight One uses a customizable high-resolution graphic LCD, a fully automated capture process and a large capture zone to collect best-in-class biometric images. It offers a simple, intuitive user interface that anyone can operate with minimal instruction and no prior technical knowledge.
In sum, InSight One is the only biometric device that is fast, accurate and easy to use in challenging real-world environments by a wide range of users.
How did you approach technical challenges such as speed and lighting?
Every year Tascent devices process tens of millions of individuals at locations like Dubai International Airport and Gatwick Airport, London. Because biometric systems live in the real world and interact with a wide variety of people across a wide variety of environments, this level of exposure to large, diverse traveler populations has been invaluable. Over years of product development, we’ve been able to leverage our unique real-world experience, advances in the high-tech industry, and our own core IP to deliver superior performance under a wide range of environments and lighting conditions, while providing a friendly, intuitive user experience.