Improving speed, accuracy of biometric scanning at security checkpoints

In addition to these technical metrics, S&T wanted to develop systems that are enjoyable to use as measured by satisfaction feedback.  Volunteers used a kiosk to rate their happiness after using each system. Industry was challenged to provide systems with at least a 95 percent user satisfaction rate.

Over the course of the 10-day event, 364 volunteer test subjects representing a diverse range of ages and demographics performed a total of 4,368 individual system assessments.

“We are very pleased by the outcome of this rally,” said Arun Vemury, DHS S&T Program Manager and Biometric Technology Lead. “Not only will the results be beneficial for understanding to capabilities of cutting edge systems and driving future research and development, but industry participants gained a better understanding of the strengths and possible areas for improvement of their biometric systems, having now used them in a systematic, rigorous, and realistic, high-throughput environment.”

In addition to data collection, S&T held a Stakeholder Demonstration Day in which 100 representatives from more than 20 government components and private organizations visited the MdTF to learn more about the industry participants and their systems. Organizations represented included DHS components, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the General Services Administration, the United Kingdom, and various airports and airlines.

Melissa Conley, Senior Advisor for the Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis, agreed.

“Over the 13 years that I’ve been at TSA, this is one of the first technology rallies that has offered such a diverse suite of capabilities for us to look at in a short period of time,” said Conley. “It was very informative.”

Results from the rally will be used to inform DHS procurement activities such as operational tests, pilots, and system acquisitions. This event will be the first in a series of S&T Biometric Technology Rallies focusing on different biometric modalities and areas of interest.

“The results of this rally will help inform the focus of future MdTF testing events, and the team will walk away with a number of ideas about how to make the next rally even more effective,” said Vemury.

“Today, TSA got to see a bunch of different solutions, a bunch of different use cases, and that’s really important market research for us as we move forward in implementing biometric technology,” Conley said. “S&T is doing all of the leg work for us to make sure these algorithms and these technologies and these companies meet certain thresholds so we can streamline our procurement process.”