Biometric Iris Recognition: Turning an Eye on eGovernance Service Delivery
Biomatiques Identification Solutions, the leading Iris recognition technology company operating in India since 2012, is one of the 13 global players having patented technology in this area. The first and only Indian company to receive Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) from Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) has specializations extending to areas of access control, information protection, time and attendance, identity management, enterprise mobility management and many more. Umesh Panchal is leading Biomatiques Identification Solutions as Vice President, Business Development for its state-of-art solution, IRIS MOBILE, where the password feature would be supplemented with iris verification of identity of subject. Mr. Panchal is proficient in the fields of IT and Security Management with biometric technologies to secure property and people for over two decades. Now as spearheaded leader of Biomatiques, his efforts are to compliment the industry with most accurate and highly reliable Iris Technology to mitigate the vulnerability in usage of mobile phones. Umesh Panchal in conversation with Governance Today…
How have you integrated the vision of financial delivery services of government of India with the vision of your business space?
Biomatiques is the one and only manufacturer of IRIS technology in India, performing along 12 other players outside India. The biometric story got viral through Aadhaar which started with the pilot project in Andhra Pradesh. In 2009, Govt of India started creating unique ID with finger print as the biometric. It started with the enrolment of 50000 people in the pilot project;however, they found a lot of challenge in their authentication. 70% of them were from labour class who do manual labour by invariably using their hands. So, using finger print in the authentication processes of government and social welfare schemes and delivery of services posed a big challenge. IRIS came into picture as a preferred choice by some technocrats.
What is the edge over other technology types available in similar space?
Iris is a biometric identification solution which is accurate, tamper-proof and integrate-able technology for applications in all walks of life. The authentication comes from the fact that, practically no human can have the same Iris pattern what-soever. Speaking in terms of the software, false rejection rate of the Iris recognition technology is less, which is 1 in 1.5 million. Iris recognition checks for 240-250 vertices as compare to 40-50 vertices in the fingerprint.
There is no need to touch anywhere as it is contactless, which also addresses the hygiene concerns. The price was a challenge before for this technology, which was 10 times more than finger print cost. Now this is more cost effective. From INR 30000, the cost factor has been come down now to INR 7500. It also has the Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) from Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY). IRIS is the first and only Indian company to receive for the certification for this patented biometric authentication solutions.
Iris scanners are STQC or UIDAI approved, which means, these are certified for any Aadhaar or unique ID based authentication applications and services. The technology, the hardware and software components are available locally. The devices are made for Indian working condition and environment. IRIS is also cost effective.
IRIS technology has a humongous market right from Government of India with its Aadhaar enabled services to resident to corporate sectors like, BFSI, Logistics, Retails, Airports. Tell us about the market penetration of Biomatiques.
Pension process, PDS, MNREGA, logistics, Airport, Reality, Government, micro ATMs are the areas we are focusing on. Biomatiques’ retina recognition technology also offers solution for cattle identification or cattle UID which will enable farmers to manage their livestock as well as allow government agencies and insurance companies in distribution of monetary claims and aids. Automobile sector is also one forward looking area for us.
Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have already adopted and implemented Iris technology, being promoted through Wipro for resident identification. Government of Andhra Pradesh has procured more than 30,000 devices from us. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and Telangana are the states who are in the process of implementing our technology. Odisha has just initiated the process. We are looking forward to have more Aadhaar enabled and eGovernance Services.
How have you integrated the vision of financial delivery services of government of India with the vision of your business space? How do you think the recent advancements in IRIS technology would facilitate change the way banking is done?
We work in financial inclusion segment, under which, we focus more on rural India. Having ATMs in those areas will not be feasible with the kind of connectivity as well as operational issues we have in the country. The operational cost of having micro ATMs in comparison to white label and brown label ATMs is very negligible with having a micro authentication unit and the related processes. Person’s bank account gets linked to Aadhaar through IRIS authentication. So, banking becomes available even in remote areas, in control, and with no fraud.
Under financial inclusion, rural India is more focus. We understand, more and more people should get banking facility. Again, the micro ATMs are pushing now for point of sell devices to tap based devices, because of the interoperatibility. One tap can have 10 applications, where as PoS has only one application. That advantage we want to give to the industry now.
It is the Intellectual property. Biometric, in terms of definition is all about algorithm. It is not like any other program one can write. That is where we got the STQ certification. In my company, the promoters are connected with technology for 3 decades.
Biomatiques Identification Solutions has introduced iris recognition technology at the cost of finger print technology. Has it been able to generate that unique identity for its technology?
When we started IRIS, finger print had already taken the centre stage and the choice was to find out the better, secured and reliable biometric. Voice, face, etc have already raised concerns in this space and government had already incurred losses at those Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org PR NO: UP/GBD-212/2015-17 Date of Publishing 04-03-2017 Date of Posting ` 60 07-03-2017 Coming Up… een Job s F or Futur e fronts. The task for us here is to get over the synonymous positions. Like the way people use Xerox for a photocopy. When we started propagating IRIS, people said, we know biometric. Finger print in the first instance is treated as biometric, whereas, there are 14 biometrics available under the umbrella, including eye, nose, and even body odour.
What scope do you see further in this space?
Currently we are eyeing the domestic market only. Africa is a big user of IRIS. We will consider that, once we get an appropriate opportunity. We are also working to introduce a couple of more devices soon, in next 4-5 months. Following which, we will have better competitiveness, with better technology, bringing compete solutions. At present, we’re giving only IRIS scanner. But all the eGovernance projects require complete solutions, which we are gearing up for.