Pentagon test of biometrics is nearly complete

Pentagon test of biometrics is nearly complete

The Defense Department's Biometrics Management Office has entered the final phase of an iris-scanning project at the Pentagon Athletic Center.

Military members can enter the exercise facility without having to carry an identification card to gain access. They walk up to the center's turnstile or outside guard shack entrances and come within three to 10 inches of an iris scanner. The camera catches an image, compares it to images in a database of authorized members and grants or denies access.

Last June, the BMO began a phased approach at the Pentagon Athletic Center. The office installed IrisAccess 2200 iris scanners from Iridian Technologies Inc. of Moorestown, N.J., but required the 350 center members to bring their ID cards.

The final phase works without the use of the cards.

'Biometric access provides members added convenience and security compared with traditional ID card systems,' said Dr. Linda Dean, director of the Biometrics Management Office.

The project is an important first step for Defense users to be able to access DOD facilities and networks throughout the world without requiring PINs and passwords, she said.

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