The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is calling for submissions to the 2022 Biometric Technology Rally (2022 Rally). DHS S&T is asking industry to submit applications to participate in the 2022 Rally, to be held at the Maryland Test Facility (MdTF) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, in September 2022. Testing will be performed in controlled scenarios relevant to DHS operations. Providers of face biometric acquisition systems, as well as providers of face biometric matching algorithms, are encouraged to participate.
Started in 2018, the Rally challenges industry to develop faster, more accurate, and easier-to-use biometric recognition capabilities to improve security and ease of use at security checkpoints. Building on previous evaluations of high-throughput biometric technology capabilities to process individuals, the 2022 Rally will focus on the challenge of reliably screening small groups of people opting-in to the process and not processing bystanders who have not opted-in.
“Previous rallies were focused on effectively processing individuals one at a time with and without face masks. However, people often travel in families or groups.” said Arun Vemury, director of S&T’s Biometric and Identity Technology Center. “Now we plan to assess how well these systems work when identifying individuals within small groups that opt-in to using the system, while avoiding bystanders in a crowded environment who have not opted-in. We believe that this more difficult and realistic scenario will challenge the biometrics industry to innovate for the benefit of travelers and DHS stakeholders.”
The 2022 Rally will consist of an unattended “high throughput” scenario, focused on group processing requiring systems to rapidly capture biometrics from multiple users. Technology providers will have to demonstrate strong performance in the ability to photograph (acquisition systems) and identify (matching systems) face images, acquire only the required biometric images, and meet performance benchmarks for each demographic group. As in 2021, data collected during scenario testing will be used to assess the performance and interoperability of matching algorithms but will not be retained by DHS.
Technology providers will have the opportunity to participate in a Stakeholder Demonstration Day to showcase their capabilities to government and private sector stakeholders. Past events included representatives from more than 30 organizations, including DHS, the Department of Defense, Department of State, National Institute of Standards and Technology, General Services Administration, international government partners, and aviation and other critical infrastructure stakeholders.
DHS will use the results of the 2022 Rally to inform planning activities, provide feedback to industry participants to accelerate and improve product capabilities, and guide researchers to enable the development of next generation capabilities.
Interested organizations should email email@example.com by May 23 to RSVP for the May 25 information webinar. Applications are due no later than July 1, 2022.