Thales’ new multimodal biometric module combines facial and iris recognition

Before the end of this year, Schengen member states will be required to have a biometric entry and exit system to register non-EU citizens crossing an external EU border. The new multimodal biometric module announced on December 6 by Thales is an efficient solution for registering and identifying travelers for smooth processing of immigration and border verification procedures.

Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 aims to improve the efficiency of controls at the external borders of the Schengen area by creating a centralized entry/exit system (EES) for third-country nationals crossing the external borders of the EU. It will thus make it possible to fight against terrorism and will respond to other problems of border management and security.

According to this regulation, all third-country nationals wishing to enter a Schengen member state must register with four fingerprints and a facial image whether by land, sea or air. The data collected will be stored in the shared register of the central EES database managed by eu-LISA, the European Union agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems within Schengen area.

The solutions offered by Thalès

Thales has been selected by the French Ministry of the Interior to deliver several hundred pre-registration kiosks to numerous border crossing points.

Through the acquisition of security company Gemalto in 2019, Thales has developed a comprehensive EU EES border management system and offers “Gemalto EU EES Border Management System”, a complete end-to-end solution enabling customs clearance secure, convenient and fast at the various border checkpoints.

The “Thales Gemalto Border Kiosk” kiosks offer a self-service, intuitive and interactive interface, guiding travelers through each step of checking in and verifying their identity.

The new multimodal biometric module from Thales

This module combines facial recognition with that of the iris, a very reliable biometric authentication process. Thales has thus developed Cogent Iris Scanner CIS-202, a high-speed iris image capture device that can simultaneously capture both irises in less than two seconds.

The new multimodal biometric module will allow border authorities to integrate a certain degree of automation into their procedures, while guaranteeing the security of passengers and staff and the confidentiality of the data exchanged.

Equipped with a camera and a high-resolution LCD screen, it can recognize the iris and face of pre-registered travelers at a distance of 0.5m to 1.5m, with excellent accuracy. This AI-based solution retrieves both iris and face data in just two seconds, speeding up operations and dramatically reducing queues.

It can be installed at any border control point (airports, seaports, etc.) to support the initial registration of travelers upon arrival and for fast and accurate biometric checks (at the exit of the territory, for internal flights…).

Youzec Kurp, Vice President Identity and Biometrics at Thales, says:

“The combination of biometric attributes applied to the contactless authentication of people is sought after by many market players in order to meet the challenges of security, comfort and functionality. Thales draws on its expertise in biometrics and in border and passenger management to design, develop and deliver leading responsible biometric solutions that meet user expectations and the requirements of authorities”.

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Thales’ new multimodal biometric module combines facial and iris recognition


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