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Is eye scan technology the future of airport security?

August 26, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • A high-tech company hopes to produce iris-scan technology for airport security.
A high-tech company hopes to produce iris-scan technology for airport… (Aoptix Technologies Inc. )

Will the airport of the future be able to verify the identity of passengers with a quick eye scan?

Aoptix Technologies Inc., a Campbell-based high-tech company, has developed iris scan technology the company hopes can be used by the Transportation Security Administration to verify passenger identification in a matter of seconds.

To market, sell and develop such technology, Aoptix announced last week it had acquired $42 million in additional funding from investors, bringing the total amount it has raised to $123 million since it launched in 2000.

Aoptix’s scanning technology is already used to identify passengers coming in and out of the international departure lounge at London’s Gatwick Airport and for border control in Qatar. It has not been used in the U.S., said Aoptix spokeswoman Amanda North.

The advantage of the Aoptix technology, she said, is that the scanning device can confirm the identification of a passenger from up to six feet away in about two seconds.

The company is in talk with the TSA to bring the technology in the U.S., according to North.

“A lot of airports have seen this as an advantage and I think the U.S. is looking at this as well,” she said.

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said he could not confirm whether his agency has met with Aoptix officials but said the TSA is interested in using biometric technology at the nation’s airports.

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