Eye Scan Identification System

Wednesday, August 9th 2006, 2:46 pm

By: News On 6

Scanning a person's iris to identify them is mostly the kind of technology found in movies, until now. The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is the first department in the state to use this type of technology to identify missing children.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains how it works and how you can sign your child up for free.

Hollywood's hi-tech hype is becoming reality. Just as Tom Cruise's character in the movie, Minority Report, relied on a retina scan for positive identification, so now, does 8 year old Hayley from Bixby. She's testing a new tool just purchased by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office for $25,000.

It's iris recognition biometrics technology, the iris is the colored part of your eye and everyone's is unique. Kevin O'Reilly with Bi 2 Technologies: "Your left eye is different than your right eye. Twins have similar DNA, but do not have similar irises." Once the picture of her iris is in the database; they add a picture of her face and her basic information. If Hayley ever goes missing and is later found, they could positively identify her.

This technology would've been good when the Elizabeth Smart was found, because she initially told police she was not the kidnapped girl, had her iris been in this database, it would've been easy to know for sure. It's pain free and as easy as having a picture taken of your iris.

Computer: "please look into the mirror, please open your eyes wider."

Then, within seconds, the system says who I am, where I live and how to contact my family.

Kevin O'Reilly: "The only information we're looking for is enough to reunite them with their family, address, emergency contact and phone number, not social security numbers, just enough to reunite people."

The system is currently being used in 22 states and there are about 80,000 people in the database. Their goal is to have millions, so that when a missing person is found, they can be identified in the blink of an eye.

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office will be registering kids with the iris scan database at the Tulsa County Fair this fall. It's free, only takes a few minutes and they prefer children five and older.

The information is automatically deleted from the computer when the child turns 18, unless otherwise requested.

Trying to identify a child with a fingerprint could take hours or days, where this takes only seconds. The sheriff's office hopes to eventually use it for Alzheimer’s patients who go missing and criminals who lie about who they are.

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