The National Institute of Standards and Technology, based in Gaithersburg, Md., has announced the Iris Challenge Evaluation, a large-scale assessment of iris recognition. Analogous to fingerprint identification, iris recognition uses a person’s eyes to determine identity. The evaluation is designed to promote the advancement of the technology and to measure the accuracy of its current performance.In Phase I of the project, which will be conducted until the end of the year, the institute is seeking researchers and developers from industry, academe and research institutions who have developed recognition technologies. Participants will be provided with a set of images to prepare for Phase II, which is tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2006. The institute then expects to evaluate participants’ algorithms on sequestered data, to compare the underlying matching and detecting algorithms, and to publish the results along with the names of the performers.In the past, some industry observers felt that iris recognition programs fell short and failed to become a trustworthy security method. New algorithms and techniques will be part of this study, however, and may prove that the technology is now more capable of locating the iris and performing the recognition algorithms. Developers can expect information on the state of the art as a result of the evaluation and the ensuing report.