A researcher at the National University of Singapore has been awarded a $100,000 grant to develop a biometric cell phone application that converts images of irises taken by the cell phone into unique mathematical representations that can be used to identify individuals in healthcare environments.
Dr. Eldin Lim Wee Chuan from the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the university was awarded the grant by the Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A major problem faced by the developing world in immunization programs is the identification of children or infants -- and the maintenance of medical records. Cell phones and related technologies may be particularly useful for tracking children who have received which vaccinations, and efficiently connecting needy children with available vaccines.
"The grant will fund our research in developing a low cost, cell phone-based biometric identification algorithm that is based on visible wavelength imaging of the human iris. This algorithm will be in the form of a simple program that can be installed on typical cell phones. The program will convert each iris image into a simple mathematical representation that can be stored very efficiently in a database and subsequently retrieved for comparison and identification purposes," says Dr. Eldin Lim.
Administrators of immunization programs will simply need to capture images of the iris of individuals to obtain complete identification information and medical records of individuals.
-- By Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design