Keeping the world safe and connected
AOptix is a technology innovation company helping the world stay safe and connected. Through imagination and innovation, AOptix is solving big, complex problems that no one else can, positively impacting people’s lives.
Our Identity Solutions business provides fast, easy, accurate identification and verification for applications such as automated boarding and immigration at airports and international borders. Powered by AOptix’s advanced iris recognition technology, these solutions are already deployed at some of the busiest airports and immigration sites in the world, such as Gatwick Airport in London and all points of entry in the nation of Qatar.
Our Communications business delivers reliable, long-range, ultra-high bandwidth wireless communications solutions. The core technologies for these solutions have been proven in defense applications and are now being deployed for a range of commercial applications.
Bringing space science down to earth
AOptix was founded in 2000 by two scientists who invented a new form of curvature adaptive optics to help astronomers see farther into space.
Curvature adaptive optics are sophisticated, highly specialized mirrors that change shape thousands of times per second to compensate for atmospheric scintillation – the distortion of light as it passes through the atmosphere (and the phenomenon that causes stars and city lights to appear to twinkle at night). The technology revolutionized deep space imaging and spurred new scientific discoveries.
Applying the same underlying technologies and expertise developed for scientific research, AOptix later worked with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the United States Air Force to develop a high bandwidth network in the sky. The system is capable of sending large amounts of data long distances wirelessly over a narrow beam of light between moving aircraft or between aircraft and ground nodes – something no one else has been able to achieve. In addition to this remarkable engineering feat, AOptix also developed pointing, acquisition and tracking systems that maintain the wireless data link between aircraft moving at high speeds.
Alleviating global chokepoints through innovation.
After four years of proving our technology innovations in defense applications, AOptix set our sights on utilizing the technology for commercial applications – tackling complex, global problems that only AOptix can solve.
Mobile backhaul presents one such opportunity. The rapid growth of wireless data traffic resulting from the popularity of smart mobile devices is overwhelming existing infrastructure that connects cell towers to the network, creating bandwidth bottlenecks. This manifests itself as slow data connections and dropped calls on your smartphone.
Reducing these chokepoints traditionally required installing more and more cell towers and increasing the bandwidth to each tower. Carriers are working as fast as they can to run fiber optics to the nearly 300,000 cell towers in the U.S., and the nearly three million towers worldwide. However, running fiber is not always practical or even possible.
AOptix is developing products for network carriers to significantly increase bandwidth to cell towers – wirelessly. Unlike other wireless technologies available, AOptix Communications solutions work in all weather conditions; the equipment can be attached to existing towers and compensate for motion as towers sway; and the systems deliver high bandwidth over long distances with the high levels of reliability carriers require.
Identity verification, and specifically iris recognition, is another area where AOptix is applying our technologies and expertise. Globalization, and the increasing number of security threats, have created the need for better, faster more accurate ways to ensure people are who they say they are. At the same time, increased air travel and airport security threats have created chokepoints at major airports and borders, causing long security and immigration delays.
Iris recognition is a proven, precise and effective biometric technique to verify people’s identity, and it is more accurate and generally far superior to other identification and verification techniques such as finger printing and facial recognition. However, to date, iris recognition systems have been complicated to use, inconsistent (often requiring multiple attempts) and intrusive to those being scanned. This has limited their use to very specific applications.
AOptix has solved the limitations of iris recognition, creating an automated system that is easy and intuitive to use, that works at a distance (up to two meters away), that compensates for slight movement of the subject, that is more accurate than other systems available and that is extremely fast. The system provides the foundation for the airport of the future, where all verification processes – from check-in to security to boarding to immigration – are completely automated as well as many other applications where high throughput is a requirement.
AOptix is pioneering Smart Mobile Identity, a new class of biometrics-based hardware and software products that leverage the remarkable computational horsepower, software development tools, user interface and multi-sensor capabilities available in leading smart phones. Smart Mobile Identity will change the game in identity verification by delivering sophisticated authentication capabilities in a way that is highly intuitive, portable and connected. These products will spur new applications for public safety, mobile commerce, disaster assistance, humanitarian aid and a wide range of other uses.