What can Formula One teach any industry?

What can Formula One teach any industry?
What can Formula One teach any industry? Photo credit: Michael Elleray at Flickr, Modified by Babak Goudarzipour

(this post was originally posted on LinkedIn)

Formula One is the fastest and most advanced car racing in the world; it’s on par with Aerospace technology. A fascinating behind the scene aspect of Formula One racing is data analytics. A 2013 ComputerWeekly post reported that each McLaren car on the track had 160 sensors transmitting 1GB of raw data in each race. The amount of data as well as engineers and data analysts increases by each year, says Forbes.

The onsite F1-team at the track and the remote Mission Control team at the headquarter location, thousands of kilometers away, see near live data feed. It’s real-time analysis of essential metrics such as tire pressure and temperature, fuel burn efficiency, torque, downforce, and more. This, combined with predictive models and simulations, give the management adjustment recommendation (called ‘decision support’ by Team McLaren) for the next pit stop or the ability to create a new race strategy. Things that mean win or lose a race. And since measuring the right information is a key, the exact number of data points and metrics collected is a team secret.

This is pure magic in hands of the Team McLaren. So much that they supply the telemetry systems for all its F1 competitors. But it doesn’t stop there. They soon figured out they can monetize their expertise outside the F1 racing. Thus, McLaren Applied Technologies was born and grown into a powerhouse to consult a variety of clients, Bloomberg describes.

What can Formula One teach any industry? In a nutshell: the value of performance monitoring and analytics. Telemetry and data analytics are not only reshaping businesses of all kind but also our world and culture in a big way. It’s metric times.

Babak Goudarzipour,
Co-founder and CEO at Optimum Biometric Labs
OASIS Standard Editor for Operational Performance Monitoring and Reporting

Optimum Biometric Labs’ data analytics tool and expertise assist biometrics vendors and operators. The company is leading an OASIS standard that makes biometric capture devices, algorithms, and systems to become like Formula One cars. That is to transmit their performance for data analysis and operations improvement.

Photo credit: Michael Elleray at Flickr, Modified by Babak Goudarzipour

The secret sauce to successful biometric applications like Apple Pay

Secret Sauce to Successful Biometrics Applications

I think Touch ID and Apple Pay are the finest examples of successful biometric implementations. Apple Pay early adoption rate is impressive: 1% of digital payment dollars during the month of November. And note it is available only on the newest iPhone and iPads and supported by a few, but a growing list of, merchants.

The secret sauce in successful biometric implementations is made of many ingredients. Clearly beyond the scope of this article. But here is one of the main ingredients: it is to see the performance from the end-user perspective! It is a method that is gaining momentum also in the network and infrastructure management world.

Operational analytics simply means to measure and analyze a set of fundamental metrics and properties in order to improve future products and maintain the ones in use.

I had an opportunity to present our product and pitch the benefits of operational analytics to one of my Apple contacts at a biometric conference. No surprise there; what I pitched was rigorously performed by Apple prior to the launch of Touch ID on iPhone 5s thanks to a large number of own testers at Apple. I know many people who still and continuously contribute to improvement of Touch ID and Apple Pay by simply sending back an automated and anonymized feedback to Apple. I can imagine that feedback contains meaningful device and algorithm related metrics for making sense of performance data in order to know what to improve in future products.

My company is standardizing the interface for capturing and making sense of operational metrics and properties for various biometric applications such as Physical Access Control and Automated Border/Passport Control eGates. We lead this work via OASIS-Open who is the organization behind the first standards for web services based biometric devices and Internet of Things.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Babak Goudarzipour
Optimum Biometric Labs

This post was originally published in LinkedIn.

*Info on Apple Pay comes from Market Info reflecting on report from the industry intelligence company ITG.

*My iPhone 5 still performs well but becoming an Apple Pay user is intriguing because I think it is about time to get rid of all the plastic cards.

Why airports move to the cloud and the Internet-of-ABC eGates

Internet of ABC eGates and Kiosks, BioUptime
Airports’ new cloud’s-eye view on infrastructure management is beginning of Internet-of-ABC eGates and Kiosks.

This wasn’t a mature option a few years ago; it’s now happening. Driven by metrics, early-mover CIOs like Michael Ibbitson at London Gatwick airport are moving their IT-processes to the cloud. The cover story, ‘Head in the cloud’, of a recent (June 2014) issue of Passenger Terminal World throws light on cloud technology’s impact on airport management.

‘82% of airports are either evaluating cloud services or have major cloud programs underway’, the story reports citing SITA’s 2013 Airport IT Trends Survey.

Why airports move to the cloud?

The metrics and targets are clear. Some of the reports’ findings speak for themselves:

  • IT hardware costs reduction by up to a third
  • Energy saving of 80% vs. running on-site data centers
  • Expanding flight capacity (flights per hour)
  • Raising aircraft arrival and departure on-time accuracy
  • Improving passenger experience by shortening waiting times

It’s mentioned that gate control systems are suitable airport systems for moving to the cloud. The global market for Airport ABC eGates and Kiosks is poised for growth at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.5% over 2014-2018 to reach $1 billion annually by 2020; according to an Acuity Market Intelligence report.

Cloud and big data, new strategies win big

Of big data’s three steps – data ingestion, data storage, and analytics – the first two are the cost and the third the actual value; says a recent Forbes article. Its core message to customers is that outsourcing to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) is clearly a better decision compared to the DIY model. The Forbes article, too, is giving voice to a revolution in the making. A paradigm shift where the IT department starts to see their core mission is in fact more important than going through the expensive process of selecting, procuring, deploying, and maintaining a bunch of infrastructure tools in data centers on-site. Their core mission is to extract true value out of data for improving the business.

What does it mean for modern ABC eGates and Kiosks

The advent of Internet-of-ABC eGates and Kiosks and a focus on analytics mean better functioning systems, reduced operational costs, and improved passenger experience.

As CEO for a company that delivers cloud-based operational monitoring and reporting tools for biometric operations I see beginning of a trend: IT management and operators of ABC eGates and Kiosks – among other mission critical biometric applications – will gain big advantages in terms of insight and control of their systems via cloud-based tools distributed via established IT service providers. 

Babak Goudarzipour
CEO, Optimum Biometric Labs
Standard project editor at OASIS-Open Biometrics
Swedish technical expert to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC37 – Biometrics


  1. Passenger Terminal World, June 2014 issue, http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/2220b3a8#/2220b3a8/1
  2. SITA’s 2013 Airport IT Trends Survey, http://www.sita.aero/surveys-reports/industry-surveys-reports/airport-it-trends-survey-2013
  3. The Internet Of Things Will Radically Change Your Big Data Strategy, http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekavis/2014/06/26/the-internet-of-things-will-radically-change-your-big-data-strategy/



OBL to lead new international OASIS standard for Web Services-based operational monitoring of biometric devices and services

OASIS Open, Web Services-based Operational Monitoring and Reporting

Today, OASIS Open assigned Optimum Biometric Labs to lead a new international standard for Web Services-based operational monitoring and reporting of biometric devices and services. This couldn’t be more timely. For 2014, we envisioned a yet closer merger of biometric technologies and ‘Internet of Things’. The background: beside observing the trends for more than a decade, we assumed our pioneering and contributing role for this to happen had a good chance to becoming accepted and formal. We sensed the time was finally ripe to raise the awareness and equip the biometric customers with the framework and tools with which they could use a common language to set minimum quality requirements and to deploy associated monitoring and management.

We think this is truly essential news not only for the end-user community but also a significant milestone and a step forward for the industry to progress, expand, and offer new business models to monetize service agreements to complement their core business and products. What we expect to see is an advent of innovative vendors offering powerful remote biometric device and service management.

The new standard initiative aims to assist biometric operators and system owners to

  • instantly and remotely know what is going on with their installation resources,
  • improve overall system quality and usability and assist individual users with usage difficulties,
  • prevent system or envioronment-related issues and proactively pinpoint and resolve early warnings and problems,
  • optimize site maintenance while minimizing the operational costs

Our New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) sent to and approved by OASIS is based on the ‘Best Practices in Biometrics Performance Monitoring Programs‘ that we had previously published. This white paper and its dedicated web portal focus on the use of standards, definitions, methods, and new Web Services to support biometric customers when it comes to four fundamental properties in any biometric­ application: Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, and Performance.

Suppliers and End-user organizations interested in supporting this initiative by working with us for integration and potential ‘Statement of Use / Reference case’ are welcome to submit this form on our website.

For those interested in following or participating in the progress of this work or other projects in the OASIS Biometrics TC, please check out https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/biometrics
– Thanks Kevin for this info!

Also see:
– IBM videos about advantages with Predictive Maintenance
– OBL video on ‘The Big Basic Questions in Managing Biometric Applications’
– There’s A Metric for That: How Big Data Impacts Biometrics Market and Industry (link)
– LinkedIn survey: Real­time system monitoring a necessity in Border Management and Physical Access Control biometric applications (link)

About Optimum Biometric Labs:
Founded in 2003 in Sweden, Optimum Biometric Labs pioneered the cloud, big data, and ‘Internet of Things’ concepts for monitoring vital operational aspects of connected biometric devices and services. Today, the company is helping biometrics operators and system-owners to offer and maintain maximum quality to users while minimizing operational costs.