Thursday, 18 November 2010

Do the eyes have it? – maybe not on their own

Manchester Airport has announced a trial of retinal scanning for ‘volunteer’ passengers checking in. The retinal scanning technology is proven and is difficult to fool, although eye diseases can change the retina over time. The issues up for discussion are is it too intrusive, having a light beam shone into your eyes for ten seconds or so could be for some people, is it too expensive and what other systems should be in place to work with retinal scanning?

Fingerprint biometrics are being used in airport security and access control applications all over the world and could be a useful compliment to retinal scanning and other biometric human recognition checks. But, you may believe that fingerprint biometric systems are too easily duped? Perhaps in the past they have been ‘fooled’ as a story from Japan in early 2009 suggested. In that case some ‘special tape’ had been used by a woman with a false passport and a track record of illegal entry to the country to get through immigration controls which included a fingerprint scanner. This may suggest the sensor technology in the Japanese system was not up to scratch.

The new Connective Touch range of fingerprint scanning solutions offer a capacitive sensor that will pinpoint the ridges and valleys of the skin which it reads and then verifies down to four layers below the skin. The company believes that it will still produce a reliable fingerprint scan even if the fingerprint has outer damage from burn scarring etc. Its sensor contains tens of thousands of small capacitive plates, measuring extremely weak electrical charges that are created by the finger. This non-optical measurement generates and stores a 3D fingerprint template which has to be exactly matched by the person who created it. It can’t be fooled by fake fingerprints according to Connective Touch developers Global Bio Tec.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Shopping with Biometrics for France & Germany.

In France the high-street bank ‘Accord’ has been granted permission by the French data Protection Authorities to start a six-month trial into the new biometric payment system. The bank, owned by ‘Auchan’ will offer the service to a number of its current account holders and biometric readers will be installed into a number of French ‘hypermarkets’. Customers start the process by registering their finger data securely with their bank. Once they have ended their shopping they simply touch the finger scanner at the check-out which confirms the buyer’s identity and they amount is then debited from their account. German supermarket Edeka has also been using biometric technology since 2007. (Source: 

With this technology in place all over the world there would be no problems of lost payment cards, identity theft or fraud, cards being blocked when you’ve forgotten to warn your bank you are travelling abroad etc. Could biometric technology be the answer?

Could biometric technology could put an end to the frantic searching for keys whilst stood outside in the pouring rain? Could it be the answer to “Did I leave the door unlocked?” “Where did I leave my purse?” “How did I spend that much this month?” 

Thursday, 4 November 2010

New age biometrics for old age.

As we all know, biometrics applications are moving into many facets our daily lives. Joanne Perry, Alvolution Demonstrator, has been demonstrating the new secure biometric entry device ‘Flexi’ from Global Bio Tec to healthcare professionals, social care professionals and care home managers.

Reading the headline New Biometric Technology Can Change Lives for the Elderly made me consider how it could really change the lives of older folk. I’m unsure whether my almost 90 year old grandparents would be able to cope with this technology? After thinking about it I realised that maybe it maybe wouldn’t be so complicated for them, they are rather ‘tech-savvy’ for their age. They have their own computer, wireless internet and use Skype to talk to relations abroad.

Living near Croydon for most of their lives they are aware of the high local crime rate and fear of crime really concerns them. Maybe the Flexi could help them feel safer in their own home?

Looking further into it biometrics are being used to help aid the elderly with a range of issues from identity fraud through to much simpler things like ‘Where have I put my keys?’

Care homes and sheltered housing are perfect examples of how biometrics can be safer and support residents to combat fraud and theft. With each room/apartment fitted with a biometric finger print scanner there would be little chance of any personal belongings going missing or people wondering into the wrong rooms when doors have been left unlocked.

Should we be doing more to help the elderly improve their quality of life through biometrics?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Detection deterrent?

Why at a time when terrorists around the world are exploiting the latest technology to conceal their bombs and identities are we still debating about bringing in the full array of biometric scanning technology? Is it cost, the erosion of personal freedoms, or the poor track record of fingerprint, retinal and facial scanning systems? The answer could be a combination of all three points - what do you think?

The first fingerprint bureau was established in Calcutta, India, in 1897, to help classify and organise criminal records and police and security forces have used finger prints extensively to track and capture undesirables ever since. The essential element to a practical and accurate finger print recognition system, according to Devi Sohanta founder of the Biometric Centre of Excellence and MD of British fingerprint biometric pioneers Global Bio Tec, is the quality of the sensor used in the device. It needs to take an accurate and deep penetrating scan of the finger to be as accurate as possible and prevent attempts to fool it.

Economies, major companies and millions of us rely on air travel and transport for wealth generation and our daily bread. We know the consequences of aircraft being hijacked, blown up or deliberately crashed have global and very personal consequences. Can we afford to sit on our hands when we should be holding them up for scanning to make airports, air travel and air cargo more secure?

The track record of biometrics systems for fingerprint identification has been blotted by cheap products that have failed to deliver on their promise. The Promise for airport, air travel and air cargo security from fingerprint biometrics is significant from uncovering the false identities of terrorists, deterring their attempts to travel right through to controlling the access of airport employees from land-side to air-side secure areas. Our finger prints provide a confirmation of our identity which is unique and can't be copied or destroyed. It really is elementary!

Monday, 1 November 2010

It's elementary my dear...

It's easy to understand the 'criminal' damage done to the reputation of finger print biometric entry solutions over the last few years. There has been no guiding authority to set a benchmark on how the systems should perform, where they should be applied etc. The result has been a market flooded with cheap, and not very cheerful options, imported by distributors, and then sold on as the 'perfect' solution for secure entry to education facilities, clubs, hotels, warehouses and any number of application which may seek to control people entering restricted areas or just regulate the flow and 'clocking-on/off' of staff.

Yes the reputation of finger print technology for door entry systems has been smudged by poor quality products, sensors that can be fooled and hardware that wares out far too quickly, but the situation is changing. That's thanks to the forensic, and some may say obsessive, mission to develop reliable, proven and internationally endorsed finger print activated door entry systems by Devi Sohanta. Things are becoming clearer for the market in finger print biometrics.

Through Global Bio Tec and the development of the Connective Touch brand of finger print entry systems Devi has built a convincing case to buy British for individuals who need reliable restricted access to their super yacht through to multi-nationals and governments that want to advance their door entry security, improve facilities management efficiency and/or gather workforce data.

Connective Touch Flexi and Flexi Smart are manufactured in Rugby by Stadium Electronics and are approved by ACPO's Secure By Design Scheme, The Master Locksmiths Association and comply to DIN standards. The software for Connective Touch to manage and provide valuable data is Accredit UK approved.

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