Defense Department signs deal for a smartphone tool to scan biometrics

Feb 14, 2013
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A company from California called AOptix has landed a deal with the Department of Defense for a biometric identification system that it produces. This biometry identification system loads on a smartphone and is shown in the image below embedded in a mockup device. The tool hopes to allow soldiers in the field to record facial features, iris scans, and other details of suspicious people up close or from a distance.

The Defense Department awarded a $3 million research contract to the California company to examine its Smart Mobile Identity biometrics identification package. The contract is over two years and at the end of the contract term the Department of Defense wants to see research to validate the concept the company is offering. Under the contract, AOptix will provide the DOD with the hardware peripheral and software solution able to turn commercially available smartphones into biometric scanning devices.

The hardware and software combination should be able to turn the industry available smartphones into something capable of scanning and transmitting data from the eyes, face, phones, and voice of a person of interest. Current systems the US military uses for recording biometric data require a soldier to bring the camera system very close to the subject. The new Smart Mobile Identity system has some ability to record this biometry data at a distance and has better specifications than the current Handheld Interagency Identity Detection System in use today.

The company plans to produce an accessory solution that will wrap around an existing phone to add biometry capabilities. The company hasn't fully described the peripheral but does note that it shouldn't impact the phones form factor significantly. The company goes so far as to say that a smartphone using its sensing device would weigh under a pound and only need one hand to operate.

[via Wired]


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