This fingerprint VAMPIRE could make CSI real

Police could one day be taking a vampire on patrol, with a new portable forensics lab promising CSI-style analysis of fingerprints on the scene. The gadget, dubbed VAMPIRE by makers Booz Allen, the handheld can not only scan fingerprint images directly from the surface they've been left on – rather than requiring a trained technician to lift them first – but digitize them and compare them to a watch list of potential suspects, all without leaving the location of the crime.

Usually, fingerprint checks would require time-consuming lifting tape, then those prints being sent back to a lab where they'd be investigated. That not only introduces a delay in their analysis, but means a skilled worker is required to grab them.

VAMPIRE, however, can be used after "minimal specialized training," so Booz Allen claims, with little background forensic knowledge required. Since it leaves the prints untouched and in-situ, too, it also means it could be used in conjunction with – rather than instead of – a more traditional check.

Booz Allen describes VAMPIRE as "not much larger than the average smartphone" and, indeed, it seems to use just such a device as its brain. From the buttons, it seems the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is the donor device, a ruggedized 5-inch Android phone from 2013, clad here in a special sensor-studded case.

Both live and latent identification can be performed.

There's no word on how much it would cost to equip a team with a VAMPIRE, but Booz Allen will be demonstrating the hardware in action to try to convince police and other security teams to consider adding one to their gadget belt.

SOURCE Booz Allen