IDair has a fingerprint scanner from standoff distance

Jun 24, 2012 by Nancy Owano report
IDair

Researchers are exploring better designs in biometrics to meet business and government demands for reliable identification and verification tools. Out of the many biometric technologies that continue to be works in progress, fingerprinting continues to be an accepted technique. Fingerprint-matching has been a mainstay in law enforcement but businesses now look toward fingerprinting systems for security management and access control. Other solutions such as flashing photo ID cards or licenses to confirm true identities of people passing in and out the doors have not been entirely reliable.

A new startup, IDair, wants to make the difference. Its new system can read fingerprints from up to six meters away.

The person waves hand to sensor for identification verification--no stops at checkpoints asking for a ID card; no fumbling around for lost keycards. The machine is described as a touchless scanner. The fingerprint can be photographically captured with enough detail to match against a database. A selling point is that fingerprints are collected at a standoff distance so there is no need for people to touch a scanner pad, avoiding problems in accuracy compromised from dirt, grime, or oil on the finger.

The scenario is simple, in that the company places the scanner device on the door; the person sends prints to the system, which takes a snapshot when triggered and uses , edge detection and sharpening to scan the fingerprint, which is then compared to the database. The system is described as close to the way satellites process ground images.

Joel Burcham, CEO of IDair, Clemson-trained with a PhD in physics, talked about his product plans recently at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. in Huntsville, Alabama, where he has a company office. Actually, IDair is a spin-off of Advanced (AOS), which focuses on government customers. While AOS takes on its government customers IDair is grooming commercial outlets for interest in biometric technologies. The company hopes to make a difference with its expertise in touchless sensors for easier identification and verification.

Currently, a 24-hour fitness center chain is beta-testing the IDair system. The chain wants to tackle access-key sharing by friends or roommates. Burcham also has a longer range vision for making his technology suitable in retail applications.

Meanwhile, the IDair basic product priced under $2,000 processes only one finger's print. In biometrics, it is agreed that just one finger’s print is good for certain applications but more may be required for increased levels of accuracy. IDair hopes to add sensors to the mix such as for face recognition and iris scanning, in a more comprehensive biometric system.

The company will also need to step over nothing-is-safe security qualms, actually privacy issues, among those who warn of the risk of any digital fingerprint database being leaked.

Explore further: Reflected smartphone transmissions enable gesture control

More information: idairco.com/products

Related Stories

Fingerprints replace keys

Jan 31, 2005

The Finnish company Deltabit Oy is creating awareness of access-control systems that are replacing traditional keys. A fingerprint already opens the door to keep-fit rooms at Tampere, Finland. Deltabit Oy has been developing sys ...

Recommended for you

Oculus unveils new prototype VR headset

Sep 20, 2014

Oculus has unveiled a new prototype of its virtual reality headset. However, the VR company still isn't ready to release a consumer edition.

Wireless sensor transmits tumor pressure

Sep 20, 2014

The interstitial pressure inside a tumor is often remarkably high compared to normal tissues and is thought to impede the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents as well as decrease the effectiveness of radiation ...

Tim Cook puts personal touch on iPhone 6 launch

Sep 20, 2014

Apple chief Tim Cook personally kicked off sales of the iPhone 6, joining in "selfies" and shaking hands with customers Friday outside the company's store near his Silicon Valley home.

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

trekgeek1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 24, 2012
What's the resolution on THAT camera!
DavidW
5 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2012
What's the resolution on THAT camera!

http://www.engadg...the-ter/

AIRPrint uses a source of polarized light and two 1.3 megapixel cameras (one to receive vertically polarized light and another to receive horizontally polarized light) in order to produce an accurate fingerprint.

It seems like it's in 3D from the specs., just like all the other new scanners. Software has no issue picking out the high and low points as long as they are fairly accurate.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Jun 24, 2012
Impressive. Now the government or organized crime can fingerprint you as you walk down the street unaware.

Someone wants to impersonate me so they capture my fingerprint as I walk down the street and then cast themselves a replica, and use it to gain entry to a secure site or file system.

No security there...

AIRPrint has just negated the security of their own product.

Congrats.

HatersGonnaHate
3 / 5 (4) Jun 24, 2012
This seems like a really bad privacy issue.
dtxx
3 / 5 (2) Jun 24, 2012
These types of devices and biometric technology in general is a very bad idea. If your fingerprint is stolen or these devices are otherwise compromised to allow someone access to your biometric profile, then you are screwed. I guess you could sufficiently mutilate your fingertips, a very fucking grim prospect, but how would you change your retina for example?
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 25, 2012
You shouldn't be asking these questions when there is money to be made.

"how would you change your retina for example?" - DBox

What are you? A Commie?
alfie_null
not rated yet Jun 25, 2012
Some falsing stats would be useful. Otherwise suggesting (through omission) the device is 100% reliable. Disingenuous.