Gaining access to your gym or office building could soon be as simple as waving a hand at the front door. A Hunsville, Ala.-based company called IDair is developing a system that can scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly 20 feet away. Coupled with other biometrics, it could soon allow security systems to grant or deny access from a distance, without requiring users to stop and scan a fingerprint, swipe an ID card, or otherwise lose a moment dealing with technology.
Currently IDair's primary customer is the military, but the startup wants to open up commercially to any business or enterprise that wants to put a layer of security between its facilities and the larger world. A gym chain is already beta testing the system (no more using your roommate's gym ID to get in a free workout), and IDair's founder says that at some point his technology could enable purchases to be made biometrically, using fingerprints and irises as unique identifiers rather than credit card numbers and data embedded in magnetic strips or RFID chips.
The technology works much in the same way satellites process terrain imagery, using a lot of edge detection and image sharpening to turn a fingerprint captured at a distance into a usable and identifiable image. Since users don't have to touch a fingerprint scanner, there's no problem with the imaging surface becoming fouled. And of course, additional layers of security like facial recognition can be piled on to make up a more robust, complete biometric profile of a person that provides that individual with access without the need for a key or passcode, either of which can be lost, stolen, or shared without authorization.
Naturally, all this recording of biometric data raises privacy concerns (our shared, technology-heavy, data-centric future seems to be riddled with those). But it also raises the prospect of better, more robust security systems as well as a certain ease of use that is appealing. As long as we're going to have billboards that tailor ads to you by mining your biometric profile (or your wallet) for clues about your demographic profile, we might as well get some extra security out of the deal. And IDair's system is fairly affordable: a basic one-fingerprint scanner starts at less than $2,000.
I like this idea. But how would it recognize a finger from a photo of the same finger?
I wouldn't be able to scan a photo as well because it would completely depend on shading and the quality of the camera.
Electrical Engineering Inventor/Programmer/Designer
Vale Varka Systems.com
What if your finger had say a blister, or a cut? Would this not work? but very cool! would this have any implications for facial recognition?
Of course, when your fingerprints are stolen and leaked to the Internet, you are screwed for life.
It's Huntsville, Alabama. This technology sounds cool, but how longs it going to take 3d printers to be able to just print out someone finger prints. The whole finger print thing will always creat security problems. Something like a gym would be fine, but something more secure maybe not.
I like the idea of ID-ing to stop fraud and protect our privacy and accounts. But I dread the day when this ID is easily copied and they exploited too. Confirmation of IDs helps a lot too and yes takes more effort on everyones part.
This article reads as COOL technology!
Every day is a new day!
I'm sorry to say that, but it is old news.
Advanced Optical Systems (AOS) is the company behind IDair.
The news was on Technology Review and Engadget in January 2011.
First, this technology gets touted for its usefulness. Once it gets installed everywhere, new laws get passed that basically FORCE people to get their biometrics tagged; anyone else gets charged with a crime and thrown in jail. Then, they require you to produce identification to buy, sell, or trade anything and everything. What a great way to ration food in times of famine! Make those who have the mark eligible, and everyone else can starve for not being loyal.
Fingerprint and Iris = Hand and Forehead
Don't accept that security is working in your favor.
@Vapur9 a little supersticious perhaps? sounds like some "Mark of the Beast" dogma... (I was really surprised to not see a link concerning the mark of the beast in your post)
Back on topic, my first thought when seeing this was of the scene in "Dead Space 2" where isaac holds a dead doctor's body up for a scanner to authorize access to a room. This seems similar tech just on a smaller scale.
a great technology for touchless fingerprint scanning. as fingerprint scanning with touch style has being an privacy concern by people who uses the fingerprint scan machine. This technology also can avoid being faked by a copy fingerprint.