To counter loopholes in current biometrics, new scanning techniques are becoming available to better safeguard privacy and personal property
A recent recognition technique was developed by the Wright State Research Institute (WSRI): skeletal scanning. Targeting airports, theme parks, sports stadiums and even hotels and other private establishments, this invention capitalizes on X-ray, gamma ray and other scanning elements, and boasts near-perfect accuracy as no two sets of 206 bones in an adult human body are identical. “We also believe that you may not need an entire body scan,” said Phani Kidambi, Research Engineer. “Maybe just part of the body is sufficient.”
Two big challenges remain. First, the sensors require a person to stand within 2 meters; the US federal officials, however, prefer that the equipment extracts a scanning of the object as far as 50 meters away. “If we had that solved, we'd be in the market right now,” said Julie Skipper, Associate Research Professor.
Ryan Fendley, the institute's Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives, adds that that the other challenge is creating a database of body scans of suspects. “You can have a great tool that collects body scans of the general public, but if you don't have anything to compare them to, you haven't done anything.”
While researchers are still discovering subtle features in particular bones that differentiate individuals, WSRI has a couple of bone density scanners available to combine into a prototype. A working version could be deployed in the field within a year, Kidambi predicted.
Active Sweat Pores
A new technology has been introduced by scientists at the British Brunel University. It automatically locates and extracts active sweat pores in fingerprint scans to detect liveness by using high-pass and correlation-filtering techniques. This helps existing fingertip scanners to instantly determine whether the fingertip scanned is a real, live person or a feigned fingertip stamp made from liquid silicon or gelatine, thus granting or denying access accordingly.
The research is still ongoing, but the final product shall be commercially available by the end of 2011, Dr. Wamadeva Balachandran said in a prepared statement. “If an industry is interested in collaborating with us, we would be happy to explore the possibility of working with them.”
Biometric Data Cards
In a recent release, SmartMetric announced that the company's fingerprint-activated biometric data cards can now store a person's complete medical record for instant access.
The data card, in the size of a standard card, holds significant memory capacity, where gigabytes of medical information such as CT and MRI images can be stored among other records. To recall data, the card owner first needs to provide a fingertip scanning right on the card. Only when the scanned image matches the original preloaded inside the card can the data be accessed.
“Our R&D team has pioneered another exciting breakthrough in our card,” said Colin Hendrick, President and CEO. “Nothing like this exists anywhere in the world today. We're currently in negotiations with several worldwide corporate entities regarding the rollout and commercialization of our products.”