RealTime IT News

New Fingerprint ID System for PC Users

Irvine, CA-based Who? Vision Systems Inc., an XL Vision and Safeguard Scientifics partnership company, delivered TactileSense, a fingerprint verification technology for the personal computer user.

By eliminating cost, reliability, and size constraints, TactileSense allows mainstream computer users to securely access their desktops and the Internet with the touch of a finger, the company said.

The product's small size enables peripheral and systems OEMs to embed reliable fingerprint security sensors into everyday devices, such as monitors, keyboards and mice, the firm said.

The technology eliminates passwords and enhances security for system login, smart cards, network access, Inter-, intra- and extranet security and e-commerce transactions. Future versions of TactileSense will target notebook computers, extending these security and convenience advantages to portable devices, the company said.

"Unlike existing fingerprint technologies, TactileSense is immune to the 'dry finger problem,' a condition that prevents a significant segment of a user population from reliably accessing their systems, particularly in cold or dry climates," said Alex Dickinson, CEO of Who? Vision Systems.

The TactileSense system is composed of an electro-optical polymer film sensor, roughly the size of a postage stamp, and integrated print matching software that identifies the user's fingerprint data. The sensor transforms a finger's electric field into a high-resolution optical image, then digitizes the optical image of the fingerprint. This digital representation is passed to the PC host, where application software processes, stores and matches the print.

Products based on the TactileSense system are expected to ship in mid-1998. Pricing specifics were not disclosed.