January 05, 2011

Healthcare - kiosks revolutionize patient check-in

Nice interview with Stanley Crane of Allscripts and how the kiosks (and remote mobile options) are improving efficiency.

Allscripts kiosks revolutionize patient check-in - SmartPlanet

Last month I went to a doctor’s appointment at George Washington Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) here in D.C. I stepped off the elevator, had my palm scanned at a kiosk, answered a few questions on a touch screen about my insurance and emergency contacts, selected my appointment for the day, paid my co-pay, took my receipt and sat down with a crossword puzzle in the waiting room. How great is that?

I’ve now used the kiosk four times at MFA, a facility that treats about 4,600 patients daily. Most recently, there was a longer line at the kiosk than at the check-in desk, where the receptionists looked bored.

To learn more about these kiosks and the direction we are headed with electronic health, I called Chicago-based Allscripts, which makes the machines, and talked Chief Innovation Officer Stanley Crane. As Crane told me, imagine if our banks operated in the low-tech and arcane way that our health providers do—entering data manually, shying away from computers and never having the right records available. That’s only money, he said. “This is life and death.”

I’ve loved using the kiosks.

That’s a common experience. You get to the airport, you need to check in, and you don’t have any bags to check. Do you want to talk to the agent? Do you want to talk to the teller or just get your money at the ATM? I think we’ve all gotten used to talking to the electronics, and the computer is faster than the human.

Also smarter. It always knows my co-pay, whereas the people behind the desk never seem to know, so they ask me, and I don’t know either. It happens every time.

When I get that question, I like to tell them that they owe me money.

Were these modeled after airport or ATM kiosks, or was this different enough that it had to be built from the ground up?

When we started the project, we had a client from New York who was very concerned about Medicare fraud—patients using one card and passing it around. So they wanted to know what could we do to help them with Medicare fraud.

So it’s a blend of a few things. The first time you sign in, you authenticate yourself. We were thinking about fingerprint readers, but they were not reliable enough when you change devices–from one fingerprint reader to another, we couldn’t tell you were the same person. The palm scan–the vein-reading technology–we see that at about a 10,000-to-one failure rate. It has a much higher rate of detecting the person you are.

The kiosk has a series of questions to ask. Once a year, for example, I want to ask you in the October through December time frame, “Do you want a flu shot?” The kiosk has the capability to ask a series of targeted questions. If you’re male, these questions, if you’re female, other questions. Same with patients of different ages. After the first time you use it, there are fewer questions. Usually if we ask them more than about five questions they have a tendency to drop off.

We want to make it a little easier for you to see the doc and to provide more information to the nurse and the doc so they understand more about your situation before they see you. It puts us in a better position to collect your data if we start collecting it electronically. Also, we find people are more likely to be honest with the machine than with a person. I just went to the doctor, and I had to tell the security guard where I was going. It was just for a cold, but what if I was going to the place for sexual dysfunction or drug rehab?

GW was one of the first to use your kiosks?

GW was one of the first. GW has been an excellent partner– collaborative, opinionated and negotiable.

Who controls the kiosks now—like programming certain questions—them or you?

They do. So if they want to take a question out or add a question, they do it. They could ask, “Have you been exposed to swine flu?” The machines are all the same, but the questions are tailored by the client.

What’s the smart technology that’s used?

It’s a tablet PC, a classic Microsoft windows application, custom built for Allscripts.

The staff told me that they clock in with a fingerprint reader. Is that your system?

You can sign into our applications with a fingerprint reader, but clocking in—that’s not ours.

We’ve enabled biometrics, but the one we haven’t done is the iris reader. I know it, I get it, and I still felt uncomfortable with it: Let me shine this laser in your eye…

Tell me about how the palm reader works.

It’s built by Fujitsu. The PalmSecure technology reads the veins [with a near infrared light]. And the thing about a palm reader versus a fingerprint reader is that someone can cut your hand off, and they can’t use it and pretend to be you. The palm reading won’t work, because the veins aren’t working anymore. It’s a thermal reading of the veins in your hand.

You thought about this?

I did ask that question.

What’s next?

There’s a theme in a lot of what we’re doing. When you think about EHR (electronic health records), you think about a doctor or nurse talking to a computer or tablet. We’re extending the edges of where the EHR reaches: We’re extending it to the waiting room, and we’re extending the boundaries of where that information is available.

It used to be a really hard boundary—you had to be in the clinic or connect VPN (virtual private network) to the clinic. So how do we make it easier ? We’re trying to make sure wherever that point of care is, the information is, and make it easy for the patient to have access to his information.

And for doctors, we should make it electronically easy for them to pick up their smart phone, access your records and know how to treat you. Knowing, for example, when your last tetanus shot was, so [the shot] is not wasted if your shot is current. We give you the tetanus shot if you need it, but we don’t depend on you to remember when your last one was.

It’s breaking down the geographic barrier of where the information is and where it needs to be.

What’s the biggest challenge in moving forward with all this?

I’ll tell you what I think challenges are. In health care in general, I think training is always an issue–helping doctors, nurses, patients do things in a new way.

I think managing is always a challenge.

I think with the new wave of devices like iPads and digital pens, a challenge is figuring out what to do. Given the amazing capabilities of an iPad, what should do to have the biggest impact on health care? Assume we can do anything, what should we do?

I am at Allscripts because I love what we do. We get to be part of creating the type of health care we want.

And what is that?

We need to come up with ways we can use information technology as every other industry uses it today. Borrowing the kiosk to create the same type of efficiency the airlines and banking industries use. And with that, we save healthcare resources.

How do we help orchestrate the data flow between the various physicians? The kiosk is one way. Allscripts Remote (for the Android, iPhone) is another.

Allscripts Referral Network is another way. Our CEO is impatient; he wants to change health care, and wants to change it now. Rather than waiting for a national clearinghouse to exist, how about just connecting the 180,000 physicians who use Allscripts software? We started about a year, ago and it’s coming to fruition now. It’s about moving data around.

So in this respect, health care is far behind other industries.

I joke a lot and draw parallels between finance and health care. Let’s say you move to Chicago and want to open a bank account. You see file folders, they manually create statements, steer away from the Internet and send you a hand-written statement every month. What’s your next move?

I run out of there as fast as I can.

How many doctors’ offices are like that? And that’s only money. This is life and death.

I believe so much in the problem-solving ability of our physicians that if we prime that pump with information, they will find solutions. How do we help that doctor practice medicine more efficiently and effectively? We’re not the magic part; the physician is the magic part.

Allscripts kiosks revolutionize patient check-in - SmartPlanet

How do we help orchestrate the data flow between the various physicians? The kiosk is one way. Allscripts Remote (for the Android, iPhone) is another.

Link to Remote app

Posted by staff at 07:39 AM

August 14, 2007

Interview with Tom Weaver of KIOSK

Tom Weaver, VP of Sales and Marketing for KIOSK, talks about the company and business in general during interview for selfservice magazine.

The 14-year-old company is also, by the way, “kicking butt, growing at 30 percent to 40 percent over last year,” said Tom Weaver, KIOSK’s vice president of sales and marketing. Part of the reason, he said, is the company’s singular niche. “I don’t think anybody does exactly what we do. The way we manufacture and design product is unique. There are very large companies that sell kiosks, but their philosophy is more along the lines of, ‘Here’s what we build, we hope you like it and that it works for you.’ Our philosophy is more along the lines of, ‘Tell us what you want and we’ll build it for you.’”

While there are “some smaller versions of us out there for sure, as far as people who have the reference base and the history, I think we are unique,” Weaver continued.

Privately held KIOSK’s single-minded focus has proven another plus, Weaver said. “This is all we do. We don’t claim to be a jack-of-all-trades-and-master-ofnone. We’re hardware guys, and we’ve never strayed from that.”

Rest of interview

Posted by staff at 07:25 AM

July 31, 2007

KIOSK Online Quote, Pricing and Ordering

Here's a new twist on self-service ordering -- now you can get a quote, price and purchase a self-service kiosk online. The people at KIOSK have been doing it now for the last few months and just now have formally announced it.

A surprising angle to us is that POS people or companies with terminal-pc solutions that are truly cookie-cutter devices do not offer those units for open purchase. They still have the "call us for pricing" disclaimer. It's not like they are going to give you a different color Anyplace or Advantage panel-pc or different processor/etc

Louisville, CO – July 26, 2007

Self-Service Kiosk Quotes introduced by KIOSK Information Systems

In an industry dominated by self-service fanatics, it makes perfect sense that customers would use and appreciate the ability to help themselves to a kiosk quote. As an added service to its customers, KIOSK Information System recently went live with the industry’s first On-line Quote Generator.

Since the deployment in April 2007, thousands of customers have entered their unique configuration inquiries with instant 24/7 response. While never intended to replace the expertise and personal touch offered by KIOSK’s Sales Team, it does provide an efficient self-serve tool for:

§ Budgetary Pricing
§ Configuration Analysis
§ Service, Software, and Option Analysis
§ Automated cataloging and on-line ordering for existing customers
§ On-line equipment and spares purchases (credit card)

With over $30M in quote inquiries since April, the response has been exceptional. According to Tom Weaver, KIOSK’s VP of Sales and Marketing, “The intent is to provide another level of customer service and simplified shopping. Customers can experiment with multiple configurations and receive instant and accurate financial feedback as they process choices.”

The quote generator is intended for deployments between one and ten kiosks, with larger volume quotes coming from KIOSK’s direct Sales Force. As always, personal expert guidance is only a phone call away – 800-509-5471. Click link below for a “test drive.”


About KIOSK Information Systems:

KIOSK is the world leader in design, manufacturing, service and support of indoor and outdoor kiosks, public Internet stations and other electronic self-service informational terminals. KIOSK is the OEM manufacturer of self-service terminals for Dell, USPS, Sony Photo, CitiBank, US Transportation Security Administration, and many others. www.kiosk.com.

Posted by staff at 01:32 PM

July 25, 2007

Acquisitions - HP Buys Neoware and Wyse Responds

Earlier today it was reported HP purchased Neoware for $214M. That's a pretty strategic buy for HP in thin client market. It didn't take long either for Wyse to deliver a "so what does this mean" response to the marketplace (less than an hour actually). That's quick on your feet for sure.

Thin Client Computing News

Posted by staff at 12:29 PM

June 15, 2007

Kiosks & Technology -- Fingerprinting Videos

Techbit -- Here's a new one. Using video fingerprints to recognize copyrighted content. YouTube/Google working on it.

YouTube to launch video fingerprinting trial

13/06/2007 by Carla Moore

Video sharing site YouTube is testing a video fingerprinting software that aims to recognize copyrighted content in videos, reports the Associated Press.

Video recognition involves indexing images from videos and setting up rules, determined by the copyright holder, for the use of the content. Earlier this year, YouTube started using audio recognition technology from Audible Magic as a way of protecting copyrighted material.

YouTube will launch the trial next month in partnership with Time Warner and The Walt Disney Company. The company hopes to have the software ready for launch later this year.

Posted by staff at 07:52 AM

May 22, 2007

Financial Service Kiosks -- ExxonMobil

exxon_kiosk_mar28.jpegExxonMobil Expands Availability of ''ewiz'' Financial Services Kiosks at on the Run Convenience Stores; ewiz Kiosks Provide Convenient Way to Pay Bills and Conduct Other Financial Services.

TIO Networks and ExxonMobil extend strategic alliance

“New Agreement extends contract through 2012"

Burnaby, BC - May 22, 2007 – TIO Networks Corp. (TIO), North America’s leading automated bill payment and financial services network (TSX-V: TNC), today announced a five-year extension to its strategic alliance with ExxonMobil. The relationship, which began in 2004, has been extended through 2012.

Under the terms of this agreement, TIO Networks will roll out the TIO services through the E-WIZ branded kiosks and hybrid ATMs in all corporate owned On the Run and Tigermarket stores. The deployment is expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2007.

TIO’s self-service program will also be available to ExxonMobil’s franchise dealers and distributors who will now have the ability to purchase E-WIZ systems and derive recurring revenues from consumer driven transaction fees.

E-WIZ is an ExxonMobil branded self-service automated bill payment and financial service kiosk program that empowers their customers to securely and conveniently pay their wireless, cable, utility and other bills in cash, purchase prepaid products, gift cards, Prepaid MasterCard®, purchases and reloads, and benefit from additional value added financial services.

The E-WIZ program serves consumers who prefer to use alternative financial service providers for convenience or the lack of direct banking relationships.

ExxonMobil, Exxon, On the Run and Tigermarket are trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its subsidiaries.

About TIO Networks Corp.

TIO Networks Corp. is North America’s largest multi-retailer network of non bank financial services for the ‘cash preferred’ consumer marketplace. The Company operates in more than 2000 locations and provides safe secure access to bill payment and other key financial services. For more information, please visit www.TIOnetworks.com
Behshad Hastibakhsh, Media Relations – TIO Networks

Tel: 604.298.4636, Ext. 250

Toll Free: 888.679.3322

Email: [email protected]

John Lewis, Business Development - TIO Networks

Tel: 416-364-2266

Email: [email protected]

Posted by staff at 10:52 AM

May 10, 2007

New Case Studies Released

Five new case studies released including Amtrak, SITA CUSS, ISI Gaming, Army Internet Gaming, and Vanguard Car Rental check-in.

Case studies published by KIOSK in Colorado and links are here:

Posted by staff at 12:41 PM

April 13, 2007

KIOSKS Case Study -- Check-In Kiosk for Alamo

New advertising campaign by Alamo promoting kiosk usage. Alamo use a beaver and a buffalo in ads for the rent-a-car company. Not unlike Frontier Airlines (animals work better than people). In the 30-second spots, Al the beaver teaches his timid buffalo friend Mo to "fight the herd instinct" by choosing Alamo’s self-service kiosk instead of standing in line at the checkout counter. We think the second one with the guy inside the kiosk is the funnier of the two but we are partial to inside of kiosk... View story for links to both videos.

Fight the Herd

Something Inside

New advertising campaign by Alamo promoting kiosk usage. Alamo use a beaver and a buffalo in ads for the rent-a-car company. Not unlike Frontier Airlines (animals work better than people). In the 30-second spots, Al the beaver teaches his timid buffalo friend Mo to "fight the herd instinct" by choosing Alamo’s self-service kiosk instead of standing in line at the checkout counter. Kiosks are manufactured/designed by KIOSK Information Systems

Posted by staff at 01:42 PM

November 30, 2006

Airline Security -- new kiosk unveiled by GE

VerifiedSRTKiosk-90.jpg The much anticipated Registered Traveler program just moved a little further along. The program, which allows travelers to pay extra money to go through screening faster than other travelers by pre-registering themselves with a DHS background check and biometric and identity information on file, has been in a pilot process as technology and policy for its management was created.

Information, Assessment and Community

Updated: November 30th, 2006 10:16 AM EDT
A New Kiosk for Air Security, as Registered Traveler Moves Forward
GE kiosk gets 'Cleared' as Regist and GE demonstrate new identification and sensor kiosk

GE Security unveiled its full-featured kiosk for the TSA Registered Traveler program. The GE kiosk is being used with Verified's Clear program (the TSA Registered Traveler program is managed at the individual level by private companies, but overseen by the TSA).

GE Security unveiled its full-featured kiosk for the TSA Registered Traveler program. The GE kiosk is being used with Verified's Clear program (the TSA Registered Traveler program is managed at the individual level by private companies, but overseen by the TSA).

The much anticipated Registered Traveler program just moved a little further along. The program, which allows travelers to pay extra money to go through screening faster than other travelers by pre-registering themselves with a DHS background check and biometric and identity information on file, has been in a pilot process as technology and policy for its management was created.

On Friday it was clear that progress had indeed been made, as the Transportation Security Administration announced that it is setting an annual fee of $28 to handle background checks for Registered Traveler participants.
As if that wasn't progress enough for the program, GE Security today unveiled a new technology kiosk that could be used as part of the program.

The company's technology launch was that of its Secure Registered Traveler (SRT) kiosk, which it was unveiling at the National Safe Skies Alliance Symposium in Washington, D.C. The kiosk had been tested as part of the Verified's Clear program, one of a few private businesses that provide the Registered Traveler services. Clear, the only one currently TSA approved -- though many others are close behind in the process to become TSA approved -- currently has 32,000 customers registered who pay roughly $100 per year for the privilege to move more quickly through security.

Read rest of story

Note: this is the "verification" iteration of kiosk. There is also the "enrollment" version of this kiosk as well.

Posted by staff at 12:49 PM

November 20, 2006

National Car Rental to Roll out Self-Service Check in Kiosks; New Touch Screen Kiosks Speeds Check in Time

TULSA, Okla., Nov. 14, 2006 -- The best car rental company for frequent business travelers just became more convenient for all travelers. National Car Rental announced today it will roll out new touch-screen kiosks at rental locations throughout the United States. The new system cuts check in time by about 50 percent when compared to average counter check in times.

National Car Rental to Roll out Self-Service Check in Kiosks; New Touch Screen Kiosks Speeds Check in Time

The kiosk roll out comes after successful testing by customers in Dallas, Las Vegas and Jacksonville, Fla.

"The rental counter is typically pretty fast, using the kiosk is faster and the fastest way to rent from National will always be the Emerald Club," said Jerry Dow, National's chief marketing officer. "This is the next best thing to the Emerald Club and customers love it."

The Emerald Club allows customers with information on file to bypass the counter, choose their own car, and get an e-receipt upon return. For those not in the Club, this new touch- screen kiosk allows any customer with a valid driver's license, major credit card and an existing reservation to bypass the rental counter and check in directly at the kiosk. After a customer agrees to the terms and conditions, a receipt-sized rental agreement is printed from the kiosk and the customer is directed to his or her rental car on the lot. At the exit booth, the customer simply shows the booth agent his or her rental agreement and driver's license and then drives away.

The kiosk also allows the customer to review rental information, upgrade to a larger car class, add additional drivers, and purchase option items such as GPS units Liability Damage Waiver (LDW), and Pre Pay Gasoline.

By next summer, National expects to have more than 70 rental locations outfitted with the new touch-screen kiosks. Besides the test markets, the first locations to roll out this month are Orlando, Detroit, Denver and Los Angeles. Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, St. Louis, Dallas, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta and New York will all have kiosks by March.

With the kiosks and its Emerald Club service, National makes it easy for its customers to bypass the counter or kiosk completely. "It is up to the customer to choose fast or faster service from National," Dow said.

"Nationalcar.com will always be the best place for business people to make a rental reservation. That's where customers will find simple ways to get their cars fast and easy, and they will never incur a booking fee," said Dow.

About National

National Car Rental is one of the world's largest rental car companies. The company uses technology and customer service to serve the daily rental needs of the frequent business traveler by offering speed, convenience and choice in their rental process. National has locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Africa, the Middle East and Australia. For more information about Alamo, log on to http://www.nationalcar.com/ . The National Car Rental brand is operated by Vanguard Car Rental USA Inc.

Posted by staff at 03:10 PM

November 28, 2005

Kiosk Newsletter from Kiosk Information Systems for November 2005

Kiosk newsletter for November 2005 covering Europe, HR Kiosks, Gaming Kiosks, Bill Payment kiosks and more.

original story

Self-Service Kiosk Industry Update
November 8, 2005
[Europe Kiosk]

The UK, Europe, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East now have one common denominator. Pete Snyder.

Our top sales executive has turned diplomat and is now the Managing Director of our UK/European operations which include sales, manufacturing, service and support. Shipping logistics simplified, certifications assured, and enhanced support for existing and new customers.

Related stories include industry feature writeups such us KIS Opens European Office and Snyder Sets Sail.

For contact information visit our European kiosk homepage http://europe.kiosk.com

Award-winning deployments

Kiosk Information Systems took home a couple of awards from the latest Self-Service and Kiosk Show held in San Francisco. Kiosk Information Systems along with our partner Netkey won two awards including Best Kiosk.

The Swift Informer kiosks provide drivers, mechanics and other employees with secure online access to payroll, benefit, permit, training and safety information, truck repair manuals and parts availability, as well as e-mail, company news, weather and directions.

Innovative & Cutting-Edge

Also at the latest tradeshow Kiosk Information Systems displayed the interactive gaming station. This high end unit comes with a leather executive chair, Bose speakers, and the chance to play your favorite games like Halo on big 27" screen.

The unit is entirely self-service and comes with credit card and cash as standard payment options. Believe it or not, it also comes standard with nice drink holder off to the side.
Reliable Partners

Dell just published a new case study profiling Kiosk Information Systems. Kiosk Information Systems is Dell's strategic OEM partner in the self-service kiosk space.

An extremely significant component of any overall kiosk project ROI comes after deployment when reliability, servicing and managebility are paramount.
Trends and Resources

Here are event and resources from Kiosk Information Systems, Inc. For up-to-the-minute information we recommend subscribing to the Kiosk Information Systems, Inc. RSS news service.

Casestudy: Emergency Department Kiosk -- The kiosk developed and tested in this study includes an interactive computer program that queries parents about the child's asthma symptoms and current medications and links parents to recommended guidelines for controlling asthma. Parents can complete the kiosk task in 11 minutes while waiting in the ED, and they can use its printed child-specific care recommendations to discuss their child's asthma with the ED health care provider. Continue reading "Casestudy: Emergency Department Kiosk"

Casestudy: Linux as Public WebStations -- Linux developer sets up public webstations for hurricane victims. The software installs in five minutes on a Pentium 2 (old PC)with 128MB of RAM. Article out on Desktop Linux and the link to the download software and instructions is here at www.publicwebstations.com.

Forbes points to kiosks as signs of 'changing marketplace' -- The Exponent: Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine and former presidential candidate, was the keynote speaker at the fifth annual Krannert School of Management Leadership Speakers Series, held Oct. 13. Forbes started his speech by mentioning the changing face of the economy. He cited the growing number of kiosks as a sign of our economy's changing environment, naming airport and McDonald's kiosks as examples of the simplification and innovation that results from a changing marketplace. originating news site with full article link

Case Study: A Microcosm of the Multichannel Experience in Manhattan's SoHo -- A look at multi-channel marketing efforts by a couple of companies. Multichannel customers are known higher spend so the attention is warranted. Continue reading "Case Study: A Microcosm of the Multichannel Experience in Manhattan's SoHo"

Research: Six Simple Rules For Successful Self-Service -- CIO Article on the successful steps to integrate self-service. In the article she iterates/references many points from Francie Mendelsohn of Summit Research (longtime consultancy on kiosks). Continue reading "Research: Six Simple Rules For Successful Self-Service"

Research - Photo Market Heats Up -- Nice background article on photo market and the segments (online) that are heating up. Uploading images and printing for 12 cents for a 4x6 is becoming more common. Continue reading "Research - Photo Market Heats Up"

Case Study - DVD Burning Kiosks for Amusement Parks -- Next time you ride a roller coaster, maybe you will have a kiosk there to make a DVD that you can take it home and remember/replay the ride.DVD Kiosk for Amusement Park Case Study link

Case Study - Health and Nutrition Information Kiosk -- The information-providing kiosk set gets plenty of knocks from its big brothers, those muscular transaction-based self-service machines that deliver powerful ROI statistics. Healthnotes, Inc. is proving that it.s not always about the numbers. Healthnotes Case Study Link

Case Study - Swift Transportation selects Netkey for employee self-service kiosks -- BRANFORD, Conn. . Netkey Inc. announced in a news release that Swift Transportation is using Netkey software to power a nationwide network of kiosks designed to provide Swift drivers, owner-operators, shop workers, and other employees with easy access to human resources and corporate information. Continue reading "Case Study - Swift Transportation selects Netkey for employee self-service kiosks"

Health & Nutrition Retail Kiosk -- Healthnotes Inc. (HNI) today announced the launch of its latest EasyAnswers Touchscreen Kiosk, the Low-Profile. Available in nine design variations, the Low-Profile Kiosk offers retailers the flexibility of choosing the color and graphics scheme that works best for their stores. Continue reading "Health & Nutrition Retail Kiosk"

From Kiosk Information Systems: If you are considering a new self-service initiative take the next step. Kiosk Information Systems has proven solutions for all of your self-service and kiosk needs, whether it's 2 units or 2,000 units. Experienced dedicated kiosk consultants will help you put together the complete software, hardware and service package to help your project be a success. We can help with complete custom, standard and OEM services. Take the next step.

Product Notes: DOT 710

Kiosk Information Systems, Inc. at San Francisco tradeshow demonstrated the brand new "DOT 710" countertop kiosk.

Base Configuration

* 17 inch Touch-screen LCD
* Standard Dell Optiplex PC, Celeron or Pentium
* 80G Hard Drive and 512M RAM
* Windows XP Pro
* One year warranty with optional on-site service and maintenance plans

Standard Options
* 9 in 1 Digital Media Reader
* Thermal Receipt Printer
* Credit Card Reader
* CD Reader/Writer

* Dimensions: 20. Wide x 15. Deep x 22.75. High
* Dimensions - Metric: 508mm Wide x 381mm Deep x 588mm High
* Weight: 60 lbs (27.2 kg)
* Ports: 7 USB, 1 RS232, 1 Parallel and Ethernet 10/100
* Processor: up to 3.80 Ghz Pentium with Hyperthreading
* Memory: up to 4 GB
* Hard Drive: SATA 7200 RPM up to 250G

Get more information.

Tradeshow Calendar

* Jan 2005: ATEI in London, UK
* Feb 2005: PMAI in Orlando

Posted by keefner at 03:16 AM

April 16, 2005

Data Security Heats Up

security.gifIn light of recent incidents of identity theft, retailers are rushing to meet stricter computer-security standards for their consumer data by June 30. The deadline was set by a group of credit card associations, including VISA USA and MasterCard International, and merchants that don't comply could face penalties as high as $500,000. Article on WSJ
Related: Currently, no federal regulation governs the personal data collection industry, and it's time tough legal standards were created, says BusinessWeek columnist Stephen H. Wildstrom. BusinessWeek

Posted by keefner at 04:12 PM

March 21, 2005

WiBro Technology

Samsung demonstrates WiBro technology

read full article

18/03/2005 by John Tilak

South Korean electronics company Samsung is demonstrating wireless broadband (WiBro) products and technology at the annual Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) trade show.

In the five months since it unveiled the first WiBro demo in November 2004 in Korea, Samsung has been able to reduce the size of the WiBro compartment, shrinking the equipment to a tenth of the size of the original demo.

Samsung intends to commercially launch WiBro data access systems and handsets in Korea next year with sector data throughput speeds of up to 30 Mbps. Samsung is to use the experience gained from the Korean WiBro deployment to drive ongoing development of WiMax equipment for the global market.

WiBro, based on the 802.16e standard, offers mobility, wide-area services and global standardisation for wireless broadband applications.

Posted by Craig at 04:07 PM

March 17, 2005

Hand Recognition Systems

Recognition Systems' new biometric hand geometry reader is a lower cost unit designed specifically for small business time and attendance applications. The HandPunch 50E is designed for up to 50 employees and uses PINs but no cards to keep the cost and complexity to a minimum. recsys_handpunch.gif

Biometric-based time and attendance for small business from Recognition Systems
Thursday, March 17 2005

Recognition Systems' new biometric hand geometry reader is a lower cost unit designed specifically for small business time and attendance applications. The HandPunch 50E is designed for up to 50 employees and uses PINs but no cards to keep the cost and complexity to a minimum.


Recognition Systems Introduces New, Low-Cost HandPunch 50E Time & Attendance Terminal

An Affordable Ethernet-Enabled Biometric Time Clock That Eliminates Buddy-Punching

CAMPBELL, CALIF. - March 16, 2005 - Recognition Systems, the biometric component of Ingersoll-Rand's (IR) Security & Safety Electronic Control Systems, today announced its new HandPunch 50E, which provides the convenience of biometric hand geometry, eliminating cards or codes, to positively identify up to 50 people. The HandPunch 50E is Ethernet-enabled, eliminates buddy-punching, and is now affordable and cost effective for all time and attendance applications.

The low cost of the new HandPunch 50E, which eliminates the expenses associated with employee badges and buddy punching, provides an extremely fast return-on-investment for small businesses. Instead of having to fill out or punch a timecard, an employee simply enters her ID number and places her hand on the HandPunch 50E. It automatically takes a three-dimensional reading of the size and shape of the employee's hand and verifies the user's identity in less than one second.

"The new HandPunch 50E provides all the power and accuracy of our other HandPunch time and attendance terminals but is designed for smaller enterprises, making biometric technology cost-effective for almost every small business," reports Bill Spence, Recognition Systems director of marketing.

By featuring a built-in Ethernet port, businesses can insert the HandPunch 50E anywhere along their LAN/WAN where it will be most useful. It can be placed in several areas around a building or in branch offices separated by continents. Networked systems also provide centralized template management. Users can enroll at a single location and have their templates available at other locations.

According to Spence, the HandPunch 50E is especially applicable for two uniquely different types of customers. For small businesses, the HandPunch 50E provides increased convenience for employees since there are no badges to remember. Being Ethernet-enabled, it presents the company with an easier-to-administer and lower cost method of time and attendance tracking than either manual or card-based systems.

For larger companies that have many small offices, the HandPunch 50E eliminates any possibilities of buddy punching, which is especially important for organizations with minimal supervision. In addition, there are no cards to distribute or the inevitable lost cards to replace, making time and attendance management and tracking much easier.

HandPunch 50E options include operational battery backup and outdoor enclosures.

The HandPunch 50E as well as the complete line of HandPunch products are now available worldwide as part of integrated time and attendance solutions from a wide array of Recognition Systems' time and attendance business partners.

About Recognition Systems

With over 120,000 hand geometry units throughout the world reading millions of hands each day, Recognition Systems, founded in 1986, is the pioneer in the application of biometrics into time and attendance applications. As the world sales leader of biometric verification devices, Recognition Systems serves an international clientele from its headquarters in Campbell, Calif. Its website is www.handreader.com. Phone is 408-341-4100. Recognition Systems is the biometric component of Ingersoll-Rand Corporation's Security & Safety Group's Electronic Control Systems Group. The Ingersoll-Rand website is www.irco.com.

Visit the other Avisian publications: Contactless News, CR80 News and RFID News.

Posted by Craig at 04:57 PM

March 04, 2005

Visa USA Contactless Payment Platform Operationally Ready

Visa announces contactless payment platform is ready.

Industry News
Visa USA Contactless Payment Platform Operationally Ready
Visa Contactless, Based on Industry Standards, Offers Convenience and Speed to Cardholders and Added Volume to Members and Merchants: 2/24/2005
SAN FRANCISCO, February 24, 2005

Visa USA announced today it has completed the development of its contactless payment platform and is ready to begin deployment of this new payment feature on Visa cards in the U.S. market. The platform is designed to deliver speed and convenience by making the purchase process faster and easier, while offering all the same security protections the industry has come to expect from the leader in payments.

Visa's Contactless employs industry-standard technology to deliver a secure application specific to the payments marketplace that transmits payment information over extremely short distances to a contactless reader at the point of sale. To use, cardholders simply hold their card briefly near a secure reader at checkout, instead of swiping it. All other aspects of the contactless transaction are handled in the same way as a traditional Visa transaction.

"After successful trials in several regions of the world, we feel we have the right solution and this is the right time for Visa to make contactless technology available in the U.S. market," said Elizabeth Buse, executive vice president, product development and management, Visa USA. "We want to make sure our Members and merchants have the ability to offer current innovations to their customers, if they choose to do so."

Visa USA advocates that the industry adopt a brand-neutral contactless indicator to identify contactless cards, key fobs and devices, and to convey to cardholders where contactless cards are accepted. This will simplify the point of sale for merchants and will allow financial institutions to brand their contactless programs as needed.

About Visa

Visa is the world's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives. Nearly 21,000 financial institutions worldwide rely on Visa-branded products to generate $3.2 trillion in card volume. Cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1.3 billion Visa-branded cards, accepted at millions of locations worldwide. Within the United States, nearly 14,000 financial institutions issue 430 million Visa cards, accounting for more than $1 trillion in annual transaction volume. Visa offers a trusted, reliable, and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, anyway.

Visa USA Announces Availability

Posted by Craig at 02:59 AM

January 23, 2005

Biometric US-Visit Kiosks

USA Today -- Newark airport tests photographing, fingerprinting travelers

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) International travelers already are required to be fingerprinted and photographed when they arrive at U.S. airports. Soon, they will be asked to do the same when they leave the country.

Homeland Security employee Joan Walker, left, works with Bernardo Arroyo of Mexico as he has his fingerprint scanned.
By Monika Graf, Getty Images

Homeland Security officials Wednesday announced a pilot program at Newark Liberty International Airport that will eventually require travelers leaving the country to be fingerprinted and photographed using kiosks set up in the airport concourse.

The exit program is part of US-VISIT, or U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, and is already being tested at airports in Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Miami. It is scheduled to be implemented at airports in Detroit, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, later this month.

Full Story

Posted by Craig at 01:43 AM

December 14, 2004

Biometric Methods

Nice article from Register on new advances in biometrics.

Gait advances in emerging biometrics
By John Leyden (john.leyden at theregister.co.uk)
Published Tuesday 14th December 2004 15:07 GMT
"Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait."
William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Retinal scans, finger printing or facial recognition get most of the publicity but researchers across the world are quietly labouring away at alternative types of biometrics.

Recognition by the way someone walk (their gait), the shape of their ears, the rhythm they make when they tap and the involuntary response of ears to sounds all have the potential to raise the stock of biometric techniques. According to Professor Mark Nixon, of the Image Speech and Recognition Research Group at the University of Southampton, each has unique advantages which makes them worth exploring.

Recognition by ear has already been used in criminal cases and has the advantage that the ear does not change shape with age. Smiling doesn't confuse ear recognition but hair might. Newer techniques such as the otoaustic effect (the response of the ear to sound) has the advantage that it is non-invasive and yet voluntary. However practical implementation is still some way off.

Recognition by rhythm is so simple it is possible to implement it on smartcards. However results of this so far have been mediocre. Using a piezoelectric sensor built into a smartcard, researchers have so far been unable to reduce the false acceptance of impostors below 15 per cent.

Nixon has conducted extensive research on the use of gait as a biometric. Its advantage is that it is effective at a distance or where only low image resolution footage is available, as with CCTV cameras. Nixon worked with other researchers in the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (http://www.darpa.mil/) HumanID at a Distance project until the scheme was canned "because of US privacy concerns (http://www.nccprivacy.org/handv/021025villain.htm)".

The speed at which someone walks or runs has little effect on the biometric, but wearing a trench coat can mask the feet, and using flip-flops can also throw measurements. "Perhaps its because we in Britain are not used to wearing flip-flops," Nixon commented.

Nixon told El Reg that the techniques researchers in Southampton, MIT and elsewhere have developed investigating the use of gait as a biometric has applications in other fields. Sports analysis, animation in games and early detection of the onset of disease are just some of the potential of the technique.

Nixon was speaking today in London at an Institute of Electrical Engineers' seminar on the Challenge of biometrics

Related stories

Biometric recognition gets right in your face (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/05/05/3d_facial_recognition/)
I'd recognise that ear, anywhere (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/03/09/id_recognise_that_ear_anywhere/)
Biometric sensors beaten senseless in tests (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/23/biometric_sensors_beaten_senseless/)
Everything you never wanted to know about the UK ID card (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/05/05/complete_idcard_guide/)

Posted by Craig at 04:08 PM

November 08, 2004

Security Scans Gone Too Far?

AN X-RAY machine that sees through air passengers clothes has been deployed by security staff at Londons Heathrow airport for the first time.

The Sunday Times - Britain

November 07, 2004

Plane passengers shocked by their x-ray scans
Dipesh Gadher,Transport Correspondent

AN X-RAY machine that sees through air passengers clothes has been deployed by security staff at Londons Heathrow airport for the first time.
The device at Terminal 4 produces a naked image of passengers by bouncing X-rays off their skin, enabling staff instantly to spot any hidden weapons or explosives.

But the graphic nature of the black and white images it generates including revealing outlines of men and women has raised concerns about privacy both among travellers and aviation authorities.

In America, transport officials are refusing to deploy the device until it can be further refined to mask passengers modesty.

The Terminal 4 trial being conducted jointly by the British Airports Authority and the Department for Transport became fully operational last month and is intended to run until the end of the year. Its deployment has not been reported until now since new security measures at airports are not normally publicised.

If the new body scanner is able to cope with large volumes of passengers, improves detection rates and, crucially, receives public acceptance, it is likely to be rolled out across all Britains airports.

At Heathrow, passengers are picked to go through the body scanner on a random and voluntary basis. Those who refuse are subjected to an automatic hand search.

The scanner, which resembles a tall, grey filing cabinet, operates in a curtained area and passengers are asked to stand in front of it, adopting several poses, for their naked image to be registered. Once checked, the images are immediately erased.

Security officials claim it is a far more effective way of countering potential terrorists because it detects the outline of any solid object such as plastic explosives or ceramic knives which conventional metal detectors would miss.

Managers at Heathrow also say the new technology does away with the need to subject passengers to potentially intrusive hand searches. However, travellers who have been screened and have asked to see the images have been surprised by their clarity.

I was quite shocked by what I saw, said Gary Cook, 40, a graphic designer from Shaftesbury, Dorset. I felt a bit embarrassed looking at the image.

A female passenger, who did not want to be named, said: It was really horrible. It doesnt leave much to the imagination because youre virtually naked, but I guess its less intrusive than being hand searched.

In a similar trial at Orlando international airport in Florida in 2002, passengers were shown a dummy image before going through, and at least a quarter of them refused to volunteer.

In America last year, Susan Hallowell, director of the US Transportation Security Administrations (TSA) security laboratory, showed off her own x-ray image to demonstrate the technology to reporters.

It basically makes you look fat and naked, but you see all this stuff, said Hallowell, who had deliberately hidden a gun and a bomb under her clothes.

The TSA has decided not to deploy the device at American airports until manufacturers can develop an electronic means of masking sensitive body parts.

story link

Posted by Craig at 07:21 PM

November 01, 2004

Airport Checkin and Biometrics

Santiago Airport in Chile, recently opened 60 checkpoint kiosks utilizing biometric security software

Linux prepares a Chile reception for terrorists
Monday November 01, 2004 (02:00 PM GMT)
By: Tina Gasperson

Airport security is an ever-growing concern these days, as fears about the potential for terrorist attacks loom worldwide. One airport adopting major security upgrades is the Santiago Airport in Chile, which recently opened 60 checkpoint kiosks utilizing biometric security software running on SUSE Enterprise Linux.
this year, the Policia Investigaciones de Chile (PICH), the Chilean equivalent of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, wanted to implement a biometrics access control system at the airport. The security upgrade project is a collaborative effort between Unisys, which provided the hardware, Intelitrac, the creator of the biometrics security system, and AssureTec and Cognitec, developers of facial recognition and document-scanning software.

The system combines facial recognition, document authentication, and fingerprint verification technologies into a single package that is easily deployed in a manned kiosk and managed from a data center on the premises.

When a traveler comes to the checkpoint, he hands over his passport to the customs official, who puts it through a document reader. The information goes to a live database where it is checked against known suspicious individuals. At the same time, a digital camera takes a picture of the traveler, which is also transmitted to the database for "one-to-many" comparison against some 750,000 images, which include the faces of fugitives, terrorists, and other criminals. At the same time, the image goes through a "one-to-one" comparison process which checks the live image against the passport photo for positive identification.

If necessary for further assurance of identify, the kiosk also houses digital fingerprinting equipment. Finally, the system sends an alert to the Chilean airport security officers about potential criminals, while they are still standing at the kiosk.

One of the requirements the PICH had for the project was that all the security checks at any given kiosk with any given traveler would take no longer than a total of 45 seconds. To meet that requirement, Intelitrac used relational databases that reside in RAM, running on two 64-bit Itanium 2 ES700s servers with SUSE Enterprise Linux.

To the delight of PICH and the vendor team, the biometric security process ended up taking only about 30 seconds. The facial recognition portion of the process alone is amazingly fast; it takes only about one second to check through three-quarters of a million images, even using Intelitrac's morphing technology, in which the software creates a three-dimensional, rotating image from a standard mugshot so that variances in camera angles on live shots at the kiosk don't create a hindrance to identification.

Tianlong Chen, CTO of Intelitrac, said that the biometrics security deployment was a first for his company. "There were some challenges in fine-tuning the system," he said.

One challenge the team faced with the system was the threat of power outages or surges. A database that lives in RAM is incredibly fast, but highly volatile -- disappearing without a trace when the power goes out or even just flickers. Intelitrac overcame this obstacle by developing a system whereby the two servers deploy a load-balancing scheme, backing each other up in real time, and performing frequent hard disk backups to both machines for extra assurance of data protection.

Intelitrac also created a custom management system for kiosk operations. The entire project is managed via a Web-based console that feeds directly from the Linux servers.

In the second phase of the project, the PICH expects to deploy 40 more kiosks at the Santiago Airport, as well as new implementations of the biometrics system at other airports and border control checkpoints in Chile.


Posted by Craig at 08:31 PM

August 31, 2004

Fingerprint ID systems

US Government Evaluation Results for Fingerprint ID Technologies

FpVTE 2003
updated 6 July 2004

  • The Fingerprint Vendor Technology Evaluation (FpVTE) 2003
    is an independently administered technology evaluation of fingerprint
    matching, identification, and verification systems. FpVTE 2003
    is being conducted by the National Institute of Standards & Technology
    (NIST) on behalf of the Justice Management Division (JMD) of
    the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • FpVTE was designed to assess the capability of fingerprint
    systems to meet requirements for both large-scale and small-scale
    real world applications. FpVTE 2003 consists of multiple tests
    performed with combinations of fingers (e.g., single fingers,
    two index fingers, four to ten fingers) and different types and
    qualities of operational fingerprints (e.g., flat livescan images
    from visa applicants, multi-finger slap livescan images from
    present-day booking or background check systems, or rolled and
    flat inked fingerprints from legacy criminal databases).
  • FpVTE 2003 will serve as part of NIST's statutory mandate
    under section 403c of the USA PATRIOT Act to certify those biometric
    technologies that may be used in U.S. VISIT (U.S. Visitor and
    Immigrant Status Indication Technology, formerly known as the
    US entry-exit system). In addition, FpVTE results may form the
    basis for the design and acquisition of other large-scale fingerprint
    identification systems.
  • FpVTE 2003 evaluations were conducted at the NIST facilities
    at Gaithersburg, MD, from October 2003 through November 2003.
  • Small, Medium, and Large-Scale Tests (SST, MST and LST) were
    conducted using systems provided by 18 Participants:

    • 123 ID, Inc. (MST, LST)
    • Antheus Technology, Inc. (MST, LST)
    • [email protected] Systems Inc. (MST)
    • BioLink Technologies International, Inc. (MST, LST)
    • Bioscrypt, Inc. (SST)
    • Cogent Systems, Inc. (SST, MST, LST)
    • Dermalog Identification Systems GmbH (MST, LST)
    • Golden Finger Systems (MST, LST)
    • Griaule Tecnologia (LST)
    • Identix, Inc. (MST, LST)
    • NEC (MST, LST)
    • Neurotechnologija Ltd. (MST)
    • The Phoenix Group, Inc. (MST)
    • Motorola (MST, LST)
    • Raytheon Company (MST, LST)
    • Technoimagia Co., Ltd. (MST)
    • Ultra-Scan Corporation (MST)

  • FpVTE 2003 analysis and methodologies were built in part
    on the multi-agency Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) 2002.
    See http://www.frvt.org
  • FpVTE was announced on FedBizOpps.gov ( TARGET="_blank">FpVTE Listing; TARGET="_blank">cached), and in several postings to the HREF="http://www.biometrics.org/html/listserv.html" TARGET="_blank">Biometric
    Consortium Listserv.

horizonal bar ALIGN="BOTTOM">

FpVTE is a project of  NIST's

  Information Technology
Access Division

NIST is an agency of the  
Commerce Department's

[email protected]
with corrections/comments.

Privacy Policy/Security Notice


Last modified 6 July 2004.


Fingerprint Vendor Techology Evaluation 2003

Posted by Craig at 03:06 PM

August 12, 2004

Biometric Lockers

Biometric tech puts ID at your fingertips

Thursday, August 12, 2004 Posted: 0042 GMT (0842 HKT)

No keys: Public lockers at the newly-reopened Statue of Liberty use fingerprints to identify users.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stuffing something in a public locker usually isn't a memorable experience. You drop a coin, take the key and move on.

But at the Statue of Liberty, recently reopened after a two-year closure, stashing a package offers a glimpse into the future. To rent, close and reopen lockers, visitors touch an electronic reader that scans fingerprints.

"It's easy," Taiwanese visitor Yu-Sheng Lee, 26, said after stowing a bag. "I think it's good. I don't have to worry about a key or something like that."

Like nearly every other tourist at the statue that day, this was Lee's first experience with biometrics -- the identification of an individual based on personal characteristics like fingerprints, facial features or iris patterns.

While the technology is not new, having seen use for years to restrict access in corporate and military settings, it is only now creeping into everyday life. Over the next few years, people currently unfamiliar with the technology will be asked to use it in everything from travel settings to financial transactions.

The Nine Zero, an upscale hotel in Boston, recently began letting guests in its $3,000-a-night Cloud Nine suite enter and exit by looking into a camera that analyzes their iris patterns. Piggly Wiggly Co. grocery stores in the South just launched a pay-by-fingerprint system, though pilot tests elsewhere have had lukewarm results.

"All these customer-facing applications, they're emerging," said Joseph Kim, a consultant with the International Biometric Group, which follows the industry. "We'll be seeing a lot more very, very soon. Whether that sticks or not depends on how customers feel about it."

Feelings seemed mixed about the lockers at the Statue of Liberty on a muggy New York afternoon last week.

Some people were befuddled by the system and had to put their fingers on the reader several times before a scan was properly made. Others forgot their locker number upon their return, or didn't remember which finger they had used to check it out. One young woman accidentally put her ticket to the statue in the locker, requiring her to open it and then re-register it all over again with another finger scan.

With all the confusion, lines at the three touchscreen kiosks that control the bank of 170 lockers frequently stretched six or seven people deep, requiring a five-minute wait.

"I think it's overly complicated. It takes too much time," said Stephen Chemsak, 26, who lives in Japan. To him the old-fashioned key system would have been much better.

The lockers were made necessary by new security measures at the statue that include a ban on large packages. Brad Hill, whose family business, Evelyn Hill Inc., has run the island's concessions for 73 years, decided that the usual public lockers would be problematic because people often lose the keys. And that seemed to become even more likely now that tourists have to empty their pockets for a metal detector on their way into the statue.

"Biometrics seemed the most logical choice," he said. After all, he added with a laugh, people "don't lose their finger."

Hill expects visitors will find the lockers easier once they get used to them. Representatives from the locker maker, Smarte Carte Inc., say the biometric aspect often requires a fair amount of coaching, especially for people who aren't very familiar with computers.

Smarte Carte's fingerprint lockers were introduced two years ago at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, and also can be found in Chicago's Union Station and the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks in Florida.

The company adopted the biometric system for the airport lockers to assure the Transportation Security Administration that the bins could not be rented by one person then opened by someone else.

Fingerprint biometric systems generally work by reducing the image of a print to a template, a mathematic algorithm that gets stored in a database and can be checked when the person returns for later scans. In applications like the biometric lockers, the print itself is not stored or sent to authorities.

However, prints are being run through terrorist watch lists in the biggest deployment of biometrics yet -- the federal government's new system for tracking foreign travelers.

Now in its early stages, the program, known as US-VISIT, calls for visitors to go through biometric scans to ensure that they are who their visa or passport says they are. Passports issued by the United States and other countries are getting new chips that will have facial-recognition data, and other biometrics might be added.

Separately, iris-scanning systems have cropped up in European airports as a way to speed immigration controls.

But you won't have to be a jet-setter to encounter biometrics more and more. For one, it's increasingly being used to control access to computers.

And scattered grocery stores have tested systems that let consumers check out with a touch of a fingerprint scanner. Piggly Wiggly recently installed such a system at four South Carolina stores and expects to expand it to 116 other outlets, saying it offers speed, convenience and protection against credit card theft.

CNN.com - Biometric tech puts ID at your fingertips - Aug 11, 2004

Posted by Craig at 04:39 PM

August 05, 2004

Biometric Pay By Touch

UK pilot for Pay By Touch

The Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Co-op is piloting Pay By Touch biometric payment technology in three stores around Oxfordshire in the UK. The system will be deployed in both self-checkouts and manned checkouts in the three stores. The San Francisco, USA-based Pay By Touch service allows customers to pay for purchases securely using finger-print scanning at the point-of-sale, eliminating the need to carry cards, cash, loyalty cards and cheque books. Finger imaging links the individual to an electronic wallet which holds their financial and loyalty programme information.

The initial enrolment process takes about one minute, as customers put their finger on a reader, enter a code, and swipe the cards they want to use. Pay By Touch technology doesn't store actual fingerprints, though - instead it creates a set of geometric points that allow for a secure identity match.

In the US, The Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. has recently signed up to install Pay by Touch in its stores - the first four are now reported to have gone live.

Web: http://www.paybytouch.com

Posted by Craig at 02:21 PM

July 30, 2004

Fingerprint Matching

Automated fingerprint matching can be highly accurate


By William Jackson
GCN Staff

A study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology showed that computerized fingerprint matching can be highly accurate, outperforming facial-recognition systems.

With current technology, the most accurate fingerprint systems are far more accurate than the most accurate face recognition systems, NIST reported in a recent summary of test results.

The top performers for fingerprints, with consistent accuracy rates above 98 percent, were systems from NEC Technologies Inc. of Itasca, Ill.; Sagem Morpho Inc. of Tacoma, Wash.; and Cogent Systems Inc. of Alhambra, Calif.

The Fingerprint Vendor Technology Evaluation 2003 was conducted in October and November. The USA Patriot Act requires NIST to certify biometric technologies that could be used in the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program. Similar tests on facial-recognition systems were conducted in 2002.

A total of 34 systems submitted by 18 companies were tested, using operational fingerprint data from several federal and state government sources. More than 48,000 sets of prints representing 25,309 individuals were used in the tests. The systems were configured and operated for the tests by company personnel at NIST facilities in Gaithersburg, Md.

The systems were put through a series of tests using single-finger prints, prints from two fingers and sets of prints from four fingers or more. Not surprisingly, NIST found that the number of fingers used and the quality of the prints made a significant difference in the results.

Given a false-positive rate of 0.01 percent, the NEC system had an accuracy rate of 98.6 percent for single-finger prints, 99.6 percent for two-finger prints and 99.9 percent for four, eight or 10-print sets. Both the Sagem and Cogent systems had accuracy rates higher than 95 percent.

In contrast, the most accurate facial-recognition systems tested in 2002 had accuracy rates of 71.5 percent with a false-positive rate of 0.01 percent. To reach an accurate matching rate of 90 percent, the facial systems had a false-positive rate of 1 percent.

But not all fingerprint systems are created equal. NIST reported a large performance gap between the best and the rest.

Accuracies below 80 percent were typical among the lower third (by rank) of participating systems, the study found.

Although quality of prints made a difference in accuracy of the matches, the type of scanner or acquisition device used to gather the prints did not necessarily determine the quality of the resulting print. The tests did not evaluate the reliability of scanners or other acquisition devices and did not measure cost effectiveness or address latent fingerprint identification.

Government Computer News (GCN) daily news -- federal, state and local government technology; Automated fingerprint matching can be highly accurate

Posted by Craig at 02:11 PM

July 22, 2004

FInger Scan Grocery

Piggly Wiggly Implements Finger-Scan Payment System

JULY 22, 2004 -- CHARLESTON, S.C. - Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. today launched a finger-scanning payment system in four of its South Carolina stores to help simplify, secure, and speed up customer checkout transactions.

The system, produced by San Francisco-based Pay By Touch, gives Piggly Wiggly customers the option of paying for their groceries by using a finger scan linked to their financial accounts and loyalty card information -- their Pay By Touch "wallet" -- which is stored at secure IBM data centers.

"Speed, convenience, and security were the main factors in our decisions to do the installation," said Piggly Wiggly manager of community and employee relations Rita Postell in an interview with Progressive Grocer. "Transactions using the Pay By Touch system are estimated to take one-third less time than transactions using traditional payment methods."

Adding to this speed is the fact that customers don't have to fumble in their wallets for loyalty cards or, in the case of age-restricted products, IDs. "Once that information is in the system, all they need is their fingertip," said Postell. "This is extremely helpful for mothers who shop with their children, because it is difficult for them to look for credit cards or sign checks while also keeping an eye on the kids."

Once the customer is enrolled in the Pay By Touch system, the process is simple: The Pay By Touch transaction is intitated when the customer places his finger on the sensor and enters his phone number or other ID. The encrypted information is sent to the secure data center, where the match is found, and the customer's "wallet" is presented at the point of sale. The customer selects a payment vehicle from the wallet, and payment approval and settlement are completed through the payment processor as usual.

Piggly Wiggly is marketing the program to its customers with a media alert at each of the four locations involved. Local news and press were invited to cover the event, and Piggly Wiggly and Pay By Touch staff were on hand to give demonstrations and sign up new members. "One huge benefit of signing up is that once you sign up to the system, you can use your finger to shop at any store [using] the Pay By Touch [system], regardless of location or retail channel."

Piggly Wiggly also receives the added benefit of increased accuracy in loyalty card member transactions, Postell pointed out. "When the loyalty card is in the electronic 'wallet,' you dont have to worry about bringing it in," she said. "We get the data, and customers get the discount."

Piggly Wiggly plans to gradually roll out the Pay By Touch system to its remaining 112 stores.

--Joseph Tarnowski

Piggly Wiggly Implements Finger-Scan Payment System

Posted by Craig at 07:23 PM

June 23, 2004

Employees and Biometrics

Kroger goes biometric with employees.

Fingerprint use worries employees

More firms use high-tech time clocks, track customer transactions, raising privacy fears

By Nick Bunkley / The Detroit News

Bridget A. Barrett / Special to The Detroit News

A wall-mounted machine reads Kroger employee Jamie Toskaj's passcode and index fingerprint as she punches out for her break.

Fingerprint IDs

Some businesses now use biometric time clocks that recognize employees' fingerprints. The technology also is being used at some Kroger's to cash identified customers' payroll checks and as a method of payment instead of writing a check. Is finger imaging a convenience or an invasion of privacy?

After working 14 years for Dr. Michael Schey, Anita Ridky resented it when he decided to install a new high-tech time clock that reads workers fingerprints and prevents co-workers from punching each other in and out.

Six months later, she is used to the machine but still doesnt like it.

To us, at first, it appeared like he wasnt trusting us, said Ridky, an assistant at Scheys Warren office. If he wasnt such a nice man, there would be at least two of us that probably would have quit over it.

Fingerprints long have been the key to unlocking security systems in top-secret government operations and high-tech Hollywood thrillers, and that technology now has made its way to employee time clocks and even some cash registers.

The devices use biometrics, the science of identifying people by fingerprints and other unique physical characteristics, which has become cheaper and more widely available in recent years. It is being used to keep sensitive medical files under wraps, make employee records more accurate and ensure customer transactions are secure.

For less than $100, a fingerprint reader can be installed on a computer to lock out unauthorized users. Other applications, including home security systems and keyless car ignitions, range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Michigans largest grocery chain, Kroger Co., has installed $750 time clocks that verify employees identities by scanning their index finger as they punch in and out.

Kroger also uses finger imaging when customers want to cash payroll checks and, in the southwestern United States, to let repeat customers pay without having to get out cash or a credit card. And the devices eliminate one of the least secure but most popular methods of payment at the grocery store: checks.

That checks handled at least a dozen times through processing, said Ron Smith, president and chief executive of Biometric Access Corp., the Texas company that makes Krogers finger-imaging devices. With this system, theres no paper involved. You never have to hand somebody that youve never seen before all that financial and personal information.

But as Ridky shows, many people are hesitant to accept fingerprinting as part of their daily lives. Some worry their fingerprints, which often are used by police to trail criminals, will be used to run background checks.

Others fear a thief could gain access to their fingerprints and steal their identity, even though biometrics is being pitched as a way to stop such crimes. Stolen credit cards and bank account numbers can be canceled and replaced, many point out; fingerprints cant.

In theory it sounds good, but Id be concerned about privacy, said Jacquelyn Scieszka of Birmingham, who had a cart full of groceries at the Kroger store in her hometown. Its your body. You have to be careful.

At the store, employees arriving for their shift or heading out to lunch stop by a wall-mounted machine, enter a passcode and put their index finger on a small reader. The process usually takes less than 10 seconds, although as workers get used the machine, a few tries often are needed.

The system primarily is used to improve speed and accuracy, Kroger officials said, but it also ends a practice called buddy punching, in which workers punch the clock for friends arriving late or leaving early. Inflated time sheets are estimated to cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars each year.

Larry DiGasbarro, manager of the Birmingham Kroger, said buddy punching didnt appear to be a big problem at his store but that the new machine has reduced the number of mistakes he has to fix.

Its extremely accurate, said Gary Huddleston, director of administration for the chains Great Lakes division. Sometimes employees would punch in the wrong PIN. That takes time to correct those errors, as well as if theyre not caught, they could cost some money for the employee.

To allay customers and employees concerns about privacy and reduce the amount of space needed to store files on the system machines used by Kroger and most other businesses identify finger images by a few points rather than an entire print. Five points are used to find a match, DiGasbarro said, making the prints useless to police, who require nine and use thumbprints instead.

Biometric devices also are finding their way into businesses that traditionally have not had time clocks. Neal Katz, vice president of Count Me In LLC in suburban Chicago, said nearly all of his companys customers are small businesses like Schey, a podiatrist with five offices in Metro Detroit.

We thought it would be mostly blue collar, Katz said, but weve found that the majority of our customers are white collar.

Schey has a biometric time clock at each office and is able to see from his computer whos punched in where. Any discrepancies or missed punches for an employee are brought to his attention the next morning to be resolved while that days schedule is still fresh in everyones mind.

They feel a little bit of Big Brother initially, said Schey, who agreed to use the machine himself every day to show that hes comfortable with it. Its not used to abuse, its just used to be accurate.

You can reach Nick Bunkley at (313) 222-2293 or [email protected]

Fingerprint use worries employees - 06/23/04

Posted by Craig at 04:45 PM

June 09, 2004

Biometrics and Restaurants

Restaurants begin to tap fingerprint technology

Published June 09, 2004
Restaurants begin to tap fingerprint technology
Biometrics sales expected to hit $1.2B this year

KEN LOVE/KRT News Service

Prints: Erica Greathouse, a server at White House Chicken in Barberton, Ohio, uses the restaurant's electronic fingerprint system. The system uses employees' fingerprints to gain access to computers.

Security improves: Brian Canale believes the fingerprint system he uses at his restaurant puts responsibility back on managers to help with security. "The fingerprint doesn't let you cheat," he said.
By Betty Lin-Fisher
Knight Ridder Newspapers

AKRON, Ohio - As small-business owners, Laila Zakham and her husband can't be at their Akron restaurant at all times.

So the owners of Aladdin's Eatery have employed what Zakham said is the next best thing: They use a computer system that requires employees to log in using their fingerprints.

The employees use the system for everything from clocking in to placing food orders and printing checks.

"I think it's the best tool a restaurant could ever want to get," said Zakham, who has used the technology for 2 1/2 years.

The technology is so new - and for some businesses, so expensive - that it hasn't caught on in the mainstream, according to Michigan Restaurant Association spokeswoman Kristyn Sorensen.

"For a lot of small businesses, it's not a cost that is within their reach," she said, noting that the Lansing-based association isn't aware of any of its 4,500 member eateries using the fingerprint system.

But Zakham said the technology, which cost about $11,000 for four terminals equipped with the computer system and fingerprint pads, was "worth every penny."

"Owners cannot be at the restaurant all day long watching this and that," she said. "We had problems with people clocking in other people. It was just hard to keep track. My location is small. Imagine bigger locations."

Biometrics have been in use for many years in the law enforcement industry for databases, but the use in businesses for control and access to systems is "really starting to gain some traction in the marketplace," said Trevor Prout, director of marketing for the International Biometric Group, a consulting firm.

Biometrics also are increasingly being used by employers to secure access to buildings and special areas within buildings and even logging into computer networks so employees don't have to remember a password, Prout said.

The New York City based International Biometric Group projects annual global revenues for biometrics will be $1.2 billion this year.

In the restaurant industry, fingerprint technology helps eliminate what's called "buddy punching," which is when one employee clocks in another employee on traditional time clock systems.

And it puts responsibility back on managers to help with security, said Brian Canale, owner of White House Chicken in Barberton, Ohio.

"The fingerprint doesn't let you cheat," said Canale, who said he was just as guilty as others of giving his code number to employees. Or sometimes, some of the more enterprising employees might watch a manager input the code and then use it on their own without permission.

The employer is able to assign different responsibilities to each employee's fingerprint. For example, one employee may get access to a cash drawer while another doesn't.

Lansing State Journal:Restaurants begin to tap fingerprint technology

Posted by Craig at 08:20 PM

April 21, 2004


More Consumers Buying Into Biometrics

April 21, 2004

HERNDON, VA -- More consumers are letting their fingers do the paying as they opt to use biometric payment systems.

According to BioPay, LLC, more than a million consumers have now enrolled in BioPay's electronic biometric identification systems to pay for purchases and cash payroll checks. BioPay systems' have completed nearly 7.5 million transactions worth $3 billion dollars.

"We have clearly shown that biometrics have become widely accepted for payments and check cashing," said Tim Robinson, president of BioPay, a manufacturer of biometric-payment and check-cashing systems. "As a result, we are building on the success and momentum by expanding our technology to include other biometric applications, like prepaid accounts, for instance."

Earlier this month the millionth consumer was enrolled in BioPay at the Sterling Amoco gas station in Northern Virginia. The franchise has been using BioPay's biometric payment service since last year.

"Customers like the convenience of paying for gas, snacks and sandwiches simply by scanning their finger," said Rich Gladu, owner of Sterling Amoco. "Cash transactions are quickly becoming a thing of the past."

BioPay said that convenience is one of the key drivers behind biometrics growing popularity. With biometrics, consumers do not need ID, cash, credit or debit cards to make a purchase, said the company, adding that a consumer simply needs to put his finger on the electronic scanner to verify his identity, make a payment or confirm his check-cashing history.

The company said that retailers can use BioPay's biometric technology to reduce bad checks and payment costs. Using Paycheck Secure, merchants can confirm a person's check-cashing history before a transaction is completed. If negative information is noted, the transaction can be cancelled.

NACS Daily previously reported that biometrics is a growing trend in the industry. In fact, the West Seattle Thriftway, which uses the "pay-by-touch" biometric payment system marketed by Indivos, was featured in NACS' 2002 "Ideas to Go!" videotape.

The latest technology innovations will be exhibited at NACStech 2004, taking place May 17-19 in Grapevine, Texas. Click here for more information or to register.

More Consumers Buying Into Biometrics | NACS Daily

Posted by Craig at 03:51 PM

April 09, 2004

Biometrics and Security

The biometric technologies now tracking our borders may soon pop up in some cool consumer gadgets


Guy Scott nips into his cubby-hole lab in a far corner of Cross Match Technologies' headquarters a reclaimed ice-skating rink in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.--and proudly displays a postage-stamp-size bit of translucent gray film that looks like debris from a darkroom floor. It is the heart of a new machine that he says will revolutionize the global financial system, bring the multibillion identity-theft racket to a halt and make teenagers behave in cars.

The New Zealand born engineer isn't known as the Mad Kiwi for nothing. But his colleagues and financial backers believe in him. Cross Match, a privately held company, plans to put Scott's device, called the Authorizer, into production sometime this fall, charging $10 or so a copy. The gray film, a piece of plastic-coated acoustic ceramic one-ten-thousandth of an inch thick, is for Authorizer's touch pad, to be embedded in a cell phone. To make a credit-card transaction, say, a buyer presses his finger to the touch pad, triggering an imperceptible pulse of energy that makes the film oscillate. The resulting ultrasound image is captured as a digital image file called a biometric identifier, which is a physical feature that has been measured and converted into computer language so it can be compared against a database. If his print matches, the credit-card charge goes through.

The Authorizer is among the first consumer gadgets to evolve from the biometrics industry, which, after years of promise, is on the verge of rapid growth as government-mandated security plans become operational. With the threat of terrorism now a long-term concern, biometric-identification systems are blossoming around the world. To stop bad guys at the border, for instance, the U.S. is embarking on a program called U.S.-VISIT, for U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, which was mandated by Congress in 2002. Biometric technologies are the linchpins of the new system, expected to cost $10 billion over the next decade. The technology is not just to keep track of foreign visitors either. If you're leaving the country, get ready to be face printed. The U.S. State Department is retooling its passport production process and by the end of next year will issue new passports with an embedded chip containing a facial biometric and biographical data. This will enable the government to boost security without resorting to passport fingerprinting, which could incite fears of Big Brother.

With more and more applications coming online, the biometrics industry's global revenues, $719 million in 2003, should hit $4.6 billion by 2008, according to the International Biometric Group in New York City. "The U.S.-VISIT program is by far the most important national-security program in the world right now," says security-technology analyst Prianka Chopra of Frost & Sullivan, a New York City market-consulting firm. "Every country is looking to the U.S. to see what the program is doing and what technologies will be used." Chopra expects the global biometrics industry to grow at a compounded annual rate of 35%.

Some of that will come from agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which recently began fingerprinting all visitors arriving at airports and seaports and traveling on visas essentially, citizens of developing countries. CBP chose Cross Match fingerprint scanners for deployment at its checkpoints in 115 U.S. airports and 14 seaports, in a contract initially worth just $1.8 million.

Much bigger deals are in the works, and the competition will be fierce. Among the leading contenders: Lockheed Martin, Accenture and Computer Sciences Corp. By Dec. 31, CBP is required by law to fingerprint all visitors with visas at the 50 busiest land crossings along the Canadian and Mexican borders. The remaining 100 or so land-crossing points must be covered by the end of 2005. This year the State Department's 211 consular offices must be able to fingerprint all visa applicants and embed all U.S. visas with a bar code containing the traveler's digitized print, photo and biographical information.

Facial-recognition biometric technology will also come into the mix this year. From Oct. 26, visitors from the 27 so-called visa-waiver nations most of Europe, plus Australia, Japan, Singapore and Brunei will be required to present passports embedded with machine-readable bar codes containing a facial biometric, which a computer will compare with a digital photo taken upon entry. Some foreign governments have already made the transition. Italy has rolled out an identity card with a fingerprint and facial biometric. A number of countries, notably Saudi Arabia, are looking at biometrics for national-identity cards and border control. Britain's passport service is testing a facial-recognition and fingerprint-biometric program.

As other federal and local agencies and private corporations scale up, the field will be forced to do the same. The industry, which currently consists of a couple of hundred biometrics companies, will eventually consolidate into a handful, says Brian Ruttenbur, an equity research analyst for Morgan Keegan & Co., an investment firm based in Memphis, Tenn. "There's been a gold-rush mentality for years in the biometric space. The problem is, nobody's really found the gold yet." Three biometrics companies merged to form Identix, based in Minneapolis, Minn., which with $92 million in revenues is considered the world's leading biometric-security company. It is Cross Match's only U.S. rival for sales of the high-resolution, forensic-quality live-scan machines, which capture fingerprints with inkless optical-scanning technology and transmit them to central databases. While Identix's scanners are bigger and pricier than most of the smaller company's comparable products, the two firms compete directly for deals that require machines for a desktop or larger. Earlier this month Identix further expanded, acquiring DeLean Vision Worldwide, a developer of skin-texture biometrics.

Government contracts, as they have in the past, could promote consumer product development too, especially as people get more comfortable with the technology. And that means making them foolproof and fiendproof. Cross Match's fingerprint Authorizer, for instance, has inspired its designers to anticipate an underworld market in Authorizer-equipped cell phones being operated with lopped-off fingers. "No system would fly if part of your anatomy is threatened and is necessary to secure what could be substantial assets," says Scott. So the sensor in the phone doesn't merely read a static fingerprint. It also looks for proof of life blood flow, tissue elasticity and capillary structure. It also uses an anxiety index being developed by the University of Michigan medical school to measure stress-induced, minute changes in capillaries and sweat glands. "If someone puts a gun to your head, the transaction won't occur, and people will not bother to put guns to people's heads because they won't get paid for it," says Scott.

Eventually, he believes, pocket biometric devices will replace credit and ATM cards and will even dispense with notaries public and those time-consuming face-to-face real-estate closings. Personal and biometric data, says Scott, would be transmitted via cell phone to a cybervault maintained by a financial-service company. If its computer decided everything was in order, the transaction would go through. Certainly the privacy issue will rear its head again, but, as has happened with Internet transactions, if consumers are confident in the system and it offers convenience, those fears won't be fatal to growth.

On a more down-to-earth level, the Authorizer is being considered as an optional feature by at least one car manufacturer, according to Cross Match officials. Besides thwarting thieves, it could be programmed to prevent your 17-year-old from going faster than, say, 55 m.p.h. by activating a speed limiter and to play dead if your 14-year-old had the bright idea to get behind the wheel.

The notion of a cashless economy facilitated by databanks of digitized body parts is still kind of far out. But then, so are most things about Cross Match. The company was founded in 1996 by Scott, a medical ultrasound specialist, and two fellow engineers turned garage inventors, Jim Davis, who worked on the engine of the SR-71 Blackbird at Lockheed, and Ellis Betensky, who improved Vivitar zoom lenses and pioneered computer-aided design for cameras.

At the time, the FBI's Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) facility in Clarksburg, W.Va., was scanning its vast collection of ink-and-paper fingerprint cards into a digital database that could be searched by computer. The Cross Match founders spotted an empty niche for light, rugged, relatively inexpensive live-scan fingerprint machines. Borrowing $250,000 from relatives and friends, they came up with a 23-lb., $10,000 optical scanner that produced high-resolution, forensic-quality print images. It could fit in a backpack, and its calibration was not thrown off by jarring from a squad car or humvee. In 1997 the three partners brought in Ted Johnson, a retired Paine Webber executive, to be CEO and chief fund raiser. "They really took the industry by storm," says Brian Gesuale, vice president for technology research at Piper Jaffray, an investment-banking firm based in Minneapolis, Minn.

By 2002 Cross Match reported revenues of $25 million. It now employs 165 people to make print scanners of different sizes. Even Martha Stewart noticed. "It's a new machine," she told Barbara Walters in November. "You don't have to get that ink all over your fingers."

After 9/11, the FBI and the military snapped up Cross Match scanners for deployment in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay to fingerprint al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Those prints, along with thousands of unidentified ones lifted from uncovered safe houses around the globe and from arrests made by allies, were fed into a classified terrorist-fingerprint database at the FBI's West Virginia fingerprinting facility. Cross Match scanners were sent to Iraq to book captured terrorists, insurgents and Saddam Hussein. (Saddam was annoyed, according to agents posted to Iraq. "This is how you treat criminals!" he is said to have protested between printing and mug shots. "That's right," an agent replied. "Now turn sideways.")

The FBI wants to use biometrics to fight the problem of anonymity among the men detained by the U.S. military. "The biometrics piece is critical," says Ed Worthington, recently the FBI's commander in Baghdad. "If they do try to come into this country at some point, we'll know instantaneously, and we'll be able to tell that the guy was detained for anticoalition activities. That's huge." FBI officials tell TIME that some insurgents have turned up with ordinary criminal records dating from their days as students or visitors. "That's good interrogation material, particularly if they claim they've never been in the States," says FBI assistant director Mike Kirkpatrick, head of the CJIS complex.

Identix is on the cutting edge of the field of facial-recognition software, a technology that will play an important role in biometric photos to be embedded in U.S. passports and those of other industrialized nations over the next few years. Mexico is using the technology in national elections. Colorado vets driver's license applicants using similar software made by Digimarc ID Systems.

Identix CEO Joseph Atick, a physicist who pioneered facial recognition in academia and then co-founded Visionics, which merged in 2002 with Identix, says the company's trademark software, FaceIt, is about to come out with a dramatic upgrade. Besides mapping the topography of the face, Atick says, the next-generation software will add a new dimension, skin texture, that will make the results far more accurate. "The canvas of the human skin is as unique as a fingerprint," he says. The software will map sectors of skin, noting the size and position of tiny features like pores. The result, he says, will produce an identification certainty that will be used to authenticate financial transactions in the global economy. In other words, it will be possible to know whether yours is a face that can be trusted.

TIME.com: Inside Business -- Big Brother Inc.

Posted by Craig at 06:52 PM

March 12, 2004

Biometrics & Grocery Stores

Finger scans let shoppers get done quickly

Posted on Fri, Mar. 12, 2004

Finger scans let shoppers get done quickly

By Michele Chandler

Mercury News

Shoppers at a chain of Southern grocery stores can pay for purchases simply by pressing their thumb to a special screen, thanks to technology developed by San Francisco company Pay By Touch.

The Bay Area company says its method, which uses finger scans linked to customer's financial accounts, will speed patrons through cashier lines, reduce merchants' costs and cut fraud.

``Somebody can steal the last four digits of your social security number, your checking account or your PIN, but they can't steal your fingerprint,'' said Craig Ramsey, chief executive of Pay By Touch, launched last year.

During the coming months, finger-scanning payment systems are scheduled to be installed at all 116 stores in South Carolina and Georgia owned by grocery chain Piggly Wiggly Carolina.

Pay By Touch is one of several firms looking to make money from biometrics, the science of using biological properties such as fingerprints, voice recognition and retina scans to identify individuals. Interest in the field began as a way to identify people for security purposes, but now is being explored for its retail potential.

Other companies including Information Architects of Florida and Biometric Access of Texas are also developing fingerprint-secured retail transactions, according to NACHA-The Electronic Payments Association, a coalition of banks and credit unions.

REI registry goes online

It just got easier for brides-and-grooms-to-be who treasure the great outdoors to let everyone know they'd love his-and-hers crampons, not candlesticks, for a wedding gift.

Crampons are the spiked metal frames strapped to boots that make it easier to move about on ice -- a choice only for the most rugged couples. National outdoor gear retailer REI recently launched an online registry that sells them and thousands of outdoor-related items and is easier for customers to use than their prior service.

In the 1990s, REI launched its first wedding registry, which consumers had to set up in the store. Even without heavy promotion, REI saw sales from its in-store registry rise 15 percent annually during the past few years, company spokesman Mike Foley said.

Anticipating profits if they opened online, the company launched its gift registry late last month on its Web site, REI.com.

While couples can select crampons, most go for more commonplace items, Foley said. Popular selections include sleeping bags, tents and cooking gear. But some newlyweds are opting for high-tech gifts, such as global positioning devices, and passing on the gravy boats.

Mercury News: Bay Area news, technology, jobs, cars & real estate

Posted by Craig at 06:08 PM

January 22, 2004

Cruise Line Kiosks

Photo process on Carnival Cruise Lines and Imageware

Hello Sailor!

Imageware Digital Imaging and Facial Recognition Technologies to Revolutionize Photo Selection and Procurement Processes for Guests Sailing aboard Carnival's Newest "Fun Ship"

ImageWare Systems Inc. (AMEX: IW) today announced that it has signed an agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise operator, to conduct a pilot project aboard the new Carnival Miracle to enhance the photo purchasing experience for guests and speed the photo procurement process. The pilot project, which encompasses a photo-retrieval kiosk that utilizes "facial-recognition" software, is part of Carnival's ongoing effort to leverage technology to maximize guest satisfaction.

"We're looking forward to testing this innovative new technology aboard Carnival Miracle. Our objective is to enhance our guests' experience by utilizing state-of-the-art technology that reduces the time and energy it takes to physically search for keepsake photos," said Bob Woodry, Carnival's vice president of Photo/Video Services. "As an innovator in digital imaging and facial recognition technologies, ImageWare is the only company that combines professional photography expertise with innovative software capabilities that meet our demands. This is a terrific concept and if successful, we anticipate implementing the system aboard our other 'Fun Ships'."

Under the terms of this agreement, ImageWare will leverage a combination of its facial recognition and digital imaging capabilities to develop a system that will store all professional keepsake photos taken of guests vacationing aboard Carnival Miracle beginning this spring. To access the system, a guest simply steps up to a stand-alone photo-retrieval kiosk, which will capture an image of his or her face. This image is then compared, using facial recognition technology, to all faces in all photos that have been captured on the cruise. Once the search is complete, photos containing the guest, including group and individual shots, will appear on the screen and be available for review and purchase.

"We are very excited to be working with Carnival and eager to implement the project," said Paul Devermann, SVP and general manager of ImageWare's Professional Digital Imaging Group. "By leveraging our technologies and core competency in software development, ImageWare is uniquely positioned to create innovative products that will open new markets for the Company, such as cruise lines and theme parks. Our digital imaging, identification and biometric solutions have been validated and successfully deployed across multiple markets including government, law enforcement and professional photography."

Carnival is the world's most popular cruise line, with 19 "Fun Ships" operating three-to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Bermuda from homeports throughout North America. The line's 20th "Fun Ship," the 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle is slated to debut from Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 27, 2004.

About ImageWare Systems Inc.

ImageWare Systems Inc. (AMEX: IW) is the leading global developer of digital imaging, identification and biometric software solutions for the corporate, government, law enforcement, professional photography, transportation, education and healthcare markets, among others. ImageWare's secure credential and biometric product lines are used to produce ID cards, driver licenses, passports, national medical health cards, national IDs and more. The company's law enforcement and biometric product lines provide the public safety market with booking, investigative and identification solutions that can be accessed and shared via PC, Web and wireless platforms. ImageWare's professional digital imaging product line provides professional photographers with automated, in-studio and mobile solutions to facilitate the transition from film-based photography to digital imaging. Founded in 1987, ImageWare is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in Canada, Germany and Singapore. For more information visit www.iwsinc.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. While these statements are meant to convey to the public the company's progress, business opportunities and growth prospects, readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements represent management's opinion. While management believes such representation to be true and accurate based on the information available to the company, actual results may differ materially from those described. The company's operations and business prospects are always subject to risks and uncertainties. Important facts that may cause actual results to differ are set forth in the company's periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


ImageWare Systems Inc.
Joyce Chang-Watts, 858-673-8600
[email protected]
Andrea Alfonso, 858-673-8600
[email protected]

Posted by timdaw at January 22, 2004 03:17 PM | TrackBack

KNO - KioskNews.Org: Hello Sailor!

Posted by Craig at 03:27 PM

December 06, 2003

Security and Biometrics

For the most part, this technology is barely above the toy stage, Boone said at the Secure Trusted Operating System Consortium symposium in Washington.


Long road ahead for biometrics, developer says

By William Jackson
GCN Staff

Taylor Boone, who has spent five years developing middleware for biometric applications, is a fan of the technology.

I believe biometrics have great promise, said the former chief technology officer of BNX Systems Corp. of Vienna, Va. The big application I see coming is for fingerprints on smart cards.

But Boone yesterday told a gathering of open-source software developers in Washington that niche biometrics applications are not yet mature or scalable enough for widespread use.

For the most part, this technology is barely above the toy stage, Boone said at the Secure Trusted Operating System Consortium symposium in Washington. Dependable enterprise applications are three to five years away, he predicted.

Agencies are intensely interested in biometric measurements for authenticating people for physical as well as logical access. The most common measurements such as fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition all have their advantages and disadvantages, Boone said.

The FBIs Automated Fingerprint Information System uses fingerprints, the best-known and most successfully automated biometric. Despite a criminal stigma attached to prints, Boone thinks it is the most likely technology to reach widespread deployment soon. It is head and shoulders above the rest and easily used with smart cards to authenticate users, he said.

A more troubled biometric technology is facial recognition, which has been used in public places to identify people without their knowledge.

To my mind, that is an invasion of privacy, Boone said.

So far, pilots for facial recognition have failed, but a lot of research is going into it, which is scary to me, Boone said. Eventually there is going to be enough capacity to filter out the noise and get matches.

Regardless of the technology used, biometrics faces common challenges. The accuracy of any biometric system depends on the integrity of the initial enrollment and the security of the underlying network and databases.

Nor is biometrics an exact science. The templates that identify a user are not perfectly reproducible, so only approximate matches are possible. The degree of assurance for a match depends on the system requirements. Strict requirements can result in too many false rejections, and low requirements raise the chance of false acceptances.

And for all biometric technologies, some segment of the population cannot use it, Boone said. Youd better have multiple ways to authenticate users.

Government Computer News (GCN) daily news -- federal, state and local government technology; Long road ahead for biometrics, developer says

Posted by Craig at 02:58 PM

November 17, 2003

RFID Tag Teller

TransCore announces the development of an ATM-like machine that dispenses radio frequency identification (RFID) transponder tags

MADRID, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 17, 2003--Responding to toll authorities' desire to make electronic toll collection (ETC) even more convenient and accessible, TransCore announces the development of an ATM-like machine that dispenses radio frequency identification (RFID) transponder tags and provides customers with automated account management functions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Christened the TagTeller(TM), the patented machine is a self-service unit that accepts credit cards, debit cards and cash payment and allows users to open a new account, receive a programmed tag, replenish an existing account, change account information, obtain a statement or balance, pay violations and perform various routine account management tasks.

TransCore will provide several configurations of the machine for indoor, outdoor, drive-up, walk-up and in-lane use, depending on the toll authority's needs. The back office network supporting the machines will also enable a range of temporary and permanent account formats, both pre-paid and auto-replenishing. Based on the authority's selection, the machine can dispense various types of tags including a low-cost, paper-thin transponder tag, such as the eGo(TM) self-adhesive windshield sticker tags. Toll authorities will be able to integrate these machines under their own brands, impacting customer loyalty and satisfaction by making customer service more accessible in more locations. The TagTeller concept also helps authorities control costs through increased automation. Like ATMs, these machines will enable universal worldwide currency acceptance, support multiple languages, offer easy restocking and servicing and include security provisions.

"TagTeller exemplifies our commitment to invest R&D resources to help our customers better serve their customers," said John Worthington, TransCore's president and chief executive officer.

Though the tag-dispensing kiosk will be integral to the TagTeller concept, robust back office systems and networking will make benefits available in many locations. For instance, the system can be configured so customers can access accounts they open with TagTeller at kiosks, over the Web, by telephone or with a customer service representative. In order to leverage the existing financial infrastructure, certain types of accounts will allow customers to add value to pre-paid tags using existing banking networks or through cash, credit card or debit card payments to merchant clerks.

TransCore even envisions a unique way of handling business travelers as well as toll violations with TagTeller. For example, if an individual traveling on a business trip to Dallas wanted to buy a temporary transponder tag to use on area toll roads, there could be a standard tag available from the machine for a flat rate. If the patron used the toll road frequently and got into a negative balance, the individual would have 24 hours to use the TagTeller system to replenish the account before a violation citation would be issued.

The TagTeller concept is the latest innovation from TransCore designed to boost ETC use. Long known as a technology pioneer, TransCore's Amtech technology offered the first electronic toll collection technology, the first paper-thin windshield sticker tag, the first electronic vehicle registration tag, as well as extending the success in electronic toll collection to other market applications such as parking, homeland security border crossing applications and access control. TransCore has also recently spearheaded statewide interoperability technologies, allowing users in one toll authority's system to enjoy the benefits in other geographical areas.

TransCore's experience in electronic toll collection, customer service and violation processing is extensive, including projects with some of the largest toll authorities in the world, including Hong Kong, Malaysia , Puerto Rico, and in the United States the Delaware Department of Transportation, Denver's E-470 Public Highway Authority, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, Houston's Harris County Toll Road Authority, the North Texas Tollway Authority, Florida Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, Pennsylvania Turnpike, Virginia Department of Transportation and the New York City Department of Transportation. TransCore maintains 65 percent of the ETC lanes in the United States and its systems collect and account for 80 percent of toll transactions in the United States.

About TransCore

TransCore is a privately held transportation services company with 1,800 employees and more than 80 locations throughout the world. With installations in 39 countries, 80-plus patents and a world-class manufacturing facility, TransCore's expertise in providing system-based applications that improve transportation efficiency is unparalleled. For more information, visit www.transcore.com.

story link

Posted by Craig at 02:43 PM

November 06, 2003

Biometric Timecards More Efficient

McDonald's Reduces Payroll Costs up to 22% with IR Recognition Systems Biometric HandReaders

HandPunch Eliminates Expensive "Buddy Punching"; Over 3,400 Employees at 85 Restaurants Have Clocked In and Out Biometrically

IR Recognition Systems, the biometric component of Ingersoll-Rand's (IR) Security & Safety Group's Electronic Access Control Division (EACD), today announced that 85 McDonald's restaurants are cutting payroll costs by up to 22 percent annually after incorporating IR Recognition Systems' biometric HandPunch biometric terminals to record time and attendance. The HandPunch terminal eliminates expenses associated with employee badges and fraud caused by buddy punching. Over 3,400 employees at 85 McDonald's restaurants in Venezuela have been enrolled with the HandPunch over the past four years. On average, the system generates over 7,500 transactions each day resulting in over 2.5 million "punches" annually.

"McDonald's moved to biometrics because they wanted to verify that the employee clocking in was really that person," says Jose Ramon Casal of Caracas-based Electronica Quantum, which installed the systems. "Students make up about 90 percent of the McDonald's workforce in Venezuela. They were frequently punching one another in to cover for exams or other school-related events.

"A card only verifies a card," adds Casal. "We have used finger scanning for other applications, but we believe that hand geometry is more effective and produces fewer errors when there are larger employee populations. With hand geometry, a larger area is scanned than with finger scans and the template is updated after every scan so it remains current."

Instead of filling out or punching timecards, employees simply place their hands on the HandPunch. It automatically takes a three-dimensional reading of the size and shape of the employee's hand and verifies the user's identity in less than one second.

"McDonald's worldwide success has been built on being fast, convenient and affordable. These are the same key factors that have made our HandReaders the most widely used biometric in the industry. That's why they choose HandReaders over other biometrics," reports Bill Spence of IR Recognition Systems. "With major fast food retailers such as McDonald's realizing such tremendous cost savings by using our HandReaders, others are soon to follow."

Supervisors at each franchise using the HandPunch terminals authorize and verify employee time and overtime on a computer located at the store. The hours are then sent to a central payroll processing center via a telephone line. The supervisors themselves also use the HandPunch to clock in and out.

"Most supervisors at McDonald's are promoted from within and many find it difficult to impose rules and restrictions on their fellow workers," Casal explains. "The HandPunch ensures that everyone is treated the same and fairly. McDonald's employees are satisfied with the HandReaders because their payroll information is processed quickly and without mistakes. They receive regular reports with information about their time and attendance."

Language is not an issue because the software is in Spanish and the HandReaders accommodate several languages.

Hand geometry technology is the most commonly used technology for time and attendance and access control, according to Frost and Sullivan's "World Biometrics Report 2002."

About Electronica Quantum

Electronica Quantum, a Caracas, Venezuela-based systems integrator, has offered security and time-and-attendance solutions to customers in Latin America since 1983. The company offers a wide variety of technologies to its customers, including access control, CCTV, intercom and fire safety systems, time and attendance solutions, and explosives and drug detection services. About 20 percent of Electronica Quantum's business is in time and attendance solutions, while security comprises the other 80 percent. The company provides turnkey solutions to its clients.

About IR Recognition Systems

With over 75,000 hand geometry units throughout the world reading millions of hands each day, IR Recognition Systems, founded in 1986, is the pioneer of hand recognition technology used in access control, time and attendance and identification applications. The company is the world sales leader of biometric verification devices and serves an international clientele from its headquarters in Campbell, Calif. The hand geometry website is www.handreader.com. Phone is 408-341-4100. Recognition Systems is the biometric component of Ingersoll-Rand Corporation's Security & Safety Group's Electronic Access Control Division. The Ingersoll-Rand website is www.irco.com.

PHOTO: For a high-resolution photograph of a HandPunch, go to www.brighamscully.com and click Photos/IR Recognition Systems.


IR Recognition Systems
Bill Spence, 408-341-4100
[email protected]
Brigham Scully
Tom Brigham, 818-716-9021
[email protected]

Posted by Craig at 08:44 PM

October 29, 2003

Conference Focuses on Future of Monetary Systems

Financial experts gathered at the Omni Interlocken Resort this week to address various aspects of the green stuff in your wallet -- including getting rid of it altogether.

Colorado Conference Focuses on Future of Monetary Systems

By Katie Ford, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

Oct. 29--BROOMFIELD, Colo.--Financial experts gathered at the Omni Interlocken Resort this week to address various aspects of the green stuff in your wallet -- including getting rid of it altogether.

The Future of Money Summit, produced by Louisville-based think tank the DaVinci Institute, runs through today.

Participants are discussing copious money-related topics, including the possibility of cyberterrorism attacks on financial systems, the creation of biometric devices to increase security of money and the invention of a global currency. Sponsors of the event include Forbes magazine, Gartner/G2 and ColoradoBiz magazine.

Money has continually evolved from the first shekel used in 3200 B.C. to the first fingerprint payment in 2002, said Tom Frey, executive director of the DaVinci Institute, at the introduction of the seminars on Monday night.

Following Frey, John Gage, chief researcher and director of the science office of Sun Microsystems, spoke in place of John Naisbitt, author of bestsellers "Megatrends" and "Re-inventing the Corporation," who was originally scheduled as the keynote speaker.

The conference didn't generate enough of a turnout to support Naisbitt's price tag, which included flying him and his wife from Vienna and putting them up in a suite at the Omni, said Alexis Lee, president of Lextek, the public relations firm handling the seminar.

Lee said about 250 participants are attending the conference, which costs $1,495 per attendee.

Gage spoke on the recent rapid changes in technologies that affect financial industries and the possibilities for shifting tides in the monetary world.

"Where the money goes is how we run the world," he said.

As the finale of the summit today, Bernard Lietaer, the chief architect of the Euro, will speak about his plans for the Trade Reference Currency or Terra. The Terra, a form of global currency, is being developed as a way to streamline global trade and currency exchange.

Also on Monday night, two analysts from Gartner talked about the possibility of a cyberterrorism attack that could disable the country's main systems including power, telecom, internet and financial systems.

Rich Mogull, at research director for Gartner, said studies by the company have revealed holes in the security systems currently protecting vital systems in the United States.

"Our system is probably more vulnerable than we would like," he said. Panelists, including former Gov. Richard Lamm and David Mahon, supervisory special agent of the Cyber Crime Squad for the Denver division of the FBI, discussed security issues surrounding the probability of cyberterrorism.

Mahon said more companies must be compelled, possibly by new legislation, to report problems. He said "corporate complacency" is barring tracking down cyber criminals.

Much of the conference centers on theorizing where money is headed in the future and into what form it will evolve. Some of the participants from Biometrics companies spoke on the possibilities of a cashless society where customers pay for products through a fingerprint scan or access their bank through a voice identification system.

Posted by Craig at 04:28 PM

Immigration and Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security announced plans for a high-tech system

USATODAY.com - Soon, new rules for foreigners

Soon, new rules for foreigners
By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON Millions of foreign visitors to the United States, already under strict scrutiny since the 2001 terrorist attacks, soon will have to be fingerprinted and photographed to get through the nation's airports and seaports.
The electronic fingerprint scanner will allow inspectors to check identities of visitors against those on terrorist watch lists.
By Stephen J. Boitano, AP

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans for a high-tech system that will help track the 24 million foreigners who enter the country with work, student or travel visas each year.

Congress ordered the system after the Sept. 11 attacks, when officials learned that two of the 19 hijackers had violated the terms of their visas. The program's goal is to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country and to register foreigners who are allowed in. It also requires foreigners to check out when they leave so officials can look for people who stay after their visas expire.

The program replaces a controversial measure that required people in the United States from 25 mostly Muslim countries to register with the government.

Asa Hutchinson, head of border security at the department, called it a "dramatic step forward" in tightening security.

But airport managers and travel industry officials say they're concerned that the program will cause delays and discourage tourism. Civil libertarians worry that the information collected won't stay private.

The first part of the new entry-exit system will be launched at 115 airports and 14 major seaports on Jan. 5. Border agents will use a digital camera on a desktop tripod and an electronic fingerprint machine not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes to collect biometric information. The data will be compared with lists of known and suspected terrorists and other lawbreakers. Within seconds, the agent's computer will indicate whether there was a "hit."

Foreigners from 27 countries deemed low-risk will not have to be photographed or fingerprinted. But they will have biometric information put in chips in their passports by late 2004.

The exit part of the new system will require visitors to go to a self-service kiosk, swipe their passports and provide their fingerprints. The kiosks will operate at only about 30 airports in January. Officials said the technology for that part of the program is still being developed.

The most difficult part of the program setting up the system at border crossings must be done by 2005. It will be complicated and expensive because there are no lanes or booths for agents to check people on their way out of the country. Studies show that adding an exit system could add hours of waiting time.

Congress, concerned about how the program was being managed, cut its funding this year. President Bush requested $480 million for 2004; Congress approved $330 million.

Rick Webster of the Travel Industry Association said his group supports the idea of registering foreign visitors. But he expressed concern that there may not be "enough equipment, personnel and training to support expeditious processing."

If people face three or four-hour waits at airports, he said, "it only adds another disincentive for people to come here."

Note: KIS has qualified products in Travel and Transportation.

If you are interested please contact
info at gokis.net

Posted by Craig at 04:09 PM