As Xbox One was unveiled yesterday in Washington, biometrics among other facets were named as a main feature. It is no secret that biometrics have played a role in gaming before with the Xbox Kinect using biometric sensor technology to map your body and movements to become the controller. However, in order to compete with the ever evolving gaming market, Xbox have introduced biometrics into their original product design.
Matt Booty, General Manager of Redmond Game Studios commented at the launch:
When I think about raw building blocks you have the ability to understand and recognise your voice, the ability to track up to six people in a room, a very wide field of view, a 1080p camera, infra-red that can detect a bit more about the state of your body… That’s just a lot of exciting building blocks and I’ve got to imagine there’s a lot of cool stuff people are going to do with that. That comes back to that theme of personalisation, and the system understanding more about who you are. That you’re not just a set of thumbs with a joy pad.
Although this is all the information that has been released so far, it seems they have saved all the details for the next Expo in LA next month. Hopefully more information on the biometric side of things will be revealed!
It has been rumoured that the iPhone 5S will include a fingerprint reader which will interface with the original button feature currently on the devices. This is apparently in the hope to firstly reduce hacking and secondly remove the need for passwords into the phone.
Apple recently posted a job opening for an engineer to work on biometric authentication, which prompted significant rumours into the newest technology interface with a smart phone.
The iPhone 5S fingerprint system is the first iPhone 5S rumour that is to hold any substance, tracing back to a report one week before the iPhone 5 launch event. Most of the rumours suggest an iPhone 5S fingerprint reader would be built into the home button, but an early iPhone 5 concept video showed one on the screen of the device.
However, with launch not until summer 2013 or early autumn, we will all just have to wait and find out if the exciting rumours are true.
If so, this shift in smart phone technology could ignite a trend in similar devices. As of yet, laptop computers have integrated fingerprint scanners into their systems, but in the UK there has been no launch of mobile phones with the biometric technology.
Lets hope that the device interface will live up the expectations set by ievo® when it comes to biometrics.
Unsure about the reliability of biometrics? Biometrics has been supported more recently by huge firms such as Accenture, but there is one organisation who has been ahead of the trend for a long time. This blog covers an insight into how Disneyland have been so effectively been using the technology to keep their parks secure for over 15 years.
Finger scans are a necessity if you purchase any current WDW admission media. In early 1996, Disney began a new system to identify users of annual and seasonal passes. Abandoned was the barcoded laminated photo ID pass in favor of a new mylar paper one. This new pass had no photo and only contained minimal visual evidence of ownership – your name and the expiration date of the pass. What was new was the magnetic strip on the back.
This magnetic strip stored all of your pass information that the previous photo one had plus it would reference one new piece of information: your biometric finger scan or as Disney now calls it, your ticket tag.
Disney expanded the use of the ticket tag system in 2005 with the introduction of Magic Your Way tickets and then expanded it to include all tickets no matter when purchased.
The original scanners used two fingers inserted in a “V” shape. The original scanners required visitors to insert two fingers into a reader that identified key information about the shape of the fingers. In 2006, Disney started upgrading their scanners with single finger scanners. The single finger scanners scan one fingertip for its fingerprint information but does not store the entire fingerprint image, but only numerical information about certain points.
There are often worries that surround fingerprinting. “Why does Disney need my fingerprints?”
The original admission system has nothing to do with your fingerprints. It scans your index and middle fingers (on two finger scanners) and uses a geometric formula to come up with a number that will identify your fingers. The calculated number is apparently something that is not totally unique, but is statistically significant in identifying you. The single finger scanners scan one fingertip for its fingerprint information.
The system has been well developed for the situation as the Disney computer system will tag tickets purchased at the same time whether at WDW or in advance as a group when you first use them. That allows any one of that group of tickets to match the stored finger scan of any one of the other tickets. This eliminates the problem of having to keep track of who has which card!
At ievo we wonder if this system will be implemented into the UK Parks…
In america news on the effectiveness of fingerprint scanners is spreading like wildfire. Fingerprint reading is one of the most important ways officers identify criminals, and the faster, the better. Now, new technology is helping officers get the job done more efficiently than ever before.
King County deputies are now using a portable device about the size of a cell phone to get almost instant results.
The portable fingerprint scanner’s require only two prints: each index finger, pressed one at a time on the reader. Bluetooth sends it to the officer’s in-car computer and then results from the county’s database come back in 30 seconds or less.
“Gives the officer a chance to make a quick decision,” said Carol Gillespie, King County’s AFIS Program Manager. “Whether they’re going to detain the subject or let them go.”
This new technology also saves precious time. The deputy no longer has to haul suspects back to the office or the jail to check those prints.
“That allows the officer to stay on the street instead of taking the officer off the street,” Gillespie said.
The county emphasises the safety of the data capture by stating “no, they don’t keep the prints, and will not use the scanners for typical traffic stops. Only when there’s probable cause.”
The portable fingerprint scanners cost about $1,700 a piece. The King County Sheriff’s Office now have four with a half dozen more on the way.
Due to our tendency to follow America on also every trend we at ievo will be welcoming when this system is discussed in the UK.
The Underground nightclub in Dundee, Scotland, recently installed biometric fingerprint scanners for first time visitors to prove they are of age to enter in a bid to improve security. For subsequent visits, customers of the nightclub are identified by scanning their fingerprint.
The club is run by G1 Group PLC, who introduced the fingerprint system after a successful trial period in its Glasgow club. The system is used to verify that identification presented is real.
Fingerprints gathered, together with photo-based profiles, are stored in computers in the club. Having this technology makes it easier for the management to identify troublemakers, and scan foreign passports and driving licenses before allow entry to the club.
A spokeswoman from G1 Group said : “The system recognizes most international passports and driving licenses, meaning we can accept overseas visitors into our venues, adhering to the Challenge 25 policy.”
Challenge 25 is a retailing strategy in the United Kingdom that encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID (a card bearing the PASS hologram, a photographic driving license or a passport) if they wish to buy alcohol. Some patrons have opposed the scheme, stating ensuring they have identification is a hassle. The integration of biometrics in clubs will therefore aim to minimise the need for proof of identification.
G1 Group said the biometric data they collect are not shared with third parties, except with the police if are conducting a criminal investigation within their clubs. The information is encrypted and stored securely at the premises. This therefore presents an additional benefit of the entry system for assisting local police to prevent crime in clubs more effectively.
“The access control system helps ensure that all G1 venues are safe for our customers, and allows us to go the extra mile to make sure we are preventing under-age drinking and the use of false ID.”
ievo love to see biometrics moving into new markets.
The DVLA have signalled that the paper section of the driving licence is to be replaced by 2015.
The plan is to have all driver information on one smart card which could include the licence holder’s photo, any endorsements as well as iris and fingerprint software.
The DVLA do appear slightly uneasy about public reaction to this proposal. It is well aware that the previous government’s proposal to introduce electronic card access failed due to public outrage, and the idea of having almost the same data appearing on a driving licence could provoke a similar reaction.
The DVLA is committed to abolishing the paper section, but it is not yet committing itself to what will replace it. The DVLA told industry publication, Fleet News, that ‘the UK has yet to decide whether or when a chip might be added’ to the driving licence, but it was ‘continually looking at ways to improve the security of the driving licence’.
The UK Government has already signalled its intention to bin the paper counterpart of the licence from 2015, while a driver’s address will no longer appear on the existing photocard from 2013/14.
A DVLA spokesman said: “This will mean that a driver will no longer have to return the driving licence to the DVLA when they change address or receive points.”
Used much in the same way as access control systems, these smart cards seem feasible and user friendly. The only problem would be getting the population used to biometric data and how it is being used. Many may already be away of fingerprint technology and the like, but many won’t be. Therefore, if they are to enforce these changes it would be a good idea to teach people how this form of biometric security works and how it will affect their everyday lives.
Different types of biometric devices are formed on a regular basis, from the strange to the outright genius, they are created in order to make our everyday lives that little bit easier. Not quite a biometric system just yet, the new NPointer Application allows one to use their hand as if it were a mouse linking up to their computer.
The Lithuanian-based Neurotechnology, a company focused on high-precision biometric identification, artificial intelligence, object recognition technology and software development products announced Monday the availability of its NPointer application, which utilizes simple biometric recognition to control a computer without having to use a mouse.
You will be able to use your hand as a mouse, linking up to your computer, using a new form of biometric technology
The program, available on the company’s Web site as a free download, requires just a webcam and the NPointer software to function on Microsoft Windows-based machines.
To utilize the program, all the computer user has to do is place their hand on their desk and computer vision technology allows hand movements to be recorded via webcam and then translated into pointer movements that are displayed on screen. NPointer emulates actions one would normally perform with a mouse including clicks, double-clicks, drags, scrolls and the like. Just like a biometric product.
Additionally, the program is designed to cater to a disabled population, as it can also function using movements from a person’s head or arm, which allows numerous opportunities for those living without access to the world wide web.
However, because (as it seems) this is the first motion detection technology of its kind specific to computers, it would be interesting to test how quick it is to responses. If you ever had one of the first touch screen phones, you probably tried to smash it into pieces a couple of times out of sheer frustration because of freezing and lagging.
This is not to say that this clever form of biometric is unreliable, it is revolutionary, but it will be interesting to see how it evolves and obviously improve to cater for a wider market.
Causing quite a stir within the biometrics industry this week is the breaking news that iris scanning isn’t as reliable as initially proclaimed by developers. Security researchers have discovered a way to replicate a person’s eye to bypass iris-scanning security systems.
The revelation was discussed at the annual Black Hat conference, a meeting of the leading figures in IT security from across the world. A team at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid was able to recreate the image of an iris from digital codes of real irises stored in security databases.
This research raises serious doubts over what has largely been proclaimed as one of the most secure forms of biometric security. The team were able to print out synthetic images of irises and test them against a leading commercial-recognition systems. In 80% of attempts, the biometric scanner believed it was a real eye.
While researchers have been able to create realistic iris images for some time, it is thought that this is the first instance where the fake image can be generated from the iris code of a real person – a method which could be used to steal someone’s identity.
Although the ‘leading iris recognition system’ which was used has not been named, as biometric manufacturers we welcome tests on all methods of security that use people’s personal data. ievo® has already been rigorously tested by industry professionals and a Police Port in the UK only to successfully pass numerous times.
New forms of biometric technology are being created every year and are being promoted by the media as forward thinking and futuristic. However, the reality stands that even though they function to certain levels, as forms of access control, they may not be able to provide high risk security to environments that need it most like National Embassies, Banks and Police Stations.
In this way, ievo® can and has already provided high security solutions both in the UK and globally. Through the unrivalled technology used within the ievo Ultimate™ fingerprint reader, National Embassies, Sports Stadiums and Police ports have been secured to the highest standard. If you are interested in any of ievo®‘s fingerprint scanners or would like more information on the biometric technology behind our products, contact us on 0845 643 6632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The future of interactive technology is here! Straight from the TED conference last month, a type of ‘augmented reality’ called Aurasma came to light . By the company of the same name, this gadget allows anyone to take an image or object of interest, tag it, and then add additional information to it. That added detail is called an aura, and could be anything that counts as digital content including images, audio, animation, video, or the loading of a web page.
Although you might be thinking that the idea of augmented reality isn’t a new concept; the Nintendo SDS and PlayStation Vita both come with ‘Augmented Reality Cards’ which allows users to play games which use a device camera. Some BMW 7 Series models come with ‘Augemented Reality’ displays on their wind shield. Aurasma has a lot of potential to become hugely popular. This is because it is completely free and very simple to use.
If you watch the compelling video below showing the technology working first hand, the examples given on stage clearly demonstrate how powerful of an idea this content link up is. If you bought a newspaper this morning with the sports results in, you could point your smartphone at the page and see the video replays appear. It also has the potential to replace user manuals with interactive guides played through your phone as he shows.
As suspected, advertisers will be all over this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are already creating ways of bringing customers closer to their products just by one click of a phone. This coincides with a huge influx of smartphone and device usage. Nowadays, wherever we go, most of us will have a compatible device to work with Aurasma, be it an iPhone, Blackberry, Android, iPad or popular tablet.
However, what will be interesting is what happens if there is no choice for media intake? Repetition in advertisements and videos is already occurring, perhaps we will one day use this gadget and we will have to choose what we see, just as we do with advertisements on TV. If we don’t like a particular one, we switch the channel, or tune out altogether, because ultimately, as users, we have the power to either take it all in or reject it.
Earlier this week, I wrote an article about trends in biometric security devices and when the technology could potentially reach the tipping point for the mass security market. Bojan Cukic, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at West Virginia University and site director for the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR) at WVU, believes that it is still unclear whether or not biometric solutions will replace traditional access control systems in many applications. However, Cukic does feel that biometric technology will become more commonplace in the future.
“I honestly feel in five or 10 years, we will not be talking about biometrics because it will be ubiquitous,” he said. “It will be part of systems and applications which we use every day and we may or may not be aware that it is improving the security of these systems. Computers will monitor our activities and when they become unusual, they will warn us or warn the administrator about it.”
Another interesting point made by Cukic during our conversation was the fact that current biometric security systems rely upon users providing a biometric identifier – be it a fingerprint reader or an iris scan – to get a quality read. The inherent flaw in this approach, according to Cukic, is that people nowadays are not accustomed to spending time cooperating with technology and that future systems may be able to pick out the best identifier on its own, a process he referred to as “unconstrained acquisition.”
That ability could be here sooner rather than later as researchers at the University of Calgary recently announced that they have developed a way for security systems to combine different biometrics. According to a statement, this new algorithm, which was created at the university’s Biometrics Technology Laboratory, can “learn new biometric patterns and associate data from different data sets, allowing system to combine information, such as fingerprint, voice, gait or facial features, instead of relying on a single set of measurements.”
Professor Marina Gavrilova, the founding head of the lab, said the security system they developed simulates the decision making processes of the human brain.
“Our goal is to improve accuracy and as a result improve the recognition process,” Gavrilova said in the statement. “We looked at it not just as a mathematical algorithm, but as an intelligent decision making process and the way a person will make a decision.”
However, the use of biometrics has raised concerns from privacy advocates. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has announced plans to hold a hearing next week on the privacy implications of facial recognition technology. Social media giant Facebook, which recently purchased facial recognition firm Face.com, has also come under fire for using face-detection technology for photo-tagging.
While I still think we are quite a long way from the future world depicted in the film “Minority Report” where advertisers can scan our eyes to deliver targeted marketing campaigns or police can use tiny, iris-scanning robots to determine our identity, I believe that widespread use of biometrics on a smaller level is close at hand. Whether it’s using facial recognition to tag photos or placing a finger on a reader to gain access to a laptop computer, biometric technology for security and recreational uses appears to be here to stay.