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Monday, 09 February 2004
Following on from the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) decision to adopt face recognition as the global standard for machine-assisted identity confirmation the United States moved quickly to introduce new legislation governing admission to their territories. From October 2004 all 27 countries participating in the US visa waiver programme must incorporate a facial biometric in compliance with ICAO's new standards. There are currently a number of associated facial biometric projects underway including projects in the UK, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Australia.
These countries are already looking ahead at the benefits associated with introducing facial biometric identity programmes:
* Enhanced verification of a person's true identity - they are who they say they are. * The document issuance process is strengthened to facilitate more effective detection of fraud and illegal access. * There is no privacy hurdle to overcome, as provision of the facial image and retention by the document issuing authority are already accepted practices. * Provides the must unobtrusive way of confirming identity; as well as detecting those who wish to conceal their true identity. * Supports staffed border inspection to achieve 100% accurate identity confirmation. * Threats to security are minimised. * Passengers can be facilitated quickly and efficiently through border controls, without any disruption or intrusion. De La Rue Identity Systems and BioDentity have brought together their technologies and vision to enable governments and security bodies to integrate facial biometrics across the complete 'ID Lifecycle', this is the end-to-end process of how we apply for, obtain and then use our personal identity. In its role as a trusted partner of over 40 governments around the world De La Rue is fully aware that just one weakness at any stage in the lifecycle can invalidate the whole identity process. Together De La Rue and BioDentity can now provide a comprehensive, turnkey face biometric empowered security solution. De La Rue has integrated its passport and identity issuing technologies with BioDentity's suite of facial biometric solutions. The new partnership offers governments who are determined to raise the security preparedness of their countries a single source having the vision and unique skills to deliver effective face biometric identity solutions.
Due to illegal weapon use, governments across the world are looking for an effective and secure means to positively identify an individual's authority to possess arms. INSIDE Contactless has been solicited to develop a system allowing generation of secure weapon permits for the country of Honduras.
Teamed up with its partner BNC S. de R.L. de C.V. in Mexico, INSIDE will provide 400 000 PicoPass(tm) contactless memory chips for this project. The system proposed by BNC and INSIDE to the Honduras Government is based on the premise that securing a weapon permit takes out any fraud possibility for document duplication or alterations. The unique chip placed on each Weapon's Permit will authenticate the permit holder's fingerprint identification and the weapon ballistics information. INSIDE's reader technology will enable the chip to verify the stored data matching it with the weapon's and the permit holder's characteristics without requiring access to the centralized database.
The permit, encompassing the PicoPass(tm) secure contactless chip, enables the storage of the holder's personal data as well as weapon information. A constantly updated computer database is created to monitor all the happenings in terms of weapon movement throughout the country. As well as personal data, pictures and fingerprints of the applicant, the weapon's picture will be securely stored within the secure memory chip.
INSIDE has been chosen specifically for its 16KS memory chip capacity, security for biometric storage (fingerprint, picture) and its dual protocol feature (compliant with ISO 15693 and ISO 14443B), enabling both long range and proximity applications. Additionally, the PicoPass(tm) chip offers support for multiple applications which enables the coexistence of up to 16 independent applications while fully maintaining separate security conditions. The state-of-the- art cryptographic authentication prevents memory reading and modifications by any unauthorized person and from chip cloning or simulation.
Upgrade International Corporation, who develop and commercialise portable solutions has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 30% equity interest in StorCard Inc. ("StorCard"), as well as an exclusive marketing and distribution license for the Middle East and Southeast Asia regions in consideration for $12 million, a portion of which has already been advanced to the company. Upon further investment Upgrade will be granted an exclusive marketing and distribution license for the following regions: Europe, China, and Latin America. Upgrade expects to complete the funding of this transaction through a combination of debt and equity financings. StorCard, a San Jose, California based company is developing a proprietary, patent pending platform technology in a credit card form factor. According to StorCard, by combining integrated circuit chip technology and the characteristics of hard drive and floppy disk technology, the StorCard delivers a high capacity card technology platform to meet the increasing demand for high-capacity, portable and tamperproof card solutions in the government, healthcare, financial and enterprise markets. StorCard anticipates commercial availability of their products in the fourth quarter of 2004. StorCard(R) technology will be the first platform to combine on-card intelligence, authentication and encryption -- providing a convenient way to securely transport, share and manage large amounts of personal or business information, while protecting the data from theft and tampering. "Upgrade, with its experience pioneering the high capacity smart card industry and established business relationships in many markets, is a valuable partner to StorCard's market development plans," said Finis Conner, StorCard's chairman and CEO. "StorCard was founded on the growing awareness that individuals lacked a convenient solution to securely and conveniently transport, access and store digital information. Partnering with Upgrade, we will deliver the industry's first intelligent media -- media that will authenticate an individual for access while securely protecting the information with encryption. StorCard is the only portable media solution which will enforce policy information on how and when the data may be used." By combining magnetic disk technology in a portable device, StorCard provides low-cost, secure and encrypted data storage with more flexible policy management options than existing portable storage technologies, such as flash memory or smart cards. And with a wide array of potential applications requiring high-capacity, secure storage, StorCard provides substantial value-added benefits for many large markets. The StorCard format uses an on-board processor with integrated software authentication controls to execute policies that manage use of the encrypted data. The information is stored on the integrated high-capacity magnetic storage medium, resulting in a completely secure portable server that allows individuals and organizations to transact and safely exchange information wherever and whenever it is needed. And with the choice of industry standard USB 2.0 interface, StorCard will integrate into existing systems and infrastructure for easy deployment
Russian State Duma Deputies are concerned about plans to install an electronic security system within the Duma later this year. Their concerns seem to be that the ID chip will log their movements but Alexander Loktaryov, the head of the Duma administration body has assured deputies that the smart cards are meant to protect them and that satellite surveillance was out of the question.
Zi Corporation, whose technology lies at the heart of more than 70 million mobile telephones around the world, will be unveiling the world's first dual language texting capability at this month's 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France.
The company, which is a leading global innovator in intelligent interface solutions, will show this latest development for the first time anywhere in the world. It will also be demonstrating a breakthrough designed to make predictive texting much more simple to use for the ever-growing global market demand for SMS communication.
The unique dual language messaging allows the user to compose a message in a combination of two languages using simultaneous text entry and prediction. This capability builds on the success of Zi Corporation's predictive text applications eZiText and eZiTap, which enable predictive text to adapt to a user's personal preferences.
Checkpoint Systems, Inc. an integrator of radio frequency identity (RFID) technology into consumer product packaging, has announced it has made an initial minority investment in GOLIATH Solutions, a start-up developer of RFID based technology for point-of-purchase advertising and display compliance targeting the grocery, chain drug, mass merchandising and convenience store channels of trade.
Annually, consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) spend some $17 billion in trade development dollars to produce, distribute and monitor their promotional displays and signage to increase sales. However, about 50% of the time, their displays are not deployed in a timely and consistent manner.
Since CPG companies spend so heavily on promotional displays, there's a fundamental need for them to confirm the deployment and positioning of the materials during the display period. Traditional use of store clerks, sales staff and outside audit firms to monitor displays often leads to untimely, incomplete or inaccurate data. Checkpoint's investment in GOLIATH is consistent with the belief that the company's technology offers a more cost efficient and effective solution.
GOLIATH RFID tags are designed for easy integration into the point-of-purchase display to enable automatic monitoring and proof-of-placement when the display is positioned at the intended location. A wireless network of in-store readers continuously monitors POP status then relays that information back to GOLIATH's central database for secure access by authorized CPG companies and retailers. When data indicates that the display has not been deployed, or been moved beyond the dynamic selling zone or dismantled prematurely, GOLIATH's accurate web-based, fully-automated compliance and notification system is designed to enable timely remediation to ensure the maximum return on trade dollar investments within the retail store.
This $2.5 million investment is a part of Checkpoint's larger investment strategy to innovate and grow RFID based solutions that support consumer product brand owners and retailers from source to shelf. Checkpoint will make design engineering, manufacturing, and field service resources available to GOLIATH to help drive its growth into the retail market. In addition, George W. Off, Chairman, President and CEO of Checkpoint Systems will join GOLIATH's Board. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"GOLIATH plans to develop new information solutions aimed at solving the investment compliance challenge of the POP industry to optimize their trade dollar investments to increase sales," said Mr. Off. "We are excited about our partnership with GOLIATH and it also enhances our opportunities as a full turnkey solution provider of RFID supply chain applications from source to shelf."
Earlier this month Checkpoint announced the expansion of its RF Source Tagging Design Center to offer EPC/RFID compliance and business design services to consumer products manufacturers, logistics providers and their retail partners. The services complement Checkpoint's EPC network management software platform and family of EPC tags and readers.
Cubic Transportation Systems Limited, the European headquarters and subsidiary of San Diego, California-based Cubic Corp., and EDS have pre-qualified for a new system tender that will link all of Denmark's rail and bus operations to a "smart" national travel card.
The bid will include system design, development, project management, delivery, installation, operation, maintenance, financing and additional business opportunities arising from the use of a single card in Denmark.
Cubic and EDS formed a new consortium specifically to bid on the system, and have added the Denmark-based division of Siemens to the team as a major subcontractor.
The Cubic, EDS and Siemens team is one of seven consortia to have been invited to tender for the upcoming smart card-based national fare collection system for Denmark. The issuer of the tender is Rejsekort A/S, the managing entity of the national travel card initiative, consisting of the Greater Copenhagen Authority, Danish State Railways (DSB), the Association of County Councils in Denmark and the 0restad Development Corp.
All three companies are strongly represented in Denmark with a total of nearly 3,000 employees. Cubic is the established leader in the Danish market for electronic ticket systems, having for 16 years successfully delivered and serviced its automated fare collection systems, including its proven back office central computer system. Rejsekort A/S is expected to award the contract in 2005. The system will be put into operation gradually beginning in 2006 and is expected roll out nationally in 2009.
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