updated 12:00 am EDT, Thu May 19, 2011
Useful to government, law enforcement, more
Fulcrum Biometrics has unveiled its FbF MobileOne biometric accessory and companion app, exclusively for the iPod Touch, that turns the iOS device into a fingerprint scanner that can send data to wireless networks or stored locally on the device, for use with governmental, law enforcement and medical systems. The MobileOne accessory features a silicon fingerprint module that can read fingerprints to the FIPS-201/PIV standard, widely accepted in government programs, which plugs into the 30-pin connector on the iPod Touch. Captured fingerprints can be matched to the local database or forwarded to a remote host.
The accessory device works with second-, third- and fourth-generation iPod Touches. When the hardware accessory is docked to the Touch, no other applications -- apart from the iOS system and communication technologies needed to connect to remote systems -- will run. The application part of the system requires iOS 4.0 or later, and will not function without the hardware accessory.
The device can scan fingerprints at 508dpi, and is expected to be able to operate for up to nine hours in full operation mode. The company has published an iOS library for its fingerprint-identification schema for other developers to work with the MobileOne device, and plans to also develop further fingerprint -- and even facial recognition -- apps for the iPod Touch.
The MobileOne device costs $600 and does not include the iPod Touch. The companion app is free. The price represents a cost breakthrough for portable, networkable and reliable biometric scanners that work on a level acceptable to medical, legal and government standards. Other iOS devices, when paired with accessory hardware, have been used for remote heart monitoring and blood-pressure monitoring among other uses.