Gaining access to your home, gym, office and other buildings that you regularly visit could become as simple as waving a hand at the front door in the future. A Hunsville, Ala.-based company called IDair is developing an interesting system that can scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly 20 feet away. By merging with other biometrics, it can soon allow security systems to grant/deny access from a distance. The users need not to stop and scan fingerprint, swipe cards or anything else.
IDair is currently working with military, but it wants to open up commercially also. It wants to work with any business or enterprise that wants to put a layer of security between its facilities and the larger world. Currently they are working on a system under beta phase for a gym chain.
IDair’s founder says that at some point his technology could enable purchases to be made biometrically, using fingerprints and irises as unique identifiers rather than credit card numbers and data embedded in magnetic strips or RFID chips.
The working of this technology is similar to the way satellites process terrain imagery. It uses a lot of edge detection and image sharpening to turn a fingerprint captured at a distance into a usable and identifiable image. In this technology there would be no problems like dirty imaging surface as the user never has to touch the surface. Additional bio-metric constraints like face recognition could be added to make the system more secure. This would minimize the need of passwords and keys that could be stolen, lost or shared.
Obviously, such recording of biometric data gives rise to privacy issues. But it also makes the way clear for better and more secured systems as well as more user-friendly systems. Such system is expected to be very costly but IDair’s system is fairly affordable: a basic one-fingerprint scanner starts at less than $2,000.