Datastrip touts biometric “breakthrough”

A hand-held smart card reader being touted as a "technology breakthrough for the identity authentication industry" is due to be unveiled in the region.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  May 11, 2004

A hand-held smart card reader being touted as a "technology breakthrough for the identity authentication industry" is due to be unveiled in the region next week. Datastrip’s reader, voted best new biometric product of the year by the Security Industry Association in the US last month, will go on show at The Identity Summit, which takes place in Dubai from May 16 to 18. The company claims its smart card reader provides instant, on-the-spot identity verification of individuals from biometric contact and contactless smart cards. "Our device can be used simply to do a photographic or biometric match, for biographic or biometric screening only, or for both, and it can go anywhere that identity checks are needed," said Patrick Gilmore, Datastrip’s business development director for the Middle East, Africa and India. "With the combination of versatility and portability, it equips security managers with broad capabilities that never were possible before." Datastrip’s reader has been designed to work with a host of smart card applications - from national ID, drivers’ licences and passports to financial, health, security access and ID registration. Biometric identity technology is becoming more popular in the Middle East as organisations look to improve their ID and security measures. In March TST Sales & Marketing AG, operating under the TST Arabia moniker, established a presence in the UAE with the aim of increasing sales of its biometrics technology throughout the region, while back in January of this year Oman became the first Arab country to introduce a machine-read smart card with stored thumbprint. Oman's first ID card, 00000001, was issued to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos's with his picture‚ date and place of birth, signature on the card. The UAE Ministry of Interior is also working on a similar smart-card project, expected to be operational by mid-2004, through which over two million Java cards would be issued to UAE residents.

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