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Pantech launches biometric mobile phone

Pantech, the US$3 billion Korean mobile phone vendor has launched the GI100, the world’s first fingerprint recognition handset with a 1.3-mega pixels camera for the Middle East market. Using advanced biometric technology, Pantech claims it is the most secure mobile device ever created.

Pantech has launched the GI100, the world’s first fingerprint recognition mobile handset with 1.3-mega pixels camera. Using biometric technology, Pantech claims it is the most secure mobile device ever created.

With fingerprint recognition technology, the GI100 securely controls personalied key entries. Only a registered fingerprint clears an authorisation to key in. The phone also has a ‘Secret Finger Dial’ feature that allows up to ten memorised phone numbers.

Once registered, each of the user’s fingerprints can be used for instant dialling. More importantly, calls made using one’s finger remain completely confidential with no record of it in the phone’s call log.

The phone is also equipped with games like car racing, slot machine and match making, all operable by the finger instead of pushing in keys.

The GI100 has two Smart LCDs that allow users to change their profile or read incoming messages without opening the folder. The 1.8” main LCD and 1.2” sub LCD provide enhanced pictures with 260K TFT (Thin Film Transistor) screen.

With a built-in 1.3 mega pixels CMOS camera with embedded flash that can capture 15 frame shots and record up to 30 minutes of video. The advanced LCD screens can also display video wallpaper in the idle mode.

The 82-grams mobile phone, which is equipped with SMS and MMS capabilities, has a Video Caller ID that lets users identify a caller with a saved image or MJPEG file of their choice. The phone also uses seven-colour LEDs (light emitting diodes) that allow users to sort callers into seven different caller groups and can save a maximum of 800 numbers and maximum of 2.5 hours voice recording.

Hyunsoo Jun, vice president, Pantech Global operations says, “The GI100 is a first-of-its-kind mobile phone, designed for customers for whom security is of paramount importance. There is a strong demand for a phone that blocks unauthorised access to stored information or pictures. Fingerprint technology is a fail-safe technology, as no two people have the same fingerprint.”

“The Middle East, one of the fastest growing markets for mobile handsets, has a strong demand for devices with cutting edge technology. We are delighted to bring this advanced phone to the region and are confident that it will generate a positive response," he adds.

Pantech claims the GI100, which was launched earlier this year in Russia, China and Taiwan has had a good sales response. The 13-year old company will be launching its products in the European market in January 2005.

Currently, seven models of Pantech are available in the Middle East market and the company plans to launch another 15 models next year. In 2003, Pantech sales revenues exceeded US$ 1 billion with expected revenues of US$3 billion forecasted in 2004, a growth of 67%.

“With this launch, we will strongly consolidate our presence in the Middle East market”, says Shogun Yang, managing director Pantech Middle East operations. “Currently, we are present in the UAE, Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen and Turkey and are in the process of expanding rapidly into the rest of Middle East and Africa.”

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