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Live from ISC West: A quiet revolution in biometrics from Sonovation

The same ultrasound technology that allows expectant parents to look at their offspring in utero has been showcased in fingerprint biometrics by Sonovation at ISC West, the spring trade show of security product providers, integrators and buyers.

Other fingerprint readers could accommodate prints that might be lifted and used to break into the system, Rob Tucker, senior vice president of sales, told GSN at the Las Vegas show. But the ultrasound technology is now reduced to thumbnail-sized chip in IDKey, whose technology is protected in more than 100 awarded and provisional patents. ID Key captures not just the look of a finger’s ridges and valleys, but the 3D design of pores and crevices of the fingerprint. “It’s an unspoofable, unbeatable fingerprint reader,” he claimed. “Biometrics are the ultimate password.”

Sonovation offers two types of readers for businesses and consumers, which are compatible with PC and Mac systems, plus Bluetooth. The key to personalized, secured access is contained in a device a little larger than a key fob for a car. IDKey can resolve issues of logical access to data and accounts that generally might be secured with passwords, as well as physical access into buildings and controlled portions of buildings, such as safe server rooms.

In both cases, individuals run their fingers over the chip, and if the system determines a match, IDKey uses near field radio communication to grant access to the secured areas, computers and information. IDKey devices meet FIPS Level 3 standards (approval is pending for the business series), are water resistant, rechargeable and FIDO (Fast Identity Online Alliance) ready, so are operable with other systems. While IDKey devices reduce reliance on passwords, at the same time, the personal version also allows for password retrievals in 16GB encrypted storage.

The next generation of Sonovation projects is attached to even deeper ultrasound penetration, according to Tucker. “Bone marrow and tissue are the next generation,” he predicted. “It’s proof of life. It’s literally making your biometrics unbreakable.”


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