Sony's Biometrics Footprint Widens

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted November 06, 2002
By Gretchen Hyman

Seemingly straight out of a James Bond movie, Sony Electronics released information about the latest addition to its family of fingerprint identification devices, which so far have included the FIU-300, the FIU-710 Puppy, and now the FIU-600. The new FIU-600 model builds on the same encryption technology as Sony's FIU-710 Puppy, although this time as a stationary identification device for verifying employee access to multiple company PCs.

The FIU-710 is designed as a mobile fingerprint passkey that scans, stores, and matches a user's fingerprint internally. Less expensive than its predecessor, the FIU-600 uses an upgraded version of the FIU-710 technology without the crypto capabilities, the company said, although it is designed with the ability to export templates and scan up to 1,000 fingerprint images inside the device. The FIU-600 is also compatible with all USB-equipped Windows-based computers, including Windows 2000 and Windows XP, Sony announced.

The lightweight, 2.54 oz. device is designed to store and match fingerprints without the need for passwords. When an employee logs on, the device exports encrypted fingerprint images to a centralized database where matching algorithms can then process the information. Once the device verifies the identity of the employee, it should log the user on to a PC and provide access to secure applications and other corporate information.

Sony said it will release a version of the FIU-600 later this year that comes bundled with I/O Software's SecureSuite program, an authentication platform for the Windows 2000 domain that should integrate many forms of authentication technology, including iris, voice, signature, and face identification.

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