After our CEO and founder, Neil Norman, made a trip to China in September, Human Recognition Systems have been working with the International Festival For Business (IFB), launching in Liverpool this June.
"That sounds very James Bond."
A reaction we often receive when telling people about Human Recognition Systems and the innovative technology we deliver for the first time. With all the excitement around Spectre hitting the cinemas this week, that got us thinking about just how close to Q's workshop we really are.
On Tuesday 17th June 2014, I presented at IFSEC 2014 in the SMART Buildings Theatre within the IFSEC section of the exhibition.
Taking place on the 17-19 June 2014 at the ExCeL London, IFSEC International is the largest event for the security industry, bringing together the entire security buying chain in one place.
The event covers more than just traditional security and fire solutions. This innovative event covers access control and biometrics, counter terror, CCTV and video surveillance, intruder alarms, IP security, intelligent buildings, physical security and lone workers.
In asymmetric warfare or humanitarian aid missions, military and NGO personnel work among local populations and need a confident means of accurately identifying the target group that they're going to be working with.
We have carried out work in a southern African country that is in the process of building some of the infrastructures the developed world takes for granted, such as police, the military and correction facilities. It's a fledgling society, with some men turning up to be police officers who are already registered as soldiers. In these environments, biometrics identify people to enable authorities to best work with the local communities to create the new core infrastructures.
It may seem obvious, but the demands placed on biometric systems by the military are far tougher than the commercial world. The unique environment in which we have to deploy military systems is typically without a reliable power supply and in an asynchronous format; that is with no reliable network connection.
Physically military systems have to be robust and rugged, survive challenging environmental factors such as water and sand, and foolproof as they may be in the hands of young military people on the front line, who have to get the job done quickly, efficiently and effectively, often under pressure.
Recent asymmetric conflicts and peacekeeping missions have driven a surge in the adoption of biometrics in military operations, particularly of capture systems to confirm the identity of civilians by armed forces. This has led to a revolution in the way systems are deployed in remote locations, via portable rugged systems that offer full ABIS capability coupled with handheld devices to facilitate full mobility. These devices are backed up by sophisticated intelligence centrally managed systems that cross-check unique identifiers with behaviour and geographic location.
Our vision for the future of airports has always been to enable a fully biometric airport for passengers and workers. An airport where ID cards, tickets and even one day, passports are a thing of the past, where the processing of passengers is quick and secure through automated eGates, and operations are tracked through real-time dashboards and the personalised passenger experience returns.
Recently there have been a number of negative press articles raising concerns about the use of biometrics to record international students' attendance. As Human Recognition Systems can implement our MVerify student attendance monitoring system via mobile fingerprint readers, we felt it necessary to address these concerns and explain why the use of biometrics makes sense for the lecturers, the education institutions and the students.
The voice of the biometrics industry comes in many forms: conferences, exhibitions, white-papers from vendors promoting their solutions. But it rarely comes from the grass roots of our industry; the very people who are knee-deep in the issues, problems and delivery of biometric systems. If you were new to biometrics and your first exposure to the biometrics industry was say the latest exhibition, you would think that biometric technology was a technology only used by big Governments and Military organisations to oppress their people. If you look at the past 10 years of Exhibitions, you will see the same recurring themes or eBorders, Military deployments and Government applications, with the same characters rolled out again and again to give this year's view of the same topic discussed last year. There is nothing new. Nothing exciting. No new perspective. But perhaps the biggest point is this: we continue to promote the industry to an old market with no consideration for the new ones.
Today, Apple launches the iPhone 5s and the announcement is bigger than the phone: this is the advent of biometrics hitting the mainstream.
To date, biometrics has been restricted to security applications, border protection and "Big Government" civil Identity programmes. But the launch of the iPhone 5s with embedded fingerprint biometrics will act as the catalyst for a new phase in the adoption of biometrics by consumers like you and me.