The right apps and accessories can turn any Smartphone into a very powerful device. AOptix, a California based company, has designed a tool capable of turning an ordinary iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S into a biometric scanner. The app comes with wrap-around device that can turn the phone into a portable face, iris, voice and fingerprint scanner.
Software and hardware:
AOptix Stratus is the first of its kind hardware and software system for iPhone. It consists of the iOS app (costing around $199) and a wrap-around device. The iPhone camera is used to click pictures of faces and an additional camera is used to scan the iris. Also, the fingerprints are scanned using a small sensor. The app can be customized by the customers with the help of the software development kit.
How it works:
The iPhone is inserted inside the device and is plugged in using a 30 pin connector. The app is then launched or started by the user. This is very simple to use and is user-friendly. The app allows the user to enter the biometrics of the person to be scanned with great ease. Using an iPhone also allows the app to obtain the geographic coordinates of the location and data is transferred using the mobile’s internet connection.
The iPhone camera as well as the iris scanner automatically captures the picture of the subject when it is within the range. The design of the app is such that it helps the user determine this range. The biographical information along with the scanned information like fingerprint, iris, face and voice is used to create the person’s profile which can be easily accessed at any time with just a tap of a finger.
iPhone provides a very strong and stable platform for this app. It gives an extremely supportive ecosystem for such an accessory. Also, the same device can be bought and used anywhere in the world, thus uniformity is ensured. Anyone with the experience of using an iPhone can use this app with ease.
Uses of the app
This app makes biometric recognition mobile and uncomplicated. A few of the probable uses of Stratus are:
- a) The border security agencies can use it at the customs checkpoints at airports.
- b) The law enforcement agencies and the police need to make quick and accurate identity checks at different locations. Hence, they cannot use huge and bulky hardware. This is where Stratus comes into play.
- c) Stratus could also prove to be of great help in countries that use national ID programs. In such ID programs, each citizen is given a unique number linked to his biometric data.
The makers of Stratus have laid stress on the fact that Stratus is not a consumer product. It is rather intended to be put to use by companies or Government bodies. This app could be used at border crossings or in absence of regular infrastructure for identity verification during disaster relief operations. It can also be used for mobile banking and mobile health services.