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Issue Date: March/April '01 (es)

Highly regarded U.are.U fingerprint recognition system available from DataSphere Technologies

1 March 2001

DataSphere Technologies imports and distributes new, cutting edge state-of-the-art computer peripherals, including the highly regarded U.are.U fingerprint biometric device from Digital Persona (20% Intel-owned). This remarkable, user-friendly and very affordable device comes as a retail Deluxe version, an NT Pro version and also in integrator units for customised solutions.
Fingerprint enabled logon
The U.are.U Pro enables NT users to replace the conventional logon process with a fingerprint. It also provides fingerprint-enabled system lock and unlock, and the ability to replace all the passwords on a system with a fingerprint. Administrator options include allowing clients a choice of using a fingerprint or a password or allowing a fingerprint only. Remote logon and remote registration are possible with the U.are.U Pro Server Software.
Says Martin Smullen, Managing Director of DataSphere Technologies, "A central administration tool included with the product utilises a snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console that enables IS managers to centrally manage fingerprint security for individuals and groups."
"Users register one or more fingerprints. A 300-byte template is extracted from the features of the print, and no fingerprint image is stored. The fingerprint templates are signed by a registration authority and can be stored centrally, locally, on a floppy disk, or on a smartcard," he adds.
The U.are.U Recognition Engine, the core of the product line, is highly accurate and 100% rotation invariant. Users can put their finger onto the sensor from any angle, and still be recognised. All it needs to recognise, says Smullen, is 30 fingerprint minutiae (with a maximum of 70).
Security features
Says Smullen, "The U.are.U sensor has a number of security features that make it superior to any other fingerprint device on the market. These features include a secure challenge-response link between the sensor and host, image encryption between sensor and host, automatic finger detection and fingerprint capture, and latent print removal. The link between the sensor and host is interrupt-driven meaning that the user does not have to hit a key to 'wake up' the sensor before putting down a fingerprint."
Lower priced units available
"U.are.U is also available in a lower priced Deluxe version for Windows 95/98 only," says Smullen. "This unit would be more suited to the single PC small office or home (not server) environment. The deluxe offers logon security, password replacement, screen lock and file encryption but not remote logon or administration."
In addition to the above, there are also two software development kits (SDKs) available for developers who wish to utilise the fingerprint sensors in their own custom applications.
eXatra authentication system
Finally, says Smullen, there is the eXatra Authentication System (for the Internet and smartcards).
"A client/server custom application suite enabling website, local intranet and extranet authentication, the eXatra Authentication System is based on a variety of storage mediums such as smartcards, certificates, or any OLE-DB databases. The system replaces the traditional user-name-password system with REAL user authentication by means of biometric fingerprint access - providing the ultimate in securing websites and data or giving the ultimate security to smartcards on which the fingerprint is embedded in encrypted form," he concludes.
For details contact Martin Smullen of DataSphere Technologies on tel: (011) 783 8517, fax: (011) 783 8528, e-mail: martins@datasphere.co.za or visit www.datasphere.co.za


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