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Taking augmented identity to the world
November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions

In the early 2000s, a company named Ideco, in close partnership with IDEMIA, was a driver in bringing biometric technology to the South African market. In fact, this company was so successful that South Africa became a world leader in biometric adoption for a number of years.

The first employee, and eventually managing director of Ideco Biometric Security Solutions, was Gary Jones; he developed a successful channel model which proved so successful that Morpho quickly became the leading fingerprint biometric technology in South Africa.

Jones then moved to the USA in 2009 to join Morpho and lead the restructuring of the channel in that region, which includes most of the world’s largest and leading manufacturers of access control and time and attendance systems.

“Reaching the US market was no small task as any change takes a long time due to the market’s size.” Jones says it took a good three to four years to see results in the world’s largest economy. But, over the years, biometrics have become accepted in this market, and in many instances are a mandatory requirement. “Not only have we been a major contributor to this growth in acceptance of biometrics, thanks to the performance of our technology, but we have achieved the market leading position for biometric access and time solutions in North America”

With the coming together of Oberthur and Morpho, the company is now known as IDEMIA.

Jones is now IDEMIA’s VP of Global Channel and Marketing for biometric access and time solutions, and is tasked with broadening the company’s market share and share of mind globally. This is happening at a good time as IDEMIA is now focused on Augmented Identity.

Augmented Identity

Far from just being another marketing slogan, Augmented Identity has a basis in reality, specifically when it comes to security in our daily business and personal lives. Jones says there has always been a trade-off between security and convenience in the real world. If you wanted security, you had to accept complexity; if you wanted convenience, it was security that was compromised.

Augmented Identity, as Jones explains it, is a reliable identity authentication mechanism that fits in with whatever we are doing, providing the convenience, while also ensuring trust to guarantee secure, authenticated and verifiable transactions.

The MorphoWave Tower was the first product aimed at this market in the biometric access and time space. It allows people to authenticate their identities simply by scanning (or waving) their fingerprints over a scanner while on the move – without having to touch a sensor. The Tower has done extremely well in the US market due to its convenience as well as the security it offers (its sensor technology is also certified by the FBI).

As you wave your fingers over the scanner on the MorphoWave, it scans all four fingers at 78 fps (frames per second) and it does a 3D scan. This is like putting your fingers on a traditional sensor 78 times in a second. This naturally collects high resolution data which increases the matching rate and hence the security of the fingerprint biometrics.

Additionally, because people don’t actually touch anything, the hygiene factor is increased and more people can be scanned faster. Jones says it’s possible to authenticate 45 people per minute as they walk down a passage or through an entrance, with a single device.

A cost-conscious Wave

To cater for a wider diversity of installations, as well as more cost-conscious markets like South Africa, IDEMIA recently launched the MorphoWave Compact, which offers the same authentication facility at a lower cost. He says IDEMIA’s partners in the region were very excited about the Compact and were selling it before it even landed in Africa. Of course, the company has a number of other products, including facial recognition solutions to supplement the MorphoWave in its pursuit of its Augmented Identity ideal.

With trips to South Africa a regular part of his job these days, Jones says South Africa and Africa are key markets for IDEMIA, partially due to the country’s history of biometric adoption, as well as the willingness of the market to push the boundaries.

The market in South Africa today is different from the one in which the former company Morpho and Ideco were able to establish fingerprint biometrics as a reliable and trustworthy identity authentication mechanism all those years ago. There are more companies active in the market and more competition, but Jones believes IDEMIA is in a good position to take the market to the next level as both businesses and individuals embrace the ease and convenience, as well as the improved security in a world of Augmented Identity.

For more information contact IDEMIA, +27 11 286 5800,,

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Further reading:

  • From the editor’s desk: Converging access control
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, News
    Welcome to the Access & Identity Management Handbook 2019. We’re publishing this in January as opposed to our traditional end-of-year publishing schedule to make sure you have some bed-time reading for ...
  • Trust but continually verify
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    Hi-Tech Security Solutions looks at access and identity management and asks some industry players what ‘zero trust’ and ‘least privilege’ access means.
  • Managing who, what and why
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security
    Today’s access control isn’t only concerned with who has access, but also what has access, why they need it and what they are doing with it.
  • Physical/logical convergence
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    The convergence between physical and logical (or cyber) security will be a game-changer because it will change the way we do everything, from planning to design and all the way to installation and maintenance.
  • Physical and logical convergence is a fact
    November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    Convergence, the next buzzword? A dated buzzword? Is convergence ­merely ­integration on steroids? What is convergence?
  • The expanding role of IT in access control
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, IT infrastructure
    What role is IT playing in the world of physical access control and how far will its role expand in future?
  • A scan of fingerprint biometrics
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management
    Given the increase in the use of fingerprint technology in public and private organisations, as well as some recent announcements on the reliability or lack or reliability of certain types of sensors and algorithms in the fingerprint biometric market, Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to some of the leading fingerprint biometric vendors in the market to find out more about the state of this market.
  • BIMS set to change identity ­management
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
    Local biometrics integrator, Ideco Biometric Security Solutions, has announced that its Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) has been launched to market.
  • Tracking biometrics into a brave new digital world
    November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    The industry is increasingly transitioning from unimodal to more integrated multimodal biometric solutions for more accurate identity verification and faster real-time results.
  • A better approach to fingerprint biometrics
    November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management
    Not all optical biometric fingerprint scanners are created equal. The type of sensor used has a powerful impact on speed, accuracy, reliability and portability.
  • Your face tells a story
    November 2018, Technews Publishing, Access Control & Identity Management, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Government and Parastatal (Industry)
    Facial recognition has advanced to the point where it can be rolled out over large areas and accuracy is no longer a hit-and-miss affair.
  • Key components of access control
    November 2018, Paxton Access, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
    Dan Drayton speaks to Hi-Tech Security Solutions about what the key components in modern access control systems are.

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