High density printed code brings biometric ID costs down to new lows.

August '99 Asset Management, EAS, RFID

Datastrip has released a new version of its 2D bar code which is capable of storing over 2 kbytes of machine-readable text, image or binary data on a compact strip that can be printed on plastic cards or documents. This capacity is more than enough to store multiple biometric records - plus high quality photo images and text - allowing organisations to implement highly secure identification (ID) systems at a fraction of the cost of other technologies.

Called 2D Superscript, Datastrip's unique new implementation of this technology provides 10-30 times more capacity than the typical magnetic stripe card and comparable capacity to many chip-based cards - at virtually zero cost.

The storage capacity of the new Datastrip portable database is enough to accommodate all common biometric techniques including fingerprint, signature, facial and iris characteristics. With an average size of biometric templates of 500 bytes or less, a Datastrip ID card can even store multiple or 'layered' biometrics in conjunction with text and high quality photographic images, providing the means to implement highly sophisticated ID schemes. For example, biometric verification can be used to authorise banking transactions, building access and the distribution of government benefits. Storage of biometrics on a portable medium, such as a PVC card, additionally allows ID systems to operate in off-line modes, safeguarding privacy and the freedom of the individual.

Automated document handling

Another potential application of Datastrip's 2D Superscript technology is in automated document handling. A compact Datastrip can be printed onto documents at extremely low cost. With around 160 bytes/cm2 available, the Datastrip code provides the capacity to store large volumes of data within a small space, making it an economical means of automating data storage and retrieval. This reduces the cost of processing major paper-based records such as driver's licences, vehicle registration documentation and bills of lading.

The new coding scheme incorporates extensive Reed-Solomon error correction as standard - enough to support up to 50% data destruction - assuring high reliability over the lifespan of card or document systems. When printed in the form of a 76 x 16 mm strip on a standard CR-80 card for example, over 2 kbytes is free for application data storage. If required, as many as four strips may be printed on a standard plastic card, providing a total capacity in excess of 8 kbytes.

ID applications

Datastrip's 2D barcode system is particularly applicable to ID applications. Many of its built-in security features can be customised for individual applications. The coding algorithm is not in the public domain and may be post-processed to ensure that the same data results in different printed codes - making it extremely difficult to copy or decipher. Datastrip's unique ID feature supports the establishment of a closed network, supported by specifically authorised readers. Furthermore, data may be stored in modular fields making it easy to create multi-application cards. Each field may be assigned different security levels, further structuring record access and protecting users' privacy. For highly sensitive applications, data may also be encrypted.

Datastrip codes can be produced using a variety of popular and economic card and code generation systems including Quik Works from Datacard, FreezeFrame from ESP-Systex, FoxID32 from Fox Technology, Mosaic from NBS Technologies and Polaroid's ID Card Maker from Imaging Technology Corporation.

For details contact Sue Coutin of Datastrip on telephone (0944) 1844 215668, fax (0944) 1844 215669 or e-mail sue.coutin@dstrip.demon.co.uk

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