Biometrics Authentication Changing I.D. Process

In this 21st century of global information, there is an ever-growing need to authenticate individuals. Biometrics-based authentication is emerging as a reliable method that can overcome serious limitations of the traditional automatic personal identification technologies. Biometric recognition, or biometrics, refers to the automatic identification of a person based on his/her anatomical (e.g., fingerprint, iris) or behavioral (e.g., signature) characteristics or traits. This method of identification offers several advantages over traditional methods involving ID cards (tokens) or PIN numbers (passwords) for various reasons: (i) the person to be identified is required to be physically present at the point-of-identification; and (ii) identification based on biometric techniques obviates the need to remember a password or carry a token.

Norfolk State University plans to start new biometrics research and development in the fast growing and promising areas of fingerprint, facial, and iris recognition technologies, and to develop a biometrics curriculum. This effort will foster relationships with commercial, private, and federal agencies.

Biometrics development will position NSU as the only Historically Black College or University entering this ever growing and emerging field with applications vital to homeland security and military including applications for improving airport security, strengthening our national borders, in travel documents, visas and in preventing ID theft. Commercial applications include automobile keyless entry, retail sales, amusement parks, banks, health and social services, enterprise and government networks, colleges, physical access to multiple facilities and school lunch programs. Now, more than ever, there is a wide range of interest in biometrics across federal, state, and local governments and secure consumer transactions.

The Biometrics Lab will build on the excellent material science expertise and the synergistic interaction between materials science, engineering, biology, and computer science departments, in addition to the availability of the state-of-the-art infrastructure at the Marie V. McDemmond Center for Applied Research on NSU’s campus.

The Biometrics Lab aims to develop cutting-edge multi-level biometric solution technologies and to create biometric standards, databases, and protocols to perform biometric product testing. The initial focus is the development of new fingerprint sensors that can be optical, semiconductor and capacitance-based. Ideas such as the use of multi-spectral scanning scheme for minutiae capture will be explored. To increase accuracy and reduce false acceptance and false rejection, a multimodal biometric approach will be investigated integrating live human features such as body temperature, sweat, blood pressure and blood vessels. Cost effectiveness, security and convenience are the basic requirements for successful deployment of these sensors in everyday life.

A comprehensive biometrics curriculum will be developed at NSU. Such a program will attract a significant number of underrepresented minority students interested in highly paid jobs and in-demand careers such as fingerprint examiners, forensics, cyber security, quality assurance, intelligence, profilers, law enforcement, and security.

NSU scientists will forge ties and cooperate with industries to provide biometric solutions that can quickly produce enormous economic benefits and nurture local economic growth as well as provide consulting for industry to ensure sound investment in biometric ventures. Strong research and an academic relationship with Harris Corporation will be initiated through joint publications, joint grants writing and proposals, SBIRs and STTRs, students’ internships and summer research programs.

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