Sales of automated fingerprint-identification systems are gaining traction and are expected to reach $160 million annually by 2010, according to government market researcher Input. Almost on cue Tuesday, Motorola said it has been awarded a contract by Norwegian governmental agencies to provide 800 stations for biometric screening.
Input said U.S. governmental agencies will increasingly move from manually processing fingerprint cards to using digital automated fingerprint-identification processes.
"This transition marks the beginning of a true lifecycle-oriented approach to justice and public-safety AFIS [automated fingerprint-identification systems] that will involve fewer long-term overhauls and more technology upgrades and refreshes every three to five years," said Chris Dixon, Input senior industry analyst, in a statement.
Dixon added that agencies will increasingly avoid getting locked into proprietary AFIS systems by adopting vendor-neutral and standards-based architectures.
The Norwegian system, awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Police Computing and Material Service, features the capability of identifying people through a range of biometric data, including the iris and face characteristics as well as through AFIS.
The contract calls for Motorola to supply about 700 fixed stations in Norway and another 100 portable stations in Norwegian embassies around the world. The fingerprint capture technology will support 1,000-pixel-per-inch images as well as the more common 500 PPI standard.
"It is very important that we offer people an easy way to apply for a passport or visa that includes new biometric requirements," stated Elin Ostebo Johansen, director general of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "The enrollment process will be fast and intuitive, collecting biometric data at the same time as the demographic information that has always been required."