A new smart card system developed by Siemens is the first of its kind to combine three biometric parameters.

The system, which records data on the user’s voice, face and fingerprint has been made possible largely thanks to the latest generation of smartcards, which can store up to 32Kb of data.

Siemens’ Intelligent Digital Passport (IDP) unit records the user’s voice, takes a digital image of the face, and registers the fingerprint.

The data is then compressed, encrypted, and transferred to a special ID card. Then, on entering a secure area, the user inserts the card into the IDP reader, which decompresses and encrypts the user’s current biometric data and compares it with the data on the card.

The process is particularly secure because the user’s characteristics are stored directly on the card. This means that the data does not need to be transferred from a server to the reader – a process that is potentially open to data manipulation. In addition, since no server is needed, the procedure is extremely rapid.

The entire system, which includes the device for recording the data and personalising the card, a read device, and a management system for the cards, is available immediately.

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