GCN Insider | Cross Match does 10 prints in a hurry

Trends & technologies that affect the way government does IT



It's not every day you set a record. Jim Ziglar, CEO of Cross Match Technologies, said GCN might have set one. And Jim's a former Senate Sergeant at Arms and Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, so we trust him.


In an impressive prerelease demonstration, we used Cross Match's new LSCAN Guardian scanner to capture 10 digital fingerprints in only eight seconds. The 4-pound device, due out tomorrow, is slightly smaller than a Nintendo Gamecube, which will appeal to agencies that need to capture fingerprint data but don't have a ton of counter space, and it handles rolled or flat scans.


Ziglar said the Guardian represents the company's answer to a rigorous RFI issued near the end of last year for a 10-print scanner. The Defense, Homeland Security and State departments, along with the FBI, National Institute of Justice and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, issued the RFI for "an urgent, near-term demand for faster, smaller and more mobile, 10-fingerprint slap capture devices to meet critical national security needs."


After setting the software to "capture," we simply placed the first four fingers of our left hand on the scanner. When the scanner's lights were green, it meant we were done with that hand. Then we did the same thing with our right hand, followed by both thumbs simultaneously. It took eight seconds.


One key to the performance was the fact that there was no manual intervention beyond kicking off the session. "The software decides when the fingerprint is good," said Tom Buss, Cross Match's senior vice president for product development.
It segments each of the 10 prints, as required by the FBI, and assigns NIST-compliant scores to each scan, indicating image quality. Finally, the system puts all the information into the FBI's Electronic Fingerprint Transmission specification.


The Guardian received FBI certification on March 23. Buss said software, scanner and PC would cost about $10,000 per system, but most customers won't need the PC.


About the Authors


Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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