For slow forgers, the handwriting is on the wall

For slow forgers, the handwriting is on the wall

Biometric pen that authenticates signatures is just one of the wonders on display at Internet Showcase

By Mark A. Kellner

Special to GCN

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.'Among the bleeding-edge technologies demonstrated last month at the Internet Showcase conference were a biometric pen that authenticates signatures and an online meeting planning service tailored to federal users.

Sam Asseer, chairman of LCI Technology Group NV of the'Netherlands, said his company's Smartpen Biometric Authentication System will be part of Litton PRC's proposal for an upcoming Defense Department contract.

The LCI Smartpen wirelessly transmits biometric data to PC applications that use digital signatures.

The LCI Smartpen writes like an ordinary pen while dynamically tracking the handwriting speed, pressure and angle with built-in sensors. Asseer said authentication is nearly foolproof because the pen senses a signature is forged when it is taking longer than normal.

The pen wirelessly transmits the encrypted sensor data to a computer running an application that uses digital signatures. Asseer said the pen can incorporate other chips such as Global Positioning System transmitters to verify a signer's location.

AllMeetings Corp. of Henderson, Nev., announced that its government-specific meeting planning Web site,, will be featured in the General Services Administration's conference and meeting planner course in April.

The Web site's proprietary search engine automatically finds a range of cities and hotel choices keyed to the meeting dates, number of participants, per-diem rates and airline fares.

'The average time it takes to come up with a meeting plan online is 10 to 15 minutes,' said Brian K. Ashton, vice president and general manager of AllMeetings.

He demonstrated by comparing costs for a 12-day meeting in San Francisco with 28 attendees traveling from 14 locations.

At a two-star hotel, the total cost was $63,679. The service turned up 30 other options, including a three-star hotel in Columbus, Ohio, that cut the cost by 52 percent and two Las Vegas options that were 34 percent and 44 percent lower.

Ashton said the service 'is changing the basis of [hotel] competition to focus on total meeting costs' instead of merely the room rate.

Also at the show, Hummingbird Communications Ltd. of Toronto announced a custom government version of its Hummingbird Enterprise Information Portal. The portal, which Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego bought late last month, will be used by a federal agency that neither company would identify.

Open sesame

The portal provides a single point of access to all structured and unstructured enterprise data. Users can filter, process and act on information from any enterprise source, Hummingbird officials said.

Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products USA Inc. of Burlington, Mass., demonstrated L&H iTranslator Enterprise software for intranets. It translates foreign-language documents and e-mail and is compatible with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes mail clients.

Vince Azzara, a business development manager with Lernout & Hauspie, said the company is working with the National Academy of Sciences to translate a database of U.S. transportation information into other languages.


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