Peter O’Neill, president of Mobile ID World, recently conducted an interview with Michael Shao, CEO of Aratek—a global biometrics company, based in China, that specializes in fingerprint recognition hardware and software solutions. Offering everything from simple fingerprint modules, to advanced ten-print scanners, and the software and middleware that allows for integration, Aratek is capable of providing complete fingerprint ID systems to its customers. The following conversation begins with a brief history of the company and a run down of it products, before examining the large number of vertical markets on which Aratek is focusing its efforts. Read on to discover how Aratek is well positioned in the international biometrics markets.
Peter O’Neill, President, Mobile ID World (MIDW): Can you please tell our readers about the background of your company?
Michael Shao, CEO, Aratek: Aratek started in 2004 specializing in biometrics software and hardware devices, including fingerprint U disk, fingerprint mouse, fingerprint hard disk, and so on. With the development of the market and the demand for security products, we focused our core energy on enterprise-scale applications, which gave us the opportunity to learn about the whole workflow and application experience of biometrics solutions. So Aratek has accumulated more than 10 years’ experience, learning in the Enterprise industry with lots of successful deployments and satisfied customers. We have also achieved success from the China National ID card industry and mobile fingerprint terminal market.
Last year, according to our new strategic orientation, we established a new department, the International Business Department. We believe that the new department will work well with the domestic sales departments for increased sales opportunities in the coming year.
MIDW: What are the main products you supply?
Aratek: Generally speaking, our products can be described as, “one core algorithm, two supportive products”.
The core algorithm is our patented biometric identification algorithm. As a biometric company, the algorithm is always our core competence in the fierce global market. Our patent Bione fingerprint algorithm features fast matching, accurate identification, and fingerprint image enhancement. It has realized fingerprint matching of 0.01s for each match.
Another competitive algorithm is our BE biometrics identification signature and encryption technology. It uses biometric features to protect privacy and realize identity verification of PIN, password, or strings for the computer system, or buildings access control. Sometimes the PIN has impossibly long characters which make it impossible to remember. With our product, you are able to unlock them just by getting your fingerprint verified. The algorithms above have become the cornerstone of Aratek’s entry into the international marketplace.
The two supportive products refer to the software and hardware devices developed by Aratek. The software contains a Single Sign-On system, Fingerprint Authentication Software- TrustMe series, Fingerprint Developer Tools-
TrustLink Matching Platform, which deploys 1:N compute engine that is the fastest and most accurate fingerprint matching technology and the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System for government and large-scale identity verification.
The hardware devices contain optical and capacitive modules, single-finger scanners, dual-finger scanners and 4-4-2 finger scanners, 7”and 10”fingerprint signature pad, 5”and 7”fingerprint smart terminals, and so on. Meanwhile, our terminal products have been equipped with new features like RFID, 2D Barcode, NFC and 4G functions for the international markets.
In effect, the hardware products, software products, and the core algorithm are always working together to realize better functions, which has formed the whole product line of Aratek, or we can also call it: turnkey fingerprint solutions.
MIDW: Which vertical markets are you focusing on?
Aratek: Aratek is concentrating on seven market segments.
- Government and National ID—For example, China National ID card, and India derived applications based on the Aadhaar project.
- Financial—For example, e-bank identity verification, safe deposit box identity verification, and bank internal identity management and risk control.
- Telecom—For example, SIM activation identity verification.
- Retail POS—For example, mobile payment within the store, and time and attendance.
- Healthcare—For example, practicing doctor identity verification, hospital internal identity management, and risk control.
- Education—For example, examinee identity verification, school bus identity verification, and identity verification for child-picking-up in kindergarten.
- Access Control—For example, time and attendance.
With the popularity of mobile devices and communication tools, the mobile market will continue to intensify in the coming years. We will increase our research fund for mobile devices to follow this trend.
As a biometrics company, we pay close attention to end user interface. We still have large space for product design and marketing strategy. In the coming years, we will continue to bring innovative and artistic design to the marketplace.
We will release our latest cloud identity management rental service. With our strong biometrics solutions ability based on experience, we are able to provide cloud service for enterprises or organizations where identity management is a must, but hard to run by themselves.
MIDW: Has this been a good year for your company?
Aratek: Yes this has been a very good year for Aratek.
Since Apple and Samsung deployed fingerprint security on their phones, the wave of fingerprint applications is growing more and more popular. Many other phone manufactures, computer manufactures and banks are all trying to incorporate fingerprint technologies. In this positive market demand for fingerprints, we are very well positioned to capitalize on our years of experience.
The global security demand is very strong and growing. Terrorism, drugs, prison management, and so on, are all in need for identity verification and risk control. To solve such urgent requirements, governments all over the world have deployed biometric systems for security management, pushing the biometrics market to new heights.
MIDW: What’s next for Aratek?
Aratek: Aratek has been serving the industry about 10 years and during these days and months, we have been working hard in our biometrics industry and trying to establish new market share as well as sales channels. Now, we have colleagues from all over the globe. We are very excited and pleased that our products have been so well received internationally and we look forward to ensuring that we continue o be seen as one of the leading global biometric players.
As part of this growth, we are looking for international partnerships with like-minded organizations.
MIDW: Thanks for taking the time to tell us about all the good things going on at Aratek.
Aratek: My pleasure, Peter.