Interview with Stephen Thies, CEO, Integrated Biometrics
fB: Can we start off by hearing about your LES, Light Emitting Sensor technology and why it is so special?
IB: Sure, great question.” LES is More” is our company tag line. LES stands for Light Emitting Sensor. Our LES sensors use electroluminescence film which, when your finger is in contact with the film, and an electric field is applied, an extremely high resolution image of your fingerprint is emitted. The film is very durable, light weight, works in direct sunlight and achieves FBI Certified scanner image quality in a small and light weight package. No prism’s, no membranes, no external light sources, and very durable. Additionally, IB’s sensors pass the stress imagery requirements required by the FBI’s certifying agency.
fB: You recently introduced your new Sherlock scanner, can you tell us about this?
IB: Sherlock is a great new product. It is an FAP 45, Two finger direct or single finger rolled FBI Appendix F Certified sensor. It was designed to be embedded into third party integrator hand held solutions creating the benefits of dramatically smaller and lightweight biometric devices while providing efficient field enrollment and verification. LES enables a Sherlock to be about 95% smaller than comparable certified sensors. Our LES film when combined with a thin film transistor (TFT) is really a remarkable product. The film provides the image, the thin film transistor captures the image and there is a USB interface to enable the customer to integrate with their solution.
fB: Given what has happened over the past couple of months with the Apple Touch ID release and subsequent spoofing, what is your take on all of that given your technology?
IB: The hacking that happened with the iPhone 5S is not surprising. The folks that did that had the right tools and they were able to do that quickly. I’m not going to make any negative comments about the Apple sensor; I think it is very appropriate for the type of transaction that is being done on the phone. Regarding our technology, we are very spoof resistant as our sensor requires a human-like finger in order to create an image.
fB: You attended the Biometrics UnPlugged event in Tampa in September and heard from the digital and health care and cloud community about the challenges they are facing in those industries, where do your solutions fit in?
IB: Peter, you and Maxine put on a great conference, and the external speakers provided good insight into their challenges. Our products are very small and lightweight and enable mobility. Whether we are in a phone or a tablet, or connected to a phone or tablet via USB or wireless interface, our sensors enable mobile Certified applications. We are excited about the way that mobility is coming to biometrics. This movement is directly in line with Integrated Biometrics’ strategy. We believe our technology is a tremendous enabler for the mobile world.
fB: So that sort of answers my next question. Do you see mobility is a key driver of the biometric industry over the next three years?
IB: Absolutely! Apple has brought a huge amount of commercial and consumer awareness to the biometric industry and its technology. The biometric space has used large high quality optical scanners and small silicon based capacitance sensors historically for the early mobile applications. However, outdoor use, size and weight have been challenge for optical scanners, and scaling up to wide areas and achieving FBI Certification has been the obstacle for silicon based capacitance sensors. The emphasis on high security, the need for improved identity with truly mobile solutions is very good for Integrated Biometrics. It is also very good for the biometric industry. It will drive new technologies and solutions for the mobile space.
fB: What vertical markets are you focusing on?
IB: Integrated Biometrics is heavily focused on the Certified markets, this includes Homeland Security, Immigration, Border Patrol, National ID, Military and Law Enforcement; we create Certified scanners for mobile applications. We are a focused sensor developer and supplier. We provide the fingerprint sensor for biometric software and hardware integrators to use in their full solution. We are all about mobility; we are all about Certified scanners. The FBI has various standard sizes and our plan is to have Certified products to meet the needs of fingerprint biometrics for the mobile market. It seems that commercial and enterprise requirements when merged with mobility capabilities of smart phones and tablets could demand Certified scanners as well.
fB: That obviously spills into health care and the cloud and securing data centers and all sorts of different areas?
IB: It seems that the cloud databases are going to require some standards to assure performance, and it also seems the FBI standards could also be important in cloud based matching systems. So as healthcare and financial markets security and identity challenges move to mobile solutions, it seems those biometric databases could demand Certified scanners.
fB: Can you talk a little bit about how your products improve ROI for end users?
IB: Biometrics is a proven identity and verification technology. Our products are very fast and accurate; they are small, lightweight, work in direct sunlight and enable mobility. IB’s technology provides a very effective and efficient solution for mobile applications at competitive prices. IB’s sensors enable the mobile solutions which provide the speed, convenience, effectiveness and efficiency governments and commercial enterprises need to meet their business requirements. Being able to do things remotely, conveniently, with security in a mobile connected world reduces travel and time and speeds up the information flow. That is where the ROI is. Mobility is here to stay.
fB: What can we expect to see in the future from Integrated Biometrics?
IB: We continue to invest in our technology and are working to produce additional FBI Certified products. We are aimed at improving our products by making them yet smaller, lighter weight and to a wide variety of mobile requirements.
fB: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us today.
IN: Peter, it has been my pleasure.