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NIST Publishes New Protocol for Communicating With Biometric Sensors

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a new protocol that allows secure communication over wireless and wired networks with biometric sensors.

No Strings Attached: NIST Protocol Helps Communicate Biometrics from Anywhere

Named as the WS-Biometric Devices (WS-BD) protocol, it enables laptops, smart phones and tablets to access sensors that acquire biometric data through the web. The biometric data may include face and iris images, and fingerprints. Many of the present biometric systems possess proprietary device-specific cables and drivers. The new protocol will enable the assembling of interoperable components and also simplify set up and maintenance of the biometric systems. It will eliminate the costs involved in upgrading devices on a biometric system.

The use of biometrics is expanding to computer security and other access control, identity and security management applications. As WS-BD equipment enables interoperability, it will help save potential costs. A study on challenges and opportunities in biometric recognition found that biometric systems must anticipate development so that they can be substituted easily.

Researchers at NIST collaborated with Federal Bureau of Investigation's Biometric Center of Excellence, the NIST's Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative and Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to develop plug-and-play biometric devices.

The WS-BD system developed by the NIST lab was demonstrated recently. They used two biometric sensors and a tablet. A tap on a button on the tablet causes a camera to snap a photo for recognizing faces. When a person places his hand on a scanner, his fingerprints are captured through a web-enabled fingerprint sensor that can be signaled from a tap on the tablet.

Source: http://www.nist.gov/

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