Years before COVID became a thing, the U.S. government had a desire to encourage touchless fingerprint technologies. This began many years ago with a concerted effort to capture a complete set of fingerprints in less than 15 seconds. By 2016, this had evolved to a set of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) entered into by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and several private companies.
For purposes of this post, I’m going to concentrate on just one of the listed mobile fingerprint capture technology solutions. The mobile fingerprint capture technologies from these companies were intended to support the capture of fingerprints from a standard smartphone without any additional capture equipment. (Compare this to the portal/kiosk category, which employed specialized capture equipment.)
One of NIST’s CRADA partners for mobile fingerprint capture was a company called Diamond Fortress Technologies.
Via our CRADA relationship (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement), Diamond Fortress is currently working with NIST to develop standards dealing with best practices, certification methodology, data formatting and interoperability with legacy contact-based and inked print databases for optical acquisition systems. This will support future certification for purchase on the Government Certified Products lists.
Fast forward a few years, and Diamond Fortress Technologies’ offering is back in the news again.
Telos Corporation has acquired the ONYX touchless fingerprint biometric software and other assets of Diamond Fortress Technologies (DFT), and appears to be targeting new verticals with the technology.
Now that happened to catch my eye for one particular reason.
You see, my former employer IDEMIA used to have a monopoly on the TSA PreCheck program. If you wanted to enroll in TSA PreCheck, you HAD to go to IDEMIA. This provided a nice revenue stream for IDEMIA…well, perhaps not so nice when all of the airports lost traffic due to COVID.
Anyway, the Congress decided that one provider wasn’t optimal for government purposes, so in early 2020 other vendors were approved as TSA PreCheck providers.
WASHINGTON – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced that TSA PreCheck™ enrollment services will now be provided by Alclear, LLC; Telos Identity Management Solutions, LLC; and Idemia Identity & Security USA, LLC, expanding the opportunities that enable travelers to apply for TSA PreCheck.
Just to clarify, the company then known as Alclear is better known to the general public as CLEAR.
And the third company is Telos.
Which is now apparently moving into the touchless fingerprint space.
Now THAT is going to have an impact on enrollment.