Is this finally the year of biometrics?

Steve LeSueur

Biometrics' alluring promise has long dazzled Hollywood scriptwriters and producers, but many in government remain skeptical. They recognize that incorporating techniques such as facial recognition or digital fingerprinting into a security solution is neither fast nor easy. Much hard work remains to establish the necessary standards and processes that would enable these technologies to serve as a component of an effective security system.

In this issue, we offer several views of the developing biometrics industry. Staff Writer Patience Wait's cover story examines the obstacles that so far have prevented the widespread adoption of biometric technologies among agencies. In a companion story, Patience describes how a Pinellas County, Fla., successfully uses facial recognition technology at its airport, courthouse and jail.

Also inside, technology reviewer Carlos Soto offers advice on how to use different biometric technologies, emphasizing that they are most effective as one piece of a comprehensive security policy.

Integrator Toolbox provides a rundown of many biometric technologies available today. Since Sept. 11, 2001, these technologies have been increasingly tapped to provide physical security.

And for those of you who still want more, our Web site has a list of federal contract opportunities that require biometric technologies.

Go to the Quickfind search box at www.washingtontechnology.com

and type in 117.

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