Fingerprint sensor is clearly different

Vendors at this week's Comdex trade show were scrambling to show how they're

integrating biometrics into products people already use. But DigitalPersona

Inc. is taking biometric integration a step further with its new U.are.U

Crystal, an ultra-thin, clear fingerprint sensor.

The sensor is thin enough to be embedded in most handheld devices. And because

it's clear, it can be placed over an LCD display. That means the person

who matches the fingerprint could gain access to a secured notebook, personal

digital assistant or cell phone by placing his or her finger right on the

screen.

The U.are.U Crystal will enable even the smallest, thinnest devices to have

biometric protection. "U.are.U Crystal's transparent sensor technology supports

the prevailing trend toward thin devices that promote portability and wireless

applications," said Fabio Righi, president and chief executive officer of

DigitalPersona.

DigitalPersona announced that the Glendale, Calif., government signed a

letter of intent last week to order more than 1,000 units of its U.are.U

fingerprint system for workstations over the next five years. The technology

costs about $149 per desktop, said Trish Borrmann, senior marketing manager

for the Redwood City, Calif.-based company.

Dan Caterinicchia contributed to this report.

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