NIST releases open-source kit for biometrics

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a new open-source middleware package that can be used to develop biometric applications.

Dubbed the Multimodal Biometric Application Resource Kit (MBARK), it includes software libraries, public-domain source code and example applications to help develop new applications for biometrics. The kit is intended to support interoperability for personal identity verification cards, readers and software.

“Most biometric systems…rely on a single a single distinguishing physical characteristic — such as a fingerprint,” a NIST press release states. “But most biometric equipment, including the sensors that capture data and the database that stores the information, are not interoperable.”

The kit was created as a tool to create a database of biometrics for testing systems. NIST says it can reduce costs in developing multimodal biometric applications.

The NIST Information Technology Laboratory developed the kit. The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate funded it.

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