The Pipeline

A handheld for Lewis and Clark; Fingerprint capture for G.I. Joe

A handheld for Lewis and Clark
The team that forged its way across the Wild West missed this one, but modern-day explorers will love the new iPaq personal digital assistant from Hewlett-Packard.

Equipped with Global Positioning System navigation software and maps, the iPaq rx5000 Travel Companion weighs less than six ounces and can be moved easily from a car dashboard to a pocket or purse.

Unlike some other GPS devices, the rx5000 doesn’t require a Secure Digital memory card, and you don’t have to activate the GPS capability.

When you travel, you can find the current time, weather reports, currency conversions, and size and measurement conversions. The device also has a packing organizer in case you’re not sure how to arrange your socks.

Don’t tell the boss, but the rx5000 also offers plenty of entertainment options to keep you occupied when you’re on a long flight and can’t bring yourself to review the notes from yesterday’s meeting. You can listen to MP3 music files, watch videos, play games or watch recorded TV shows.

If you don’t want to wait until you get home to share or edit photos from your trip, you can use the iPaq to send photos or produce a digital album complete with slide shows and recorded voice notes.

Getting back to business, the rx5000 runs on the Microsoft Windows Mobile Version 5.0 operating system and includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity so you can access the Internet and e-mail. The device includes an organizer, contact list and calendar.

The rx5000 Travel Companion costs $599.

Fingerprint capture for G.I. Joe
Biometric fingerprint capture devices are great in offices but not so great in harsh environments. So what’s a warfighter to do?

For starters, look into the new enhanced lineup of biometric products from Cross Match Technologies.

The three products are ruggedized versions of the Guardian, the company’s 10-print live scan hardware and software system, and were designed to meet Defense Department requirements. The first product, Guardian R — the R stands for rugged — is an enhanced version of the Guardian fingerprint capture device that is ruggedized for military use.

It is sealed in an Ingress Protection 66 metal casing, so it can withstand wet and dusty conditions. It also features an integrated light filter for outdoor use. Cross Match developed this casing and light filter specifically for the military.

“Basically, we put a new set of pajamas on it,” said Tom Buss, senior vice president of business development at Cross Match. “We took the Guardian product and dropped it into a rugged case sealed against dust and moisture.”

The second product is a portable multiple biometric enrollment kit called a Jumpkit. It is in a heavy-duty case similar to a suitcase. Its functions include fingerprint image capture, facial image capture, voice recording, iris capture, document scanning and GPS recording.

Finally, Cross Match is introducing Guardian FAST, a software package that lets system integrators add fingerprint capture biometrics to existing software applications. The acronym stands for Fast Autocapture of Slaps and Thumbs. A slap is an image of four fingerprints captured at once.

By using a compatible hardware capture device, the software allows users to take all 10 fingerprints in just three steps. Scan four fingers on one hand — excluding the thumb — four fingers on the other hand, then scan both thumbs at once. The software then assigns a quality score to each fingerprint image.

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