The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is part of Biotesting Europe, a new €358,000 biometrics project, part-funded by the European Union. The project will ensure that future testing procedures and facilities meet the needs of systems users and developers, building confidence in this growing industry.
Biometric recognition systems measure unique behavioural or physical traits to recognise people. These can be as varied as iris images, fingerprints, the structure of veins in the hand, or even an individual’s typing rhythm. Currently they are predominantly used in national government systems for border control or criminal justice. They could equally be used in a domestic context to reduce identity theft by helping to secure bank accounts or corporate IT systems. For example the use of fingerprint readers when paying by credit or debit card could make identity fraud more difficult.
With a range of approaches and technologies available for biometric recognition and new ones constantly in development, the field is a fast moving one. Before investing in systems, buyers need to be assured of the usability and reliability of products. Similarly, technology developers benefit from independent testing regimes that allow them to prove their products and trial them in combination with existing systems. There is a need for a European network of resources for testing systems and products. This network would improve access to testing and avoid duplicating existing facilities. Before significant additional investment is made, there is a need for an audit of the resources currently available and the needs of customers.
NPL is uniquely qualified to play a part in this research. It holds world-leading independent expertise in the evaluation and calibration of biometric systems and its scientists are well respected in the field.
The results that emerge from Biotesting Europe will provide a clear direction for the future development of shared resources for biometric testing.
Fiona-Grace Peppler | alfa
Stable magnetic bit of three atoms
21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Drones can almost see in the dark
20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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