Department of Defense support to spur growth of biometrics in smartphones

By February 16, 2013
human eye with data stream around it

AOptix has landed a contract with the Department of Defense to further develop their mobile identification technology. Multiple biometrics are leveraged to create secure usages for smartphones that will have countless applications for the larger economy.


Defense interest may greatly accelerate the development of mobile devices with identity verification functionality. Optics technology company AOptix will be working to develop its Smart Mobile Identity devices that will be used by the Department of Defense. AOptix has developed optics to recognize various biometrics such as iris, fingerprint, face and voice recognition and integrate them into smartphones. The Campbell, CA-based company will be working with national security information solutions and services firm CACI International as a subcontractor. The Smart Mobile Identity biometrics platform will be “tailored to specific DoD requirements,” according to the AOptix statement, for commercial-for-classified, in-field use.

Reliable identification is a commodity in high demand across industries

AOptix sees potential for its Identity Solutions to impact travel, commerce and other applications in consumers’ daily lives. As authentication of personal identities seems to be required more and more often, this potential can only be predicted to grow. While their biometric recognition is already being used at airports and border crossings, Smart Mobile Identity systems can be applied to an even greater range of uses due to its mobile nature: mobile finance, disaster assistance and humanitarian aid. The system also has been designed to be “human-centric,” favoring usability so that a wider range of users find it accessible.

Government support could mean more specialized applications for later civilian use

Mobile Device Management, federated enterprise mobile app mall capabilities, encryption and wireless security are all areas that CACI has developed tools for, and its collaboration with AOptix will bring these areas of expertise and its experience with the DoD. As AOptix is a commercial company, we can expect that the innovations that will be fostered by the defense, though initially classified, will inform the services that will at some point become available for smartphone manufacturers and other industry players. At the same time, the Dod’s mobile strategy increasingly involves sourcing from the mass market, for cheaper solutions. 

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