As part of the findBIOMETRICS annual Year in Review survey we don’t only ask experts to participate in our biometrics industry polls, we also provide everyone participating a chance to personally divulge their opinions on the year that was and preview what’s to come over the next twelve months.
The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) program made a big splash in 2013 as it went live with its National Palm Print System and enhanced fingerprint latents. In fact, it made enough of a splash to make its way onto the findBIOMETRICS Year in Review as a notable news item for 2013. Lockheed Martin played a major role in the Bureau’s program. To speak about this and what the organization has planned for 2014, Lockheed Martin senior fellow John Mears answered some questions for us.
findBIOMETRICS: Was 2013 a good year for Lockheed Martin? What were some of the highlights?
John Mears: 2013 was a good year for Lockheed Martin in biometrics. A Lockheed Martin-led team continued to deliver significant capability to the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) program this year. NGI Increment 3 was deployed on May 5, 2013, providing improvements in latent fingerprint search accuracy and a new nationwide palm print identification system to help solve cold cases and improve crime-solving capabilities.
The improvements are the largest so far in a series of phased upgrades to the FBI’s biometric identification services, providing powerful new and enhanced biometric capabilities for more than 18,000 local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies across the country.
In addition to creating a system with powerful matching algorithms, the new National Palm Print System (NPPS) contains latent palm prints that will be searchable on a nationwide basis for the first time. Identification of palm prints, which represent about a third of all latent prints, has been used successfully in the past by investigators to match prints from a crime scene against those of known suspects. Now, law enforcement agencies can use the NPPS to compare latent palm prints in a matter of minutes to all of the records in the national database.
findBIOMETRICS: What will 2014 hold for your corporation?
John Mears: In 2014 we look forward to continuing to deliver leading capabilities to the FBI for NGI. We also see significant international biometric opportunities, including those related to automated border control and integration of machine-readable travel documents with biometrics. Immigration reform in the U.S. could be a driver of identification services, as well as upgrades to border and port security. The continued migration of many capabilities to the cloud will include biometric identification services. Lockheed Martin’s Identification as a Service (IDaaS) will address this market need with multi-modal biometric enrollment and matching services based on the FedRAMP JAB-authorized, secure government community cloud offering known as SolaS.