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October 11, 1999

Precise Biometrics Signs Distribution Deal

By CBR Staff Writer

Lund, Sweden-based Precise Biometrics AB has developed smartcard-based biometric identification to appeal to users afraid of companies storing their personal data on hard diskThe technology consists of a combined fingerprint scanner and smartcard reader. Users carry fingerprint and identity details on a smartcard and simply slot the card and imprint their fingerprint into the device to gain access to their PC.

Precise Biometrics has just signed its first partnership deal to distribute its Precise 100 SC product as part of the PKI technology from fellow Swedish firm iD2 Technologies Inc. Precise Biometrics has ambitions in Western Europe and the US, and is eyeing security management tools firms like Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems Inc carefully for further partnerships.

Precise 100 SC will compete in the biometric market with a number of US firms, including Compaq, Identix and Digital Persona. In each case, the Swedish firm’s differentiator is the fact that it has a smartcard reader built-in, thereby saving additional time buying a scanner.

The Swedish firm also approaches the fingerprint recognition from a different angle. Whereas conventional biometric devices use mathematical points to map the features of a finger, Precise 100 SC uses a more pictorial technique, matching picture patterns. And as each individual’s print is stored on the smartcard, there is no scanning of a database to identify a user, just a one-on-one check, taking less than a second. In the event of users leaving their desktops, Precise has a screen-locking device which kicks in after two minutes and users can only re-activate their machines by using their fingerprint again.

Formed in 1997, the company has revenue of less than $500,000. It took on $2m as a third round of funding in June which brings the total to $4m and plans to stage an initial public offering on the Stockholm Stock Exchange eventually.

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