iPhone Device Could Replace Traditional Ink Fingerprinting Process
(Photo: Fulcrum Biometrics)

Criminals may soon say goodbye to blackened thumbs as the FBI is reportedly testing new technology to update and improve speed of the fingerprinting process. The technology it will be testing is a rather familiar one, Cult of Mac reports. The iPhone.

Cult of Mac has more:

Time counts when you’re trying to identify and find a perp, so using an iPhone  could significantly shorten the time police officers need to wait while fingerprints are run through a national database, says Ken Nosker, president of Fulcrum Technologies. Fulcrum’s mobileOne device is just one product using the iPhone to create biometric devices for law enforcement.

The chief benefits of using an iPhone fingerprint device are saving time and money. If an officer must take a suspect in for fingerprints, the delay could be hours, and although there are mobile fingerprinting units, their high price means more delays as police search for the one or two they can afford. On the other hand, many police officers already have iPhones, and the cost of the mobileOne device is within reach of even the smallest police departments.

According to the Fulcrum Biometric’s website, the approximately $600 mobileOne device latches onto the iPhone or iPod touch, but is easily removable. The device has its own battery life and therefore won’t drain an iPhone’s power supply. The website states that the phone can take a full set of fingerprint images within 25 seconds and, when combined with the phone’s camera, can take a set of five facial images as well.

Cult of Mac reports that the FBI will begin trials of the device in 2012. Once approved at that level, it would need to get the green light from state IT departments, which Nosker said is a “pretty significant” process.

Cult of Mac also found that the device will not be created for Android phones, Nosker said, because he finds the Apple platform more stable.

This year the mobileOne fingerprint accessory was honored with two innovation awards in the law enforcement community: the Cygnus Law Enforcement Group’s Innovation Award for Forensics and the Paramount Award.

[H/T The Verge]