Large government contracts defined biometrics industry in 2012

December 27, 2012 - covered the largest publicized contract wins within the biometrics industry over the past year.

This can be challenging for our publication, as most major purchases of security-related biometric products and services are kept confidential for security reasons.  As a result, obtaining information about contract wins can be difficult.  But we also endeavor to report any publicly accessible information about large deals.

One of the most notable customer wins that covered included Accenture Federal Services being awarded a five-year contract from the Transportation Security Administration to create an identity management and credentialing system to verify and manage millions of identities for those working at sensitive, secure areas throughout the U.S. transportation system.

The contract win has a ceiling of US$250 million and was awarded in order to develop a new system that aims to provide a customer-friendly enrollment function and create a system that allows TSA to streamline the credentialing process for applicants through a single channel.

Multiple systems currently exist to issue credentials and manage identities for transportation workers today, but this new process will consolidate these programs into one system over time, improve credentialing for new and existing transportation sector workers, increase consistency of information across multiple programs and provide improved customer service to applicants.

The first program to be transitioned will be the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), used to secure the maritime transportation system in the U.S. by providing biographic and biometric identification credentials, such as fingerprints for personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of regulated facilities and vessels.

Continuing on the U.S. government front, also reported that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would spend at least US$1 billion on next generation biometrics in order to update its database technologies.

The transportation and security solutions division of Lockheed Martin will undertake implementation of the project. The multi-million dollar contract, which was awarded after a full and open competition, will consist of a base year and the potential for up to nine option years. A roster of other contractors will also augment the project.

The program, which is designed to advance the bureau’s biometric identification services, will provide an incremental replacement of its current integrated automated fingerprint identification capabilities with a multi-modal biometric database.

According to the FBI, the future of identification systems is currently progressing beyond the dependency on a uni-modal, fingerprint biometric identifier towards multi-modal biometrics, which includes voice, iris and facial recognition.

The Next Generation Identification program will be therefore designed to advance the integration strategies and indexing of additional biometric data that will provide the framework for a future multi-modal system that will facilitate biometric fusion identification techniques.

The framework will be expandable, scalable, and flexible to accommodate new technologies and biometric standards, and will be interoperable with existing systems. Once developed and implemented, the new FBI biometric initiatives and multi-modal functionality will promote a high level of information sharing, support interoperability, and provide a foundation for using multiple biometrics for positive identification.

Another notable contract win over the past year included VoiceVault announcing that its voice biometric identity verification solution would now be used by a leading U.S. cable provider to facilitate the authentication of retail customers contacting their customer service center by phone.

Though enrolment in the biometric platform is optional, customers have widely embraced the solution with over sixty thousand callers verifying their identity monthly.

With this system, users who wish to add or change service or to request a pay-per-view show need to only repeat a simple four-digit phrase to verify their identity. This is an obvious solution for many, instead of waiting on hold for hours, listening to elevator music and being told how important your call is every five minutes.

According to the company, the results are significant. The unnamed cable provider is saving tens of thousands per month, presumably on labor costs.

Communication Intelligence Corporation, a supplier of electronic signature solutions and the recognized leader in biometric signature verification, also announced that a major unnamed U.S. financial services leader, a with approximately a trillion dollars under management, integrated the electronic signature capabilities of CIC’s iSign Cloud service with its annuity sales technology platform.

CIC enables companies to achieve paperless workflow in their electronic business processes by providing multiple signature technologies across virtually all applications.

CIC’s solutions are available both in SaaS and on-premise delivery models and afford “straight-through-processing,” which can increase customer revenue by enhancing user experience and can also reduce costs through paperless and virtually error-free electronic transactions that can be completed significantly quicker than paper-based procedures.

Finally, this year also reported that AOptix Technologies signed Certis CISCO, a leading provider of protective security in Singapore, as a reseller. AOptix and Certis CISCO will work hand in hand to offer AOptix’s iris recognition and face capture systems to customers using biometrics for identity verification in aviation security and other applications.

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About Rawlson King

Rawlson O’Neil King is a contributing editor at and is an experienced communications professional, management consultant, trade journalist and author who recently published a book about control and electronic networks and who has written numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals about smart home and building technologies. Follow him @rawlsonking2.