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Scientists develop biometric, solar powered ATM for rural India


India’s Minister of Science & Technology, Harsh Vardhan, announced this week that a team of scientists led by professor Gon Chaudhuri have developed a touch screen, solar powered, biometric ATM for rural areas where the power supply is erratic and literacy is an issue, according to a report by Factor Daily.

“It is in its final stage… maybe in the next two to three months it will be ready and certainly we will think of taking this technology out of the lab to the people,” Vardhan told media.

Users touch the screen with their thumb to verify their identity prior to making transactions and rather than numbers and letters, the ATM screen displays pictures of currency denominations.

“It displays pictures of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 100 currency notes,” explained Chaudhuri. “The person transacting can select by looking at the picture and selecting it. Moreover, information about the person’s bank balance and the amount of money remaining after deduction, is provided via a headphone.”

The ministry said it will launch Hindi and Bengali prototypes in a rural bank for a test phase after which a large-scale roll out could be possible in 2018.

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