UV sanitizer device for fingerprint biometric scanners launched by TechnoBravo
New Jersey-based startup TechnoBravo is launching a novel device for sanitizing contact biometric scanners with Ultraviolet C (UVC) light.
The new BioSan device kills up to 99.9 percent of harmful viruses and bacteria to enable the safe use of fingerprint scanners without compromising their biometric performance. The device’s effectiveness has been verified by the University of Siena, according to a company announcement.
TechnoBravo points out that fingerprint recognition remains the most often-used biometric modality, and has been a trusted method of identifying individuals for decades. Fingerprint scanners continue to be widely deployed, despite the increasing maturity of other biometric modalities, reliably supporting comparisons against large databases.
The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded growing resistance to the use of fingerprint scanners, inspiring TechnoBravo to develop an automated method of cleaning fingerprint sensors after each use. ABI Research forecast in October that fingerprint revenues would drop 22 percent in 2020, before bouncing back in 2021.
“Airports, border security, law enforcement, banking and even corporates rely heavily on fingerprint technology for security purposes and access control. They were now facing the real likelihood of having to replace or modify their systems, at great cost, to gain back user confidence,” explains TechnoBravo Co-founder Charlie Laxton. “It became a matter of urgency for us to find some way to solve the problem in a cost-effective yet highly trusted way. And so BioSan was born.”
BioSan distributes UVC light at specific dosage levels across the surface of the fingerprint device to kill nearly all micro-organisms left on the platen after use. The UVC dosage is safe for humans, and the cleaning action visible without being intrusive, the company says.
The sanitation process takes around 30 seconds, with an LED signalling it is in operation. The lights have a shelf life of more than 1,000 hours, according to TechnoBravo. In the event of a device failure, the BioSan alerts the system operator immediately that the effectiveness of the sanitation may be degraded and user safety compromised.
“UVC is currently used by laboratories and hospitals for sanitizing purposes,” says Warren Lahoud, an investor and co-founder of the company. “It only made sense, then, to consider using it for fingerprint sensors, and potentially other contact-based identification methods. We also decided to have the device tested by the University of Siena to offer even further peace of mind to our clients about the quality and effectiveness of the product.”
The BioSan casing is easily retrofitted to the majority of fingerprint scanners on the market, and custom casings are available.
The company also told Biometric Update in an email that a patent on the technology is pending.