Biometric ‘Smart ID’ card could offer the ultimate in portable security

A new ‘Smart ID’ card, BluStor, aims to “eliminate hacking and identity theft” – using a combination of voiceprints, fingerprints and iris readings and connecting to mobile devices via Bluetooth, so an app can confirm a user’s ID instantly.

The card stores biometric details for users, and connects to BluStor’s Secure Mobile Briefcase app, which checks fingerprints, iris scans or voiceprints against the ones stored on the card, according to a report by Biometric Update.

“That input is compared with the user’s biometric files stored on the BluStor card. If the offered biometric does not match the stored file, the SMB remains locked,” the company says. The app can be used to lock devices entirely, or to lock folders of sensitive data. It can also be used as an entry system, an ID card, or to store medical files, the company says.

The app works on both Android and iOS, and will be available for testing in Spring 2014. The full version will launch in Fall 2014.

The card connects to nearby devices via Bluetooth 4.0, and stores up to 8GB of data – the U.S. government has already expressed interest in using the cards for storing medical data, BluStor claims, and a Middle Eastern country is interested in using the system for national ID cards.

BluStor also sugggests that the cards could be used for remote employee authentication – allowing home workers to access sensitive data freely. The cards also have room for file storage for email, medical records or work files.

Technology Tell said in its report, “The BluStor Secure Mobile Briefcase idea is pretty genius, and it also has widespread application across quite a number of fields and industries. But most importantly, it provides consumers with a way to secure their mobile devices without the use of a pin or password.”

The high-capacity cards allow the biometric details of a user to be stored in full on the card, and are encrypted with high-grade AES encryption. BluStor claims it is “virtually impossible for a hacker to gain access to a user’s device.”

The card is the brainchild of Finis Conner, a serial entrepreneur who launched Seagate in 1979, and launched the first 5.25-inch drives for Mac computers,  “About two years ago, there was a combination of technologies that had arrived primarily to service the mobile device market, and that was in the form of Bluetooth 4.0 high-performance low-power devices, ultra-thin polymer batteries,” he told Biometric Update. “ I pulled my guys together again and we designed a solution, which is the BluStor platform.”

Biometric ID has become a hot topic this year, after Apple’s adoption of a fingerprint reader on its iPhone 5S, and as cloud services require users to memorise more and more passwords. Last week, Ericsson, the world’s largest mobile network company, predicted that the technology would be “mainstream” in 2014. Further We Live Security reports can be found here.

 ESET Security Researcher Stephen Cobb says, “Successful implementation of biometrics in a segment leading product could bode well for consumer acceptance. I have been a fan of biometrics as an added authentication factor ever since I first researched multi-factor and 2FA systems 20 years ago.”

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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