When you think about portable biometric identification devices (you do think about them, right?), you likely picture relatively bulky contraptions. This week, however, California tech company AOptix announced its new Stratus biometrics system, that’s based around the user’s existing iPhone 4 or 4S.

Stratus is designed for applications such as border management, defense, or humanitarian aid – anywhere where users need to keep track of peoples’ identities, but traditional systems might be impractical or too costly. The system consists of a device known as the AOptix Stratus MX, and the paired AOptix Stratus App for iOS.

The MX incorporates a fingerprint sensor and iris imaging hardware – the user’s iPhone docks beneath its hinged protective cover. The phone’s touchscreen display is still accessible, allowing the user to capture, store and subsequently verify people’s identities based not only on their fingerprints and irises, but also via their facial features and voice.

One charge of the MX’s battery should be good for about eight hours of use.

The app can be used without the MX, if users are content with just face and voice recognition. It should be noted, however, that the iPhone 5S may have some integrated biometric features of its own – such as a fingerprint reader.

There’s no word on price for the MX, although the app will set you back US$199.

The system can be seen in use in the video below.

Source: AOptix via Dvice