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HIIDE portable biometric device scans iris, fingers and face


May 19, 2010

The HIIDE portable biometric device

The HIIDE portable biometric device

Image Gallery (3 images)

It’s billed as “the most powerful tool ever developed for biometric identification,” and it could well be. L-1 Identity Solutions’ HIIDE is a rugged, portable device that can establish and then verify peoples’ identities using three separate biometrics - iris, fingerprint and facial recognition. It must be pretty impressive, as the US Department of Defense recently ordered ten million dollars worth of the suckers.

HIIDE is an acronym for Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment. The device is embedded with Microsoft XP and can operate either in the field or hooked up to a PC. You can also customize it by adding peripherals such as a passport reader, a keyboard or a mouse. Once up and running, it can store up to 22,000 full biometric profiles, each one including two iris templates, ten fingerprints, a facial image and biographical data.

To use the device, you simply take a photo of the subject’s iris with the 640 X 480 camera, get their fingerprints with the built-in 500dpi sensor, then snap a picture of their face. If you’re using it for verification, the HIIDE will next check through its 256 MB onboard database, or it can wirelessly search through a number of worldwide databases. It will let you know when a match is found, or if one isn’t.

There are currently over 65,000 L-1 HIIDEs in use around the world, many of those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All images courtesy Whipsaw, Inc., designers of the HIIDE.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

I use this system nearly everyday as im deployed in iraq i personally hate it the battery last a whole 20 min so you must leave it on the charger also you cant use it in the sun it wont read the eye even when in the shade most of the time is says no image found it also has to be updated daily

John Harper

The beginning of technology always seems to have friendly, helpful, even benign characteristics. Don\'t be caught blind. let batteries be enough, solar power is fine. Human nature has an ability to perverse good things.


The biometric is still in the developing phase hence it still possess some of the limitations like battery’s life, exposure settings and OS limitations.

Charlotte Brown
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