Emerging and nontraditional identification technologies now play a larger and more important role identifying people, vehicles and assets as well as protecting perimeters ranging from parking lot entrances to borders.

Some of the solutions combine a diversity of ID technologies, including biometrics; others depend on video, sound or radio frequency identification (RFID).

A Nicaraguan resort, for instance, uses two-dimensional barcode to increase its security. Datastrip of Exton, Pa., working with San Andres Island, a Colombia resort area located off the coast of Nicaragua, employs Datastrip’s 2D Superscript barcode symbology encrypt identity information on new resident ID cards that will be issued over the next 18 months.


Each barcode stores encrypted versions of the cardholder’s fingerprint template, color photograph, first and last name, gender and Colombia national ID number in an area the size of a magnetic stripe. The Datastrip symbology holds twice the data of other 2D barcodes in one-third the footprint and cannot be altered without disabling the encoded information, ensuring that no one can successfully impersonate the legitimate cardholder.

“San Andres officials wanted to reissue existing resident ID cards with secure features to stop forgeries and other ID fraud by the many people who come to the island and don’t want to leave,” Jaime Gabay, project manager with Grupo Insular, a Colombia-based joint venture, says.

“The local government did not have the budget to store identity information on smart chips, but Datastrip’s barcode offered a less costly and equally secure alternative with the simple deployment required to fit the island’s limited technical resources.”

Decoding will include two different Datastrip readers. The PCRead2D, a stationary PC-based card scanner roughly the size of a pocket calculator, will check resident IDs at the airport and the main San Andres dock. The DSVerify2D, a portable reader capable of decoding fingerprints, text and photographs in one swipe, will control access on cruise ships, private yachts, fishing boats and government and military planes where connection to a personal computer is not possible. In addition to displaying decoded photographs and text on the built-in LCD, the DSVerify2D has an optical fingerprint scanner to match the cardholder’s live fingerprint with a biometrics-based template.

“You can print two-dimensional barcode on most any type of document or identification card,” Chuck Lynch, Datastrip vice president of sales and marketing, says. With the barcode, “you can store mass amounts of information, a photo, biometrics as well as text and digital signature.”

Use of the 2-D document is a secure tie to the person. “And the template is created at no additional cost. It can be produced by a standard card printer at 300 dpi,” adds Lynch. “It is inexpensive compared to smart cards.”

There are others ways to achieve secure mobility.

For example, AWID of Monsey, N.Y., with its radio frequency identification technology, emphasizes low cost readers and digital antennas.

AWID is currently expanding its handheld and fixed location tag reader products and is adding a new line of lower cost, higher performance digital antennas connected by a simple twisted pair of wires, like a telephone, instead of conventional coax cables. Read range is nine feet to 11 feet when tags are attached by self-adhesive to the inside of the vehicle’s windshield.

Attraction of Long Range

Just last month, AWID released a new Prox-Linc MT, a passive tag for its LR-911 long range reader. The MT tag is a truly passive tag, meaning that it contains no battery, and can be read by the LR-911 reader from a distance of nine to 11 feet. The design of the MT tag makes it suitable for vehicle license plate frame mounting, securing to heavy equipment using screws or any other type of mounting on either metallic or non-metallic surfaces. In early fall, AWID said it had already shipped over 10,000 MT tags. The new MT tag will accommodate industry standard Wiegand data formats from 26 to 1,000 bits.