Army Opening Biometrics Center

WASHINGTON (06/21/2000) - The U.S. Army is on the verge of opening its new Biometrics Center, according to Army officials.

Army Lt. Gen. William Campbell, the service's chief information officer, told the audience at the annual TechNet conference in Washington, D.C., that the service intends to open the center next month.

The Biometrics Center will be a research and development facility for designing and developing advanced biometrics technologies. Biometrics include things such as digital fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans or voice prints to ensure that people seeking access to a network or facility are who they claim to be.

Although biometrics technology exists, it is not yet good enough to work under combat conditions, during which there may be too much noise for voice recognition software and soldiers may be sealed inside gas masks or specialized clothing to protect against nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

The center will be located in Washington, D.C., and the Army is seeking another facility elsewhere, according to Phillip Loranger, who will head the center.

The Army is the executive agent for biometrics research and development within the U.S. Department of Defense.

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