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Atom-based handheld knows just who you are

May 8, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Amrel announced a handheld biometric computer that scans faces, fingers, and iris patterns and checks them in real time. The Linux-compatible “HBS-2” runs on a 1.6GHz Atom processor, has a five-inch touchscreen, includes three cameras and built-in flash, and has a fingerprint scanner, says Amrel.

(Click here for a larger view of Amrel's HBS-2)

Amrel says its new HBS-2, which comes in a green magnesium case, is intended for military applications, and is capable of checking the IDs of a large number of individuals in just minutes. The device's standard 32GB SSD (solid state drive) — upgradeable to 64GB or 128GB — is said to hold a database of more than 100,000 NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) facial recognition files. The HBS-2 also meets NIST PIV (personal identity verification) standards for fingerprint scanning, and ISO/ICE 19794-6 standards for iris scanning, the company says.

According to Amrel, the HBS-2 actually has three cameras, as follows:

  • A three megapixel camera, with flash, for capturing faces
  • A “1000 dpi” camera, for capturing “latent fingerprints and forensic debris”
  • An iris camera, featuring six infrared (IR) illuminators and acoustic range sensing, that automatically records and locates iris patterns

Amrel's HBS-2 has multiple cameras on board
(Click to enlarge)

The face camera and forensic debris cameras are shown at top left in the photo above, while the iris camera, flanked by the IR illuminators, is visible just below. In addition to its cameras, the HBS-2 also has a 500 dpi optical fingerprint scanner, a microphone, and technical support information indelibly stamped onto its case, Amrel says.

The HBS-2 has a five-inch, “sunlight-readable” touchscreen display with 800 x 600 resolution, according to Amrel. As noted, the device incorporates SSD storage, plus a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor — likely the Z530, although this was not specified — and 1GB of DDR2 memory.

Wired interfaces on the HBS-2
(Click image to enlarge)

Wireless connectivity is said to include 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking, Bluetooth, and a GPS receiver based on an undisclosed chipset. Meanwhile, wired interfaces, pictured at right, include two USB 2.0 ports, an RJ45 LAN connector for gigabit Ethernet, and an RS232 serial port.

The HBS-2 comes with a hot-swappable lithium-ion battery that is claimed to power the device for up to eight hours. The device meets MIL-STD 810F and IP67 standards for resistance to drops, dust, and liquids, and weighs just two pounds, according to Amrel, though the company didn't say whether that specification takes the unit's battery pack into account.

Features and specifications listed by Amrel for the HBS-2 include:

  • Processor — 1.6GHz Intel Atom
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR2 RAM (expandability not cited)
  • Display — 5-inch touchscreen with 800 x 600 resolution
  • Storage — 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB SSD
  • Biometric tools:
    • 3 megapixel face camera with flash
    • Iris scanner with IR illuminators
    • 500 dpi fingerprint scanner
    • 1000 dpi forensic debris camera

  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Wireless:
    • LAN — 802.11a/b/g/n
    • PAN — Bluetooth
    • GPS

  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x RS232

  • Battery — 3900mAh, hot-swappable, with up to eight hours of life
  • Dimensions — 8 x 3.63 x 1.9 inches

Further information

Amrel's HBS-2 is supplied with Windows XP, but is also compatible with Linux, says the company. Pricing and availability were not cited, but information on the device may be found on the company's website, here.

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