HIIDE biometrics device scans pretty much everything… wait, at 640×480? What year is this?

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So I read about this portable biometric scanner (it’s been around for a while, but the Pentagon just ordered $10 million worth of them) and immediately looked up the first scene from Blade Runner. You know, the one with the Voigt-Kampff machine? Yeah, that’s pretty much this thing. Watch out, replicants.

Actually, the HIIDE (stands for “Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment”) won’t detect whether you’re a synthetic human, only whether you’re you. But it’s very thorough. It checks your iris, your face, and your fingerprints. I hope they’ll settle for two out of three, I can’t imagine it’s got a 100% hit rate on all of them, all of the time.

Here’s the crazy thing, though. This machine, supposedly state of the art, has a grand total of 256MB, that’s megabytes, of internal storage for biometric profiles. But it can store 22,000 profiles. What the hell? That leaves like 100KB for each profile. Yeah… so as it turns out, this thing takes pictures at 640×480.

Now, I’m not megapixel fiend — far from it — but I wouldn’t trust my identity to a thing with such mean data allocation. Seriously, it’s 2010 and our biometric scanners are taking VGA iris scans?

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