Worried about your car being stolen, or are you the type that habitually forgets your car keys? Well you needn’t worry any longer, because there is a new car security solution that employs biometrics.
With this new invention, which is presently being sampled on the latest cars, you needn’t bother yourself about thieves, because your fingerprints now serve as protection.
Every individual in the world has a unique finger impression and no two finger impressions are alike, thus giving everyone a unique identity. Biometrics is an advanced technology used for securing devices or applications, and it enables only those people enrolled as authorised users to operate, in this case, the vehicle.
United Linkers, a computer security company offering security solutions using biometrics, has invented a range of products. One of its first inventions in car security is called Identisafe-09 and has been granted patent for the same.
According to the United Linkers website, the product Identisafe-09 allows people to start and secure their cars with their finger impression.
It explains: “By contacting the feeler with the finger surface, this is recorded by a capacitive sensor field consisting of 65,000 sensor electrodes. The information obtained is used to create a digitised grey-scale image of the fingerprint and in a fraction of a second, a decision is made on whether the quality of the image is adequate, or whether a further impression is required.
“Following this, an algorithm for feature filtering and recognition, searches between one and two dozen characteristic features. These line ends, branches, whirls and loops are memorised as vectors, and they prohibit reconstruction of the original fingerprint for purposes of manipulation. A few milliseconds later, the characterising data are compared with information stored in a fingerprint database and if the comparison is successful, the vehicle system is released for use, in the same way as if a PIN or password had been entered.”
With the huge inconvenience the loss of a vehicle can cause, many Nigerians are willing to embrace this innovation. Danjuma Mamman, a victim of car theft residing in Abuja, expresses high hopes in the invention.
“This is a golden invention. Nothing would be more invigorating for me than to see thieves put out of business. They are indeed heartless and these kinds of innovations are what will make them realise there is no longer business for them. I enjoin Nigerians to please pick up this security method as fast as possible.
Mamman relates his unfortunate experience of car theft. “I was living in Gwarimpa, Abuja. One fateful night last year, I got home and parked my car. Before I could wind up the windows and lock the doors, a group of men surrounded my car asking me to get out, with one of them pointing a gun at me. I promptly obeyed and they drove off with my car. I am sure that if I’d had this fingerprint security technology then, the car wouldn’t have been useful to them, because they would’ve needed my fingerprints to move it.”
A mechanical engineer with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Engr. Musa Inuwa, however opines that the technology might not work perfectly in Nigeria due to inadequate know-how. “The invention is good, in fact excellent, but to be realistic, we would encounter challenges, should it become popular in the country without what is required to maintain it. At this point, when some cars have accidents or break down for any reason, it takes months to get them fixed, because the spare parts aren’t available and have to imported.
“A number of these latest vehicles being imported have the biometrics security. However, these cars are purchased expensively and the owners could manage to maintain them. But for it to penetrate down to the middle class, an enabling environment has to first be created for its maintenance,” he explaines.
However, the biometric device has six high-tech security functions. The Anti-Theft Function prevents override through decryption, as only input of an authorised live fingerprint will start the engine. The Auto-Start function indicates the entry of an authorised fingerprint and it enables the engine to start within eight seconds.
The Security Setting function takes care of all security functions through the keypad. The Master Driver enrols and deletes drivers and sets all system parameters. The Quick Alarming function informs the driver of any illicit attempt to start the vehicle as not only will the engine fail to start, but also the lights and horn go to sound alert status. No ignition or alarm cancel is possible without fingerprint authentication.
The Multi-User Capability is said to store up to nine unique fingerprints identities in groups of three and it is said to be completely versatile for friends, family, and fleet management.
The last unique feature of the biometrics is its flexibility. The default anti-carjack settings could be extended or reduced and the valet mode allows for valet parking, vehicle loan, or mechanic trips.