Friday, October 27, 2000
WVU to be key partner with The Biometric Foundation
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University has joined with The Biometric Foundation to advance biometric technologies, a growing high-tech field that promises to change identification processes.
On Friday, William W. Wilson, foundation chairman, and David C. Hardesty Jr., WVU president, signed a document in which the two organizations agreed to cooperate in testing, demonstrating and evaluating alternative biometric technologies.
Biometric systems gather human physiological "signatures" such as fingerprints, faces, irises, retinas, voice and neural signals and use them to identify individuals.
Use of biometric systems is experiencing rapid growth in law enforcement, banking, and e-commerce and is having a revolutionary impact on health care and human interaction with computers. Future advances in this field promise to make nearly all objects able to identify, interact with and assist their users.
The Biometric Foundation was established last month, Wilson said, and the agreement with WVU is "both natural and unique" because "no other educational institution has better credentials than West Virginia University in identification technology."
Wilson said WVU and the foundation will work together on standards and education and will conduct studies of public attitudes toward biometrics uses. The two will also hold conferences and seminars about the most effective uses of the technology and key applications.
Hardesty said the partnership demonstrates WVU’s role as a leader in biometric education and research. "This is a rapidly growing area that is going to change many aspects of our everyday lives during the next 10 years," he said. "I’m very pleased WVU is playing such a key role and will grow with this new technology." He said The Biometric Foundation has on its board of directors prominent leaders in the industry, including those developing iris, face and hand recognition technologies, fingerprint authentication, authentication software and integrated identification technologies.
Sen. Robert Byrd said he hopes the agreement will help put West Virginia in the forefront of biometric efforts. "Biometrics is moving quickly from fiction to reality," he said. "Not too long ago biometrics was strictly the stuff of science fiction. But what people can dream, others can invent. I appreciate the cooperation of West Virginia University and The Biometric Foundation. I hope that their combined efforts will complement my work with the Department of Defense."
In 1998 WVU became the first university in the world to offer an undergraduate degree in forensic and biometric identification.
WVU news on the Web http://www.nis.wvu.edu/newsroom/releases.htm
For more information, contact Paul Collier, Executive Director of The Biometric Foundation, at 301-990-9404 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Virginia University President David C. Hardesty Jr. and The Biometic Foundation Chairman William W. Wilson sign the letter of intent. Observing is Michael Yura, Director of the Biometric and Forensic Identification Program at West Virginia University.
The Biometic Foundation Chairman William W. Wilson and West Virginia University President David C. Hardesty Jr.