iPhone Unlocked By Fingerprint Because Of A Warrant From The LAPD

While we were so focused on the Apple Vs FBI court battle that was going on, it would seem that the FBI were up to their usual tricks. I refer to the first known case where a user was made to unlock their iPhone by fingerprint because of a warrant.

The court case was overseen by a Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge who agreed that David Charles Baust could not be forced to hand over his iPhones passcode. The judge did say he could be compelled to supply his biometric information to unlock the device, though, a measure that seems very similar in its outcome.

The warrant issued allowed an LAPD agent to visit the premises of Baust and a Paytsar Bkchadzhyan and acquire a fingerprint for the purposes of unlocking the iPhone, a trick that can be mimicked with something as simple as Play-Doh. The warrant contains the line “Law enforcement personnel are authorized to depress the fingerprints and/or thumbprints of the person covered by this warrant onto the Touch ID sensor of the Apple iPhone seized… on 25 February”. The inventory of the property taken in the search doesn’t even help narrow down what they searched for, as they state “PAYTSAR BKCHADZHYAN – FINGERPRINT ON IPHONE DEVICE”, a rather ambiguous term when keeping track of something.

The fingerprint didn’t help as after 48 hours of not unlocking your iPhone with touch ID requires that you enter your passcode anyway, a piece of information that the Judge had already ruled out being forced from the suspect.

This could have repercussions, such as in the case where a person from England is being asked to unlock his device over a case that could see him tried in America, where you could be seen as providing evidence against yourself by providing something like your biometric information or passwords. These are all protected in America under the fifth amendment, the right to not incriminate yourself.

Sweep Looks to Bring LiDAR Technology to Everyone

LiDAR is a technology normally reserved for those with a lot of money, but a group has taken to Kickstarter to give you access to the technology for a minimal price.

Sweep is an impressive device given its low spec stats and reduced price model. With a range of 40 metres, the device can be used both indoors and outdoor for everything from security sensors to detect when someone enters a room, to a drone detecting when someone enters your garden.

Featuring 360 scanning capabilities you can even use Sweep to map out a room, giving you the dimensions of a room with ease, something useful for people who want to remodel a room and don’t want to use a tape measure or laser distance finder to map out every single indent and outlet.

Given its low-end target the technology is going above and beyond, providing support and example projects for people looking to use the system on the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and other systems.

With an expected delivery date for the first products in the fourth quarter of this year, you could soon see the technology used in other projects with prices going as low as $249 for the device.

Offering something for almost a quarter of the market price for something is going to have a lot of interest and with the project already meeting half its Kickstarter target with 26 days to go, it could soon become a reality.

Israeli Scientists Develop Real-Life Star Trek Tricorder

Researchers from the Tel Aviv University have succeeded in creating a real-life tricorder – the multi-function scanning device from the Star Trek TV shows and movies – by adopting existing smartphone technology.

Professor David Mendlovic and doctoral student Ariel Raz from Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering teamed up with Unispectral Technologies to develop and patent an optical component based on microelectromechanical (MEMS) technology found in modern smartphones.

Mendlovic says, “The optical element acts as a tunable filter and the software – an image fusion library – would support this new component and extract all the relevant information from the image.” The optical component can read an object’s hyperspectral signature – using either still or video images – the data from which can be used to discern what it is made of.

“A long list of fields stand to gain from this new technology,” Mendlovic said. “We predict hyperspectral imaging will play a major role in consumer electronics, the automotive industry, biotechnology, and homeland security.”

The team hopes to deliver a prototype by June this year, and is already in talks with smartphone manufacturers about implementing the technology.

Source: Tech Times

MWC: Qualcomm Unviels Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off Sense ID, a new technology that brings ultrasonic fingerprint scanning to mobile devices. The main advantage of ultrasonic fingerprint scanning is that because it uses sound waves, it doesn’t require direct contact with your finger. This means the ultrasonic sensor can be underneath the device’s front cover glass or potentially underneath the display itself. Now fingerprint scanners aren’t breaking news in the mobile market. Previous iterations include the iPhone 5S with Touch ID. This system, along with all current scanners, require physical interaction with the scanner; pretty annoying if it’s cold and you have gloves on. Golves are a pretty extreme example, the scanner could be made unusable by even water, lotion or dirt; so dry clean hands all round.

This new ultrasonic scanner uses high-frequency sound waves to scan your finger, penetrating relatively large obstacles, like the aforementioned gloves scenario. This scanner uses similar technology to that in the medical sector, just not as powerful, yet. This means that the scanner could potentially scan deeper than just the top layer of skin and retrieve even more biometric data.

“At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off a prototype smartphone with Sense ID beneath the front cover glass. When I asked whether Sense ID could be placed beneath the display—so that you could scan your finger by simply placing it on the screen, just like in all the movies—I got a noncommittal response that is best transcribed as “I don’t see why not.””

Now Qualcomm can’t take all the credit here, back in 2013 the company acquired Ultra-Scan; who already had a similar technology developed for use by the US government. Now that may sound a little alarming, the US government seem to want to harvest as much data as possible, but Qualcomm has made clear that your biometric data is secured to the device via its hardware-level SecureMSM tech; no cloud data snatching here.

Sense ID is compatible with all recent Snapdragon SoCs, including the upcoming Snapdragon 820, but there aren’t any immediate products being released with this technology, the earliest indication is Q3 2015.

Thanks to ArsTechnica for supplying this information.

HIV Can Now Be Detected in Just 15 Minutes – With A Smartphone!

Researchers from Columbia University have apparently created a $34 plastic smartphone STD scanner which would “accurately” identify HIV and syphilis antibodies. The scanner is said to be compatible with Google Android and Apple iPhone smartphones.

In order to perform one of these tests, a pin-prick of blood is needed for the scanner and from there onwards, the app is said to spit out the results in just 15 minutes. It is said that the device is able to replicate the mechanical, optical and electronic functions of a traditional lab-based STD analysis.

“This work is a proof of how technology can improve diagnosis and care, making it faster and simpler and cheaper without compromising the existing quality,” said Sabin Nsanzimana, the Rwanda’s Ministry of Health manager of STDs. Although “it may take time, or bigger studies” before additional knowledge of the dongle is known

However, attaching such a device to a smartphone should have raised concerns on power consumption. This is where the researchers stated that they chose a “one-push vacuum” instead of a power-consuming electrical pump.

The device is said to have been field-tested over two weeks at three health clinics in Kigali, Rwanda. The outcome stated that the accuracy was “on par with ELISA tests, but are significantly cheaper”. This means that similar tests can be completed in remote villages and health clinics.

The ultimate goal of the researchers over at Columbia University is to expand the testing beyond HIV and syphilis. But until then, additional testing could drive the price down while allowing mass adoption of the technology in the developing world, which is a good start.

Thank you Daily Tech for providing us with this information

Is Touch ID Headed to MacBooks and Mac Mice?

A new rumour from Taiwanese site Apple.club.tw says that Apple is to bring Touch ID to its MacBooks and computer mice. Touch ID is the fingerprint scanning technology the company has included with the iPhone and iPad beginning with the iPhone 5s.

They say that scanner will be included above the trackpad on MacBooks and included on Apple’s Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. It’s suggested that this would allow users of Apple’s Mac desktops and MacBook laptops to take advantage of increased security, but more importantly it will bring Apple Pay to the Mac. Now many of you will envisage Apple Pay as a contactless payment system to be used in stores, however Apple Pay is also for use online, offering users the ability to simply tap the fingerprint scanner to allow them to make an online payment at participating sites.

Whether this rumour is true or not, it certainly seems like a logical and useful step for the implementation of Touch ID – it’d sure be nice to use it for password entry too.

Source: Apple.club.tw Via: MacRumors

Apple Patents Mouse With Scanner and Display

Apple has been given a patent for a mouse that includes a built-in scanner and display.

The patent details a mouse with special sensors that can scan its surface, transferring the image to a screen embedded within the mouse itself. The added sensors would also help with tracking, making it an incredibly accurate pointing device.

The built in “chromatic sensor” would allow a user to scan a document simply by dragging the mouse over it.

Apple’s patent applications are certainly not always evident of future products – the company is famous for designing and prototyping an array of weird and wonderful devices, that it quite often simply throws into oblivion.

If this did become reality, I guess there would be no more waiting around the office photocopier, eh?

Source: TechCrunch

 

Flux’s Modular 3D Printer Can Also be a Scanner and a Laser Engraver

With consumer interest in 3D printers waning after early excitement, the latest offering on Kickstarter may reignite its appeal. Flux, with its unique modular design, can also become a 3D scanner, a laser engraver, and even a ceramics and pastry printer, just by swapping out the included modules, making the all-in-one machine a hobbyist’s dream.

For such a versatile creation, Flux is simple and intuitive to set up, designed to be used from the box, with easily reparable or replaceable parts due to its modular construction. It features a Bluetooth-based control system and user-friendly interface software. Flux is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter for $499 on early-bird special, and £599 after that period. The device has already surpassed its $100k Kickstarter goal with 39 days left to go.

Source: TechCrunch

HP Releasing a 3D Scanning and Projecting All-In-One

Re/Code has just spread the word of a new HP all-in-one system that will be shown at an event in New York on the 29th of October.

Named “Sprout”, some interesting features are set to be included. As the title suggests, this all-in-one system will include a big flat screen display with touch input, and an assembly that doubles as a projector and 3D scanner. With the display said to be using expansive surface technology, similar to their Pavilion Touchsmart series. The projecting capabilities will be used to beam images towards the desk, allowing you to use your hands or a stylus to complete a range of graphical tasks such as re-sizing images, move objects things around or re-arrange colors. This projector also doubles as a 3D scanner, giving you the ability to add objects into your images by setting them down in the beam and scanning them into your projects.

No price has been mentioned as of yet as the ‘sources’, as per usual with leaks, are all unknown and not verified, but all shall be released in one week either way. Said to be released running a Windows Operating System, there have been rumors that Google’s ChromeOS may be a feature in the not-too-distant future.

Targeted towards big business and those with a little extra money to spend, can you see yourself picking up a similar device for your graphical tasks? What price do you think is suitable for this type of advanced technology? Either way, we’re really hoping it scans better than Kinect’s NBA 2k15 disaster – pictured below.

Images courtesy of Mashable and Engadget.

“Smart Car” May Be The Future For Police Cruisers

The New York Police Department is testing a prototype “smart car” from a program called NYPD2020 that can do a lot more than helping officers patrol in a comfy manner. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal (via Tech Spot), the high-tech cruiser can record license plate numbers and addresses through infrared monitors mounted on its trunk, and has air sensors and surveillance cameras capable of sending real-time information to police headquarters.

The data scanned through infrared monitors will be checked against a crime database that contains records of vehicles that are stolen, involved in crime, or the ones that have outstanding infractions. At present, the data collected is stored for an indefinite period, “though that will likely change”, according to Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo, who is in charge of the program.

The prototype car is also capable of printing reports and scanning barcodes, The Verge reported. According to del Pozo, the future cruisers might include facial recognition sensors and fingerprint scanners, though he did not explain how these technologies would be used. Although some of these technologies are already present in some squad cars, the idea behind the prototype is to test all of them in conjunction.

The smart car is one of the dozen projects included in the program, which was prepared in November for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Though the department has been testing the prototype for about a year now from the city’s 84th Precinct in Brooklyn Heights, it’s up to incoming police commissioner William Bratton, who will take charge on Jan 1, 2014, how the program moves forward.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot

MakerBot Prepare To Launch Desktop 3D Scanner

3D printing is already the next-big thing in the tech world, there are new models being released more often, there are new innovations every week and there are more investors throwing money at the darn things that I dare to count. One thing is for certain, 3D printing has a bright future.

Yet with all the talk of printing in 3D, what about scanning in 3D? How do I clone objects for example? Well MakerBot have the solution with their soon to be launched Digitizer Desktop 3D scanner. The scanner will be heading to UK retailer Dynamism for the eye watering price of £1,190.

The scanner will scan an object in 3D and create a file that can be read by a 3D printer, allowing you to make copies or even just digitise objects for editing on your computer. So long at the object fits within 20cm3 you just let the Digitizer spin it around on a turntable while it scans using two lasers and a camera, cool!

Of course things get really expensive when you add in the cost of a MarkerBot 3D printer, which can set you back around £1500 – £2000, so until prices come down, you may need to start saving up.

Thank you PocketLint for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of PocketLint.

 

South Carolina University Testing Iris Scanner Security

Do you ever worry about how secure something might be, say your personal data that companies, or maybe even schools that you have attended have on file. Of course not, most people just assume that information that is kept on file is kept under lock and key. Unfortunately that is not always the case, and today we can look at the possibility of iris scanners. Iris scanners are not the same technology as retinal scanners. An iris scanner looks at the outside of an eye, using an infrared light.

Mashable reported earlier today about a small college in South Carolina is testing this new security method with their administrators. Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina is testing out the iris scanners to keep certain buildings secure for about four months now. It seems fairly straight forward and simple, students and faculty stand in front of a mirror, behind the mirror is a camera. The camera is able to work with specially designed software to measure the shape of an eye in 3D as well as record 250 data points on the eye. Once an eye is scanned it is saved in a database for later use, giving the user the ability to gain access to a building with only their eyes.

If someone wants to gain access to a secure building they will need to stand at the door and look at the mirror, the user will then be prompted to look at the mirror allowing the camera and the computer to scan and analyze the eye, then it will either allow or deny access to the building.

This is not a new technology, though it is a near foolproof security method, at this time it is not possible to duplicate someones iris, but would you want just anyone to have the information on your iris stored in a random computer?

Image courtesy of Mashable.