Scanning 100 databases in 1 second

Aug 29, 2010, 8:06 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

A local company has developed a hand-held scanner that taps into more than 100 databases to search for information about you within one second.

When was the last time you looked at the back of your driver’s license? Pull it out, and notice there’s a bar code there. All 50 states have information on bar codes on their drivers’ licenses. Intellicheck Mobilisa, based in Port Townsend, owns the patent on “how to read that information and then do something with it,” says Nelson Ludlow, the company’s CEO.

Some retailers are using it to get you through checkout lines faster, and there’s a potential to use the data there to apply for credit cards. That worries some people, but Ludlow says it’s actually safer than filling a paper credit card application form.

“What I worry about is where does that piece of paper go,” says Ludlow. “What if that clerk gives it to their friend or someone else. Identify theft is a huge deal.”

Security is a huge deal too, and Ludlow’s company is growing on the with military bases, thanks to the IM2500 Sentry Scanner, which uses the bar code or magnetic strip on drivers licensces, military IDs or passports.

Defense ID

“You point it at the ID card and it captures the information and runs it against either publically available information or if it’s a bonified law enforcement agent they can actually check Washington State Patrol or FBI data,” he says.

It checks 100 sources in 1 second. Ludlow hopes to expand the devices’s use to airports and police departments, some military bases are already using it, he says, including Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Is all of this leading to a day when we have barcodes on our body?

“Let’s hope not,” he jokes. But, there’s probably a patent in the waiting for that and a market for it someday too.

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Scanning 100 databases in 1 second