'Smart Pen' Knows Who Is Using It

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A "smart pen" that authenticates the identity of the person signing a document was unveiled at the CARTES trade show in Paris. The pen, created by Pen-One, Inc., costs $250 and comes with basic software. It is attached to a USB cable that plugs into a computer terminal. The slightly oversized pen reads the writer's index fingerprint so it can be matched to a template. The pen can be supported by a smart card template, which means a financial institution could demonstrate that it doesn't retain fingerprints on a database.

In such a case, the consumer would have his or her fingerprint scanned on a smart card; the smart card goes into a reader in synch with the smart pen, the pen scans the print and makes a match with the smart card.

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