Veridicom Inc., a Lucent Technologies spinoff that claims to be the leader in silicon-based fingerprint authentication technology, said it has entered into an agreement with Power Controls (Pty) Ltd. to begin widespread distribution of its OpenTouch systems in Africa.

Power Controls, a systems integration company owned by PQ Africa, said it has been working on combination fingerprint-smart card payment security systems for four years. It views OpenTouch as "the best we've seen of the new breed of authentication technologies," said Clive Handley, director of Power Controls in South Africa. "We are confident Veridicom will give our customers the best authentication solutions for network security, e-commerce, and Internet-related applications."

Power Controls also joined the Veridicom Integration Partners -- VIP -- program, which also includes National Registry Inc., Acer America Corp., Biometric Identification Inc., I/O Software, TRW Systems Integration Group, and Utimaco Safeware AG.

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