Veridicom Inc., a Lucent Technologies spinoff, teamed up with Hewlett-Packard Co. and the smart card manufacturer Gemplus for a demonstration of fingerprint authentication at the recent Comdex convention in Las Vegas.

The companies said they took network security to "a new level" in controlling access to a personal computer through insertion of a smart card. Matching the card's fingerprint template with a scan of the finger makes a personal identification number unnecessary.

The demo used a PC with a modified Gemplus GCR400 smart card reader, its Gemsafe network security system, and Veridicom's OpenTouch software and sensor to scan the fingerprint.

Donna Jeker, vice president of strategic marketing at Gemplus in Redwood City, Calif., said the combination "allows us to offer the hottest security solutions with the greatest flexibility. As we continue to drive innovation and develop the easy-to-use and secure technology solutions our OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are demanding, we look forward to developing future system security products with Veridicom."

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