Channel firms have been urged to cash in on biometric technologies after the police revealed it is to equip officers with handheld fingerprinting devices.
Project Midas, which aims to equip every UK police force with the devices, was unveiled last week. Currently, some 20 forces are piloting the technology and the full rollout is expected to be completed in early 2010.
The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) claims that the project could provide efficiencies equivalent to putting an additional 366 officers on the street.
But civil liberties groups have raised concerns about how the data collected might be used.
Mike Buchanan, head of marketing for peripherals vendor Electrone Group, claimed the project’s tendering process could provide lucrative opportunities for the channel.
“The smart, savvy and entrepreneurial resellers will be the ones who migrate their hardware and software to integrate these new technologies and sell all the value-added services around it,” he said.
“This is an endorsement of biometric technology and the private sector is
also going to realise that it is mature and robust.”
The launch of Project Midas follows an NPIA announcement in May that 27 UK police forces were to receive a total of £50m funding to invest in 10,000 handheld PCs.
At the time, minister for policing, Tony McNulty said: “We are investing in new technology to make crime fighting more effective and to save officers’ time.”
Pierre Lams, founder of mobility VAR Handheld PCs, lauded the police’s approach to technological innovation. “Project
Midas is a signal of their commitment to become mobile,” he said.
“They are really embracing new technologies to achieve efficiencies and there are opportunities there for the channel.”
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