Biometric Mouse Verifies Identity Through Thumbprint

13 September 2001
At a recent public hearing before the Nevada Gaming Commission, a technology security expert said an ideal safety device would be one that could combine geographical location tools with some form of age-verifying biometric device.

Steve Williams, the former chief technical officer for America Online, at the time said such a secure combined system didn't exist.

But a Nevada-based software firm claims its software suite gives players and operators a level of security unmatched in the industry because it combines a geopoint system with a biometric mouse that can assure players are who they say they are.

David Bailey, the president of Interactive Solutions Corporation (ISC), said his company's system could be a catalyst as Nevada looks to secure ways to regulate the industry.

Some of ThumbTrax's proprietary products include the PC biometric mouse, time clock biometrics and door locks.

According to Bailey, the primary customers for ThumbTrax are independent companies that need increased security and privacy products for their customers. The ultimate end users, who advertising and marketing will be focused on, are those individuals who desire increased security and privacy products for their personal computers at home or at work.

The gaming industry has been a target of the company as of late, with the firm developing its own line of casino and sports book software designed to help land-based casinos and hotels develop in-room gaming for their customers. Bailey said the Vegas gaming community has been intrigued with the software.

"We went to Las Vegas and everyone was interested in the biometric system that we had," he said. "When we developed our software we developed the biometrics into it. It is a huge benefit because of the age-verification we are able to do with it and building the geo-point software into it."

Bailey said ISC has a leg up on other firms that are just now getting into biometrics.

"We have been doing biometrics for the last three-plus years, so we understand it and we know how it works," he said. "Gaming control is saying it is necessary because you have those measures in place."

ISC is targeting land-based operators first because the software system is more viable for those properties at this time, according to Bailey.

"Our target is the brick-and-mortar hotels and casinos," he said. "Our biometric software and our geopoint software puts us in good position with those hotels."

While the initial focus was on land-based hotels, Bailey said the company is actively seeking out licensees for its software, but he admits that they won't sign any up if it puts their land-based connections at risk. The company did sign a deal with Encore Software, the nation's largest distributor of software in the retail arena, to distribute a suit of casino-style games to nearly 4,000 retail outlets in the country.

"We are in a unique situation because we started developing interactive gaming software that is Web-based and we varied from that path in developing a retail product," Bailey said.

The agreement will allow ISC to help its land-based clients promote their properties through play-for-free software that can be automatically curtailed to a specific property.

"We noticed that there were a lot of things missing from the software end," he said.

Bailey said there is a big difference in the type of people who download software to play and those who buy a CD-ROM to take home and install on their computer. All this is an effort, he said, to help ISC become the industry standard in the I-gaming world.

"We understand that there is no Coca-Cola in this industry," he said. "There is no leader in this industry and we want to be that leader. There is a bunch of guys trying to go around and hawk software. We are about putting together a solid product and trying to come up with standards for the industry."

The ThumbTrax system is versatile, too. Bailey said the system can be used with products and with any desktop software, Web browsers and Web pages and other such network programs and products where fingerprint technology can be integrated.

Some of the network platforms ThumbTrax software and products are adaptable to include: Microsoft, Windows NT, Internet Information Server, Sun Solaris and Novell NetWare. These software products can also be specially designed to be compatible with any software used by a client or customer.

In order to illustrate how the ThumbTrax product works, the company uses the following example:

A customer called "ABC Company," a finance company that allows its customers to check the progress of their stocks and other personal finance information via the Internet, decides to use the software.

ABC's current Internet system uses a PIN for customers to log in and check their personal information from their computer at home or at work. However, ABC has experienced some privacy problems with the PIN used by their customers. Solution: The ThumbTrax security biometric mouse and software.

In this case, to help ABC better protect its customers from privacy problems, the ThumbTrax PC mouse will be applied with the compatible software interface adaptable to ABC's Internet and internal software programs. ABC will license the biometric software from ThumbTrax that will be custom made and unique for their business. ABC will also purchase PC mice for their customers--ThumbTrax end users--to either resell to them at cost or mark-up. The choice is up to ABC.

ThumbTrax will then do the following things:

  • Install the software for ABC to use on its Internet servers or on ABC employee desktops for their use,

    Send PC mice to ABC to sell to their clients,

  • Train ABC on how the biometric system works and how to train its customers, and
  • Provide ABC with customer service for both its software and hardware products.

The ThumbTrax products are supposed to help ABC eliminate its privacy problems, provide it with the latest biometric software and help it create a better relationship with customers who worry about privacy and security on the Internet.

The same basic principle can be easily applied to the gaming world, Bailey said. Internet casinos can use the product to verify players' location and identity.

Another key selling point for ISC is the current cost of the devices. Bailey said ISC has gotten the cost down to where consumers see little or no effect from integrating it into their system.

"We have got the price of the ThumbTrax mouse down to a price where the hotels can give it away," he said. "If a property wants to go retail, we can put the biometric mouse in the box and sell them through our retail outlets. They then know the user has the software and the mouse."

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