(December 20, 2010) In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. troops use handheld devices to take iris scans and thumb prints off of detainees and put them in vast databases to distinguish insurgents from civilians. Now your local cops are getting in on the action.
L-1 Identity Solutions, a four-year-old company, makes the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection System (HIIDE), a mobile device that digitally records someone's iris, fingerprint and facial characteristics "to create a comprehensive database on the enrolled subject."
The tool, which has earned high marks in Iraq and Afghanistan, is marketed to cops, as a way to avoid taking suspects to booking stations, "where waiting time for results could be anywhere from three hours to three days" for a positive ID on warrant-jumpers.
Military technology has a tendency to trickle down to civilian applications, as evidenced by the fact that you're reading this story on the internet that Darpa helped create.
Usually that takes time, but police departments across the country are fielding tools that the military developed to keep tabs on insurgents are now in place to see if youve got any outstanding arrest warrants.