Reading Fingerprints Through Gloves and Other Cool IT

In the Cool Stuff Department, analysts at research firm Gartner have flagged a handful of companies developing innovative identity management technologies feds might want to check out as they wrestle with network security issues across government.

"These up-and-coming technology providers offer [identity and access management] products and services based on a broad range of technological approaches and delivery models. One trend clearly identifiable throughout their offerings is a serious attempt to deliver IAM components that enhance the user experience to support mission-critical business decisions," analysts wrote in an introduction to the firm's 2011 Cool Vendors in IAM.

But one of the most interesting companies profiled is biometric firm Lumidigm, based in Albuquerque, N.M. The company made Gartner's 2004 Cool Vendors in Security and Privacy list with an authentication tool that used skin spectroscopy to identify users, and analysts in 2011 checked back to see where the company is now. It turns out that, at the request of a U.S. government agency, Lumidigm repurposed its technology to develop a new kind of fingerprint sensor.

One client told Gartner Lumidigm's technology can capture fingerprint images through medical gloves.