Cubic and LaserCard Systems’ New “Hybrid” Contactless Optical Smart Card Could Improve U.S. Border Security
SAN DIEGO, (BUSINESS WIRE), Sept. 3, 2003–San Diego-based Cubic Corporation (AMEX:CUB) and LaserCard Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Drexler Technology Corporation (Nasdaq:DRXR), announced they have developed a new type of smart card that combines contactless and optical memory technologies to support biometric identification.
The next step is to offer this new product to the United States Government for evaluation as an enhanced product candidate for the U.S. VISIT market. The new “hybrid” card was developed with this market in mind, as it could both improve the identity verification process and shorten wait times at U.S. borders.
Cubic is a world leader in developing and delivering integrated multi-application contactless card systems for transit as well as combat training systems, mission support services and communications applications for the military. LaserCard Systems Corporation is the principal supplier of multi-biometric ID cards to the governments of the U.S. and Canada. Cubic’s high speed contactless smart card technology for mass transit is already in use in Washington D.C. and Chicago, and the company’s transportation segment also is delivering similar integrated contactless ticketing technologies to Los Angeles, San Diego and Minneapolis, as well as other cities around the world. Drexler Technology Corporation has manufactured and sold more than 20 million U.S. Permanent Resident “Green Cards” that authorize immigrants to work and reside in the U.S. and “Laser Visa” Border Crossing Cards for frequent travelers to the U.S. from Mexico. In addition, the Government of Canada began issuing LaserCard® optical memory cards in 2002 as the new Canadian Permanent Resident Cards; and on July 28, 2003, Drexler Technology announced an order for production quantities of Italy’s new national ID card.
The contactless portion of the new hybrid card contains a computer chip and radio antenna and operates much the same way as do Cubic’s transit smart cards. The hybrid card is read automatically–no touching or inserting needed–on a reader that contains Cubic’s open system contactless reader technology. Cubic’s contactless technology allows the card to be read in approximately 100 milliseconds, allowing people and/or cars to approach a gate, having their status verified against border security databases. The LaserCard’s optical memory stripe provides exceptional counterfeit resistance, automatic card authentication and high capacity secure storage for multiple biometric images. The LaserCard system allows the rapid off-line verification of biometrics and relevant border entry/exit data. For facilitation applications, such as land border entry or registered traveler programs, data from the optical memory can be downloaded to the contactless chip to activate specific services and privileges for local use.
The Cubic Defense Applications group, one of Cubic’s two major segments, provides realistic combat training systems for military forces as well as simulation, force modernization, educational services and operations & maintenance and manufacturing services. The group also supplies products and systems for C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance) applications, search and rescue avionics and radio communications for military and civil markets. The corporation’s other major segment, Cubic Transportation Systems, designs and manufactures automatic fare collection systems for public mass transit authorities. For more information about Cubic, see the company’s website at http://www.cubic.com.
LaserCard Systems Corporation and its parent company, Drexler Technology Corporation (http://www.drexlertechnology.com), are based in Mountain View, CA. Drexler Technology develops and manufactures LaserCard® optical memory cards and chip-ready OpticalSmart cards. LaserCard Systems Corporation makes optical card read/write drives; develops optical card system software; and markets optical cards, card-related data systems, and peripherals. LaserCard markets include identification cards, electronic visas, homeland security, digital governance, child healthcare, vehicle registration, and immigration cards. For more information about LaserCard Systems Corporation, see the company’s website at http://www.lasercard.com.