Law enforcement organizations around the world store arrest and criminal records in databases. Intelligence organizations, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the U.S., do the same for people they're tracking. These records store everything from photos and fingerprints to retinal scans and DNA analysis to create comprehensive digital dossiers. During a crisis, when time is of the essence, it's important to have fast, reliable access to that data.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) wants to make sure that when soldiers are in the field, they can quickly retrieve necessary information to ensure appropriate action is taken without delay. Soldiers also need to be able to gather and save new information to those databases with the same speed. A device known as the Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit (SEEK II) is helping them do just that.
The SEEK II is a handheld electronic device that records a person's biometric data. Developed and marketed by Cross Match Technologies, the SEEK II can capture fingerprints, facial scans and iris scans. Soldiers can send that data over a 3G wireless network or a direct USB connection to a nearby network-connected computer. As of this writing, the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) uses the SEEK II more than any other device for gathering biometric data during missions all over the world [sources: Cross Match, McCleary].
Now, let's zoom out and look at a technology that's helping intelligence groups keep a better eye on things from the above.