Jim Seaborn is Integrated Biometrics Vice President of Business Development and is the company’s main contact for the African marketplace. As one might expect, Jim has been busy of late as nations all across the continent are pursuing mobile biometrics solutions to help their citizens build a better tomorrow.
Q: How are mobile biometrics being used in Africa today?
A: They’re being used in diverse ways including to enroll populations in the many social programs being implemented by both international aid agencies and organizations like the United Nations and The World Bank, as well as by regional governments. Healthcare is a huge issue, as is microfinancing of loans to help create and nurture small businesses to make economies grow. In instances like these, countries need to register their citizens, and we’re seeing mobile biometrics quickly becoming the enrollment and verification tool of choice.
Q: Have you encountered difficulties servicing the African marketplace?
A: Not at all. Thankfully, we have partnered with Idversol Integrated Solutions down in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the Sandton area. Having them as our official distributor enables us to have “boots on the ground” so to speak throughout Africa. They have been able to help us get our products into the hands of both integrators and end users by bringing both groups together. Once integrators see our sensors, they want to plug them into their devices, and once end users see our sensors, they want the integrators to plug them into their devices.
Q: Is there anything specific to Africa that makes Integrated Biometrics products a good fit?
A: The topography actually is not conducive to heavy, cumbersome technology equipment. To get to some locations, you literally have to wade through streams, plod through mud, that sort of thing. Which is all fantastic for mobile biometric products incorporating Integrated Biometric scanners. Our light emitting sensor or LES technology is paper-thin with very low power requirements and ridiculously light, so the mobile devices our integrators develop can also be light and compact, thus easy to carry. Another unique aspect of Africa has to do with our LES film works extraordinary well on dark skin. Dark skin on our product has no effect, but it does with other company’s optical scanners.
Q: Anything special planned for ID4Africa?
A: Yes actually, we are going to be having a resource and education suite available for both integrators and end users who would like to test our products and spend detailed one-on-one time with members of the Integrated Biometrics team. I’m happy to schedule meetings via email, email@example.com, or people can find me at Booth B07.