BioUptime to receive real-world telemetry to produce analytics

global-mosaic-of-pluto-in-true-color

This article was originally published on LinkedIn and later featured in ‘Space’

You probably didn’t miss that stunning and historical picture above taken of Pluto. For this, New Horizons voyaged more than 9 1/2 years through space. What you probably missed is that only 10 days prior to this photo the spacecraft triggered a tremendous concern at its mission operations center. Earth’s contact with the machine was lost at 1:54 p.m. EDT on 4th of July 2015. 

The piano-sized spacecraft was then 4.9 billion kilometers from Earth. Two-way radio signal communication required 9 hours with a downlink data rate of merely 1 kbit/s. The anomaly recovery required the mission team to know exactly what was going on and then be able to fix it. The only solution planned to work was via telemetry – to transmit a distress signal containing ‘housekeeping engineering data’ about the health status of the spacecraft back to Earth – and then send corrective commands to the New Horizons.

Here is what happened: a minor anomaly got New Horizons autopilot to enter “safe mode” and command the backup computer to reinitiate communication with Earth. It transmitted telemetry to help engineers diagnose the problem. At 3:15 p.m. EDT, Earth regained communications with New Horizons via NASA’s Deep Space Network. At 4 p.m. EDT, mission team met to look at the data and started a recovery plan. On July 5, NASA announced that the team had identified the flaw and that the mission was returning to normal operations on July 7.

Telemetry for biometric machines

Our cloud-based operational monitoring and analytics tool BioUptime will soon receive telemetry streams from a different sort of machine. One, made by a market-leading vendor, that performs human identification via a biometric feature. BioUptime is tasked with receiving system metadata from a number of operational biometric devices and then converting them to meaningful analytics about system performance. This dashboard-style information makes lots of sense to the participating organizations and functions such as product managers and system operators. The ultimate goal is to make sure the machines are performing well in serving their users.

Unmanned deep space exploration will be seen as a significant milestone in human history. This enterprise wouldn’t be possible without applying telemetry and analytics. Aerospace industry was among the first to introduce them. Optimum Biometric Labs and its partner Bion Biometrics have pioneered bringing these two concepts and specialized tools to the biometrics marketplace.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Check out live tracking of New Horizons via NASA’s Deep Space Network dish antenna outside Madrid, Spain.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn and later featured in ‘Space’

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The secret sauce to successful biometric applications like Apple Pay

Secret Sauce to Successful Biometrics Applications

I think Touch ID and Apple Pay are the finest examples of successful biometric implementations. Apple Pay early adoption rate is impressive: 1% of digital payment dollars during the month of November. And note it is available only on the newest iPhone and iPads and supported by a few, but a growing list of, merchants.

The secret sauce in successful biometric implementations is made of many ingredients. Clearly beyond the scope of this article. But here is one of the main ingredients: it is to see the performance from the end-user perspective! It is a method that is gaining momentum also in the network and infrastructure management world.

Operational analytics simply means to measure and analyze a set of fundamental metrics and properties in order to improve future products and maintain the ones in use.

I had an opportunity to present our product and pitch the benefits of operational analytics to one of my Apple contacts at a biometric conference. No surprise there; what I pitched was rigorously performed by Apple prior to the launch of Touch ID on iPhone 5s thanks to a large number of own testers at Apple. I know many people who still and continuously contribute to improvement of Touch ID and Apple Pay by simply sending back an automated and anonymized feedback to Apple. I can imagine that feedback contains meaningful device and algorithm related metrics for making sense of performance data in order to know what to improve in future products.

My company is standardizing the interface for capturing and making sense of operational metrics and properties for various biometric applications such as Physical Access Control and Automated Border/Passport Control eGates. We lead this work via OASIS-Open who is the organization behind the first standards for web services based biometric devices and Internet of Things.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Babak Goudarzipour
Optimum Biometric Labs

This post was originally published in LinkedIn.

*Info on Apple Pay comes from Market Info reflecting on report from the industry intelligence company ITG.

*My iPhone 5 still performs well but becoming an Apple Pay user is intriguing because I think it is about time to get rid of all the plastic cards.

OBL to lead new international OASIS standard for Web Services-based operational monitoring of biometric devices and services

OASIS Open, Web Services-based Operational Monitoring and Reporting

Today, OASIS Open assigned Optimum Biometric Labs to lead a new international standard for Web Services-based operational monitoring and reporting of biometric devices and services. This couldn’t be more timely. For 2014, we envisioned a yet closer merger of biometric technologies and ‘Internet of Things’. The background: beside observing the trends for more than a decade, we assumed our pioneering and contributing role for this to happen had a good chance to becoming accepted and formal. We sensed the time was finally ripe to raise the awareness and equip the biometric customers with the framework and tools with which they could use a common language to set minimum quality requirements and to deploy associated monitoring and management.

We think this is truly essential news not only for the end-user community but also a significant milestone and a step forward for the industry to progress, expand, and offer new business models to monetize service agreements to complement their core business and products. What we expect to see is an advent of innovative vendors offering powerful remote biometric device and service management.

The new standard initiative aims to assist biometric operators and system owners to

  • instantly and remotely know what is going on with their installation resources,
  • improve overall system quality and usability and assist individual users with usage difficulties,
  • prevent system or envioronment-related issues and proactively pinpoint and resolve early warnings and problems,
  • optimize site maintenance while minimizing the operational costs

Our New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) sent to and approved by OASIS is based on the ‘Best Practices in Biometrics Performance Monitoring Programs‘ that we had previously published. This white paper and its dedicated web portal focus on the use of standards, definitions, methods, and new Web Services to support biometric customers when it comes to four fundamental properties in any biometric­ application: Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, and Performance.

Suppliers and End-user organizations interested in supporting this initiative by working with us for integration and potential ‘Statement of Use / Reference case’ are welcome to submit this form on our website.

Update:
For those interested in following or participating in the progress of this work or other projects in the OASIS Biometrics TC, please check out https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/biometrics
– Thanks Kevin for this info!


Also see:
– IBM videos about advantages with Predictive Maintenance
– OBL video on ‘The Big Basic Questions in Managing Biometric Applications’
– There’s A Metric for That: How Big Data Impacts Biometrics Market and Industry (link)
– LinkedIn survey: Real­time system monitoring a necessity in Border Management and Physical Access Control biometric applications (link)

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About Optimum Biometric Labs:
Founded in 2003 in Sweden, Optimum Biometric Labs pioneered the cloud, big data, and ‘Internet of Things’ concepts for monitoring vital operational aspects of connected biometric devices and services. Today, the company is helping biometrics operators and system-owners to offer and maintain maximum quality to users while minimizing operational costs.

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