A high-tech West Midlands company which has developed ground-breaking new technology in biometrics and fingerprint recognition has attracted £500,000 worth of venture capital.
Warwick Warp, based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Venture Centre in Coventry, has devised a system using patented processes to dramatically improve the accuracy and speed of recognition of fingerprints and is working to apply this to face recognition also.
The technology is seen to have huge business potential for uses in areas such as e-commerce, workforce and attendance tracking, access control, National ID card and e-border control as well as forensic applications.
The company, originally a spin-out from Warwick University has gained £500,000 of investment from London-based Synergis Technologies and Mathematical Capital along with a sizeable chunk through Minerva’s Business Angel Network at the Science Park.
Chairman and local entrepreneur Bill Joss, a member of the Minerva Network commented: “The global biometrics market is growing fast and is expected to reach $6 billion by 2010. Fingerprint recognition accounts for almost 50 per cent of spend on biometrics and Warwick Warp is well positioned to deliver significant enhancement to existing and new systems. As other technologies such as face recognition grow in importance, our algorithms and technology will be applicable to these also.”
Warwick Warp’s technology can identify fingerprints even from damaged or poor quality images by using advanced, patented algorithms. The technology focuses on improving accuracy, speed and reliability, and can be applied as an upgrade to existing scanners and readers.
Mr Joss added: “Although current fingerprint recognition technologies can satisfactorily process good quality images, the problem with these systems lies with their inability to process poor quality or partial prints, which represent a high proportion of those presented.
“This is just one area where we believe Warwick Warp has a unique advantage – the ability of our technology to extract meaningful data from poor quality images. This, coupled with substantial speed enhancement, means that we can help manufacturers and systems integrators to achieve better performance.”
Russell Munslow, of the University of Warwick Science Park, said Minerva was there to help young or established companies such as Warwick Warp gain investment.
He said: “We bring together potential investors and small and medium sized companies that need capital to unlock their growth.
“Some are long established and some are still emerging. Warwick Warp’s potential is clear for all to see and that is why the firm has secured such an exciting level of investment.”