At Science Center, Security Is a Focus

Scanning Faces To Boost Security

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This article was prepared for the January 23, 2002 edition of U.S.

1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Finding Capital During The `Nuclear Winter’

The IPO window is all but closed, stock markets are

jittery at best, former tech heroes — from Lucent to Enron —

are reeling, and no one is sure whether the economy is down, but

turning

up, or is at the beginning of a long slide. There is nothing investors

hate more than uncertainty, and 2002 is positively awash in

uncertainties of all kinds.

A result, says Maxine Ballen, president of the New Jersey

Technology

Council, is a "nuclear winter" for technology companies in

need of funding. "It’s a major crisis," she says. "So

many of our good companies have gone out of business." There is

money around, but, says Ballen, "people don’t want to part with

it." Not in this economy.

Every technology segment has been affected. "You name it,"

says Ballen, "it’s across the board. This has been our whole

discussion

topic for several months."

On Friday, January 25, at 7:30 a.m. NJTC’s sixth annual New Jersey

Capital Conference begins at the Princeton Marriott. Cost: $160. Call

856-787-9700. Ballen says the conference addresses concerns of middle

market companies, those with sales in the range of $2 million to $200

million. This year, the concern is access to money, and the conference

brings together more than three dozen experts on ways to get into

position to raise it and on strategies to shake it loose from nervous

investors.

Keynote speaker is Frederick J. Beste, president of Mid-Atlantic

Venture Fund. He speaks on "Raising Money? Forget Valuation: Think

Values!" Seminars, each lasting an hour, address alternative

sources of financing, leveraging intellectual property, strategic

investment, preparing for the next IPO window, merger and acquisition

strategies, and venture trends in New Jersey.

Top Of Page
At Science Center, Security Is a Focus

As 9 a.m. approached on the morning of September 11,

some Liberty Science Center staff members were in their windowed

offices,

just settling down to work, while a number of others were in the

lobby,

waiting for groups of school children to start arriving. The Liberty

Science Center sits directly across the Hudson from the World Trade

Center.

"When the plane hit the first building," they thought it was

an accident, recalls Connie Claman, vice president of finance

and facilities. When the second plane hit, the staff was told to

evacuate,

to get out of the area. But many had not yet pulled away, Claman says,

when the towers collapsed. Soon the science center became a refuge

for workers who had fled across the river. "Most went to the ferry

terminal," Claman says, "but some came here."

Security is important at the science center as it never has been

before.

"Our staff saw the whole World Trade Center happen before their

eyes," says Claman. "It’s been a very traumatic time."

It has also been a time to assess, and re-assess, security measures

for visitors, many of them school children, and for the staff. On

Wednesday, January 30, at 7:30 a.m. the Liberty Science Center hosts

the New Jersey Technology Council Security Symposium, a half-day

event.

Cost: $80. Call 856-787-9700.

Claman moderates the "Protecting your employees" panel, which

addresses disaster recovery training, practice drills, crisis control,

and disaster communication planning. Speakers include Dennis

Musolino of SunGard; Stephen Foster, retired FBI agent; and Lee

Brodsky of the Carey Group. Other panels are "Securing your facility"

and "Guarding your data."

The science center was closed for two weeks following the attacks

as a family assistance center was set up in Liberty Park. Claman says

she and many other employees helped out in getting it up and running.

"We put in sod and planted flowers," she says. "We wanted

it to look as nice as possible." The opportunity to pitch in and

help was a positive for the staff, she says.

The morale booster was important. "When we come to work,"

Claman says, "many of us drive in. We always saw the World Trade

Center as we drove up. It was right behind our building. It was really

heartbreaking for us for several months. Emotionally very

difficult."

It was at least a little frightening too. "We were right

there,"

Claman says. "We didn’t know what else would be a target."

Because of New Jersey’s proximity to the attacks and the subsequent

anthrax mailings, the staff at the science center has been nervous,

and they are not alone. The Security Symposium will help, Claman

believes,

by providing information on a range of security options and by giving

attendees an opportunity to network and to share their experiences

in dealing with safety issues.

Claman, a 1974 graduate of Mount Holyoke who holds an MBA from NYU

and worked in finance for General Electric for 10 years, has been

with the science center for 11 years. She started two years before

it opened after learning about non-profit management, in part by

working

part-time at the Jersey City Museum in the years during which she

was raising her children.

For her institution, the September 11 attacks have meant increased

security. Visitors’ bags are now searched and put through metal

detectors.

More perimeter cameras provide surveillance of the grounds, and more

interior cameras, especially in the lobby, watch activity in the

building.

There have been a number of evacuation drills, and state police have

been in to speak with the staff and to answer their questions.

The science center may well pick up tips on instituting more security

measures at the NJTC Security Symposium. "Networking sparks

ideas,"

Claman says. "All of us can learn from each other."

Top Of Page
Scanning Faces To Boost Security

Security can be a secretive industry. Jerry Ruddle

says his firm, Graphco Technologies of Newtown, Pennsylvania, provided

face screening at last year’s "championship football game at

Raymond

James Stadium in Tampa." That would be the Super Bowl, but

language

in the firm’s contract forbade use of that term.

But, of course, security is no laughing matter. Not anymore. Ruddle

is president and COO of Graphco, a 20-person company that specializes

in voice and face recognition technology. These are types of

biometrics,

an emerging technology devoted to identification of individuals based

on biological traits. Ruddle says a recent survey indicated that

biometrics

was a $200 million industry in 2001, and will grow to $1.8 billion

in 2004.

Ruddle speaks on a panel addressing "Securing your facility"

on Wednesday, January 30, at 8:40 a.m. at the New Jersey Technology

Council’s Security Symposium. Other panelists are William

Voltmer,

president of Iridian Technologies; and John Fabry, director

of technology, Galaxy Scientific. Cost: $80. Call 856-787-9700.

Ruddle, who received both his bachelor’s degree (Class of 1975) and

his MBA from Duke, came to Graphco after a 15-year stint at

Hewlett-Packard.

The company was founded in 1995 to do work in the semi-conductor

field,

switched to voice recognition, and then added face recognition. Its

customers are corporations, law enforcement agencies, and,

increasingly,

real estate entities, particularly retirement communities.

"Since September 11 we have been very busy," says Ruddle.

"September 11 caused a fundamental change in mindset." Privacy

concerns dampened enthusiasm for surveillance technology in the

pre-September

11 world. "The biometrics market has been in the early growth

stage for a number of years," he says. But worries about Big

Brother

have shrunk. Ruddle says a recent survey shows 85 percent of Americans

approve of using face and voice recognition.

"There is interest across the board," says Ruddle. Large

corporations

want to protect facilities with voice and face access systems. Police

and other law enforcement agencies need to be able to quickly

ascertain

whether an individual has a warrant outstanding in another

jurisdiction.

And retirement community residents want to make sure that intruders

don’t get past their security gates.

Face recognition can be used to check people at a public event —

like the Super Bowl — against images of criminals. When this is

done, Ruddle says, the fans’ faces are not stored. This means, for

instance, that a football fanatic who arrived late at his wedding

would not have to fear that his bride would ever find out his quick

trip to the game was the cause of his tardiness. Or, anyway, she would

not be able to nail him by accessing records of the faces of those

in attendance at the big game.

Face recognition also can be used to match faces at a factory or an

office door against a database of employees and other authorized

individuals.

The science is not 100 percent accurate, says Ruddle. "There are

ways to make the system fail," he says, "but I won’t say

exactly

how." He does allow that lighting, and quality of camera equipment

and of computer processing all play a role.

Companies that want more foolproof security might want to use both

face and voice recognition. Graphco’s technology uses a mathematical

model to make a record of the voice of each person who is allowed

access to a facility. Then, each individual can say anything at all,

and his voice will be recognized. No passwords are required. Graphco

is working on combining face and voice recognition into one system.

Ruddle sees "great promise for dual biometrics in the future."

Voice and face recognition compete with any number of security and

surveillance products, including finger printing, the granddaddy of

all biometric systems. Newer technologies include increasingly

sophisticated

chips embedded in plastic cards, iris scans, and perimeter

surveillance

systems. In the post-September 11 world, Ruddle says the market for

security is big enough for them al


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