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STATE GRANTS $100,000 TO PUSH 'SMART CARDS'

The state is providing $100,000 to support a joint effort into the next generation of "smart cards" launched by University at Buffalo researchers and a high-tech Amherst company.

The New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research, or NYSTAR, provided the grant, which was matched by $50,000 each from UB and Ultra-Scan Corp. of Amherst.

Researchers at UB's Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors are developing a smart-card system that uses an ultrasonic fingerprint-identification technology designed by Ultra-Scan.

The card will contain more than one biometric -- personal data about an individual, such as a fingerprint or iris or facial pattern -- and is intended to be a highly accurate way to identify someone. It could be used anywhere from national security to retail business, according to UB.

Ultra-Scan's technology allows smart cards to be read through dirt, grease and grime in an effort to increase scanning accuracy.

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