What is an ABIS and why should my community have one?

February 2, 2021    |    4 minute read

What is an ABIS and why should my community have one?

February 2, 2021    |    4 minute read


Capturing key evidence is important to any case but connecting that evidence to a potential suspect helps the investigative process and potentially save lives 

In law enforcementbiometrics used to be synonymous to “fingerprints” but as technology has progressed, now identifiers include face and iris. An Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) compares these three identifiers (fingerprints, face, iris) belonging to individuals to existing samples in a biometric database. An ABIS also aims to increase the safety of a community with accuracy and efficiency when time is of the essence. 

What is an ABIS?

An ABIS is used for large-scale biometric identification and deduplication. It’s a biometric search system that performs a one-to-many comparison of a sample to existing biometric templates in a database. In other words, it’s a system that matches photographs of a face, scans of fingerprints, or iris scans to a database of those items in order to identify an individual.   

Why should my community have one?

The short answer? Because of all the ways an ABIS can help identify suspects. It can process and analyze fingerprints left behind at a crime sceneBut it’s not just fingerprints—it can analyze other modalities like iris and facial recognitionSince they all have unique characteristicsit’s possible to associate these biometric identifiers with a single person.   

For example, after a person is arrested, they are booked at the police stationThe police take their biographic information, mug shot (which becomes a facial image in the database) and scan their fingerprints.   

By taking the fingerprints and mug shot, officers can enroll the biometric data into the ABIS as a record. If that individual gets released and then commits a crime in the future, the police can easily match up forensic evidence with the fingerprint or facial image on file. The improved ability to identify a suspect based on records like these can increase community safety. Then, btaking this individual off the street, it’s one less offender to worry about. 

ABIS systems also benefit the time sensitivity of crime solutions. An ABIS can deliver the performance results you need during these critical operations 

An ABIS benefits any community, but especially if your community has a detention center. Enrolling the inmates’ biometrics, on an identification credential can control access to various areas, along with recording prisoner movements. By doing this, your department can keep track of the inmate, but also reduce the risk of them escapingbecoming a threatand even reducing crime rates by staying behind bars. 

Lastly, an ABIS helps meet future department needs as the community grows and expands. A flexible ABIS allows you to input more records than originally anticipated and alleviate the risk of vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in occurs when a technology provider imposes excessive switching costs upon their customer–intentionally or otherwise. This makes it unattractive for customers to replace their installed products, as the vendor earns a virtual monopoly within that account on a future product.  

At Aware, we offer the AwareABIS Family of products, a complete line of ABIS products for any sized law enforcement community. From small  to large scale, these solutions can be aligned to fit your needs. 

  • Small-scale biometric identification: AFIX Tracker supports fingerprint, palmprint, and latent print identification for small-scale biometric identification, up to 2 million identities. 
  • Plug-in biometric identification: Aware’s Astra provides the speed and accuracy of the AwareABIS as a plug-in for existing business processes and workflows. Scalable, fault tolerant, and configurable, the Astra matching subsystem is ideal for adding highspeed and accurate finger, face, iris, and voice verification and identification into existing solution offerings.
  • Large-scale biometric identification: AwareABIS supports fingerprint, facial, and iris recognition for large-scale biometric identification. Designed to serve between 1-30 million identities or moreIt utilizes BioSP (Biometric Services Platform) which is Aware’s market-leading workflow and integration server. 

In order to keep the community safe, biometrics can play a big role in connecting fingerprints, iris, and facial recognition to crime scene evidenceIn an investigation, you could use examiner workstation applications to prepare biometric information for search and to help interpret and refine results. An ABIS could be the turning point for cracking the case and increasing community safety.  

To learn more about Aware’s offeringscheck out the AwareABIS webpage and request a demo today. Let us know how we can help you. 

Want to learn more?

Schedule a demo to get started today