EVERETT, Wash., - A radio frequency identification (RFID) project designed to increase levels of security along the U.S.-Canadian border developed by Intermec Technologies Corp. and its partners has been named an Exhibitor Best Solution at this year's GTC East 2003.
Government Technology Conference's Exhibitor Best Solutions are awarded to companies who develop solutions designed for a specific customer to help solve a particular problem. The solution must have resulted in significant benefits, such as saved time, money or headaches.
The NEXUS system, developed jointly by the U.S. and Canada to expedite border crossings by low-risk travelers, relies on a backbone of Intermec Intellitag® radio frequency identification, a technology known as RFID. The system is being rolled out to every major trade corridor across the countries' mutual border. NEXUS currently is operational in the Pacific Northwest; Detroit, Michigan; and Buffalo, New York.
The NEXUS program allows pre-screened frequent travelers between the two countries to use special border crossing lanes. Participants sign up for the NEXUS program at enrollment centers set up adjacent to major border crossings. Successful applicants receive a NEXUS identification card about the size of a credit card. Embedded in the card are a computer chip and a tiny RFID antenna. With that card, a NEXUS program participant can access specially designated crossing lanes. Once in the lane, he or she holds the card up to an RFID reader positioned well in front of the inspection booth. The reader flashes the participant's photo and information onto a computer screen inside the booth. The inspector verifies that the photo on the screen matches the vehicle occupant and, if all checks out, authorizes the car to proceed. The clearance significantly reduces the time it takes to proceed through the standard lanes. A typical NEXUS inspection takes less then 5 seconds to complete.
In the months since it was installed, the NEXUS program has dramatically cut crossing times for enrollees, and it has helped ease the workload of border agents already stretched by tightened security requirements, giving them more time to spend on higher-risk activities.
Earlier this year, Intermec was awarded Exhibitor Best Solution awards for its work with the California Youth Authority and for its participation in the launch of a public Internet hot spot in downtown Long Beach, Calif.