• John Jacob (l), senior vice president of sales and marketing for NextgenID, shares the winner’s table with JarMarcus King, chief operations officer, J&F Alliance Group, after their two firms’ technologies prevailed in the AFCEA innovation shark tank competition held October 25. Credit: Elizabeth Moon
     John Jacob (l), senior vice president of sales and marketing for NextgenID, shares the winner’s table with JarMarcus King, chief operations officer, J&F Alliance Group, after their two firms’ technologies prevailed in the AFCEA innovation shark tank competition held October 25. Credit: Elizabeth Moon

ID Card Kiosks, Synthetic Environments Survive Shark Tank

October 26, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
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For the first time, two winners tie in innovation competition.


Technology that allows easy renewal of CAC identification and a system to provide full virtual reality training on goggles prevailed in the premier AFCEA innovation shark tank of fiscal year 2019. Held October 25, the competition featured the first tie in an elimination round since the shark tanks began running earlier in 2018. Both technologies will advance to the final competition, which will be held in April 2019.

NextgenID, Inc., San Antonio, Texas, advanced with its system that allows CAC users to renew their cards through multibiometric enrollment kiosks. John Jacob, senior vice president of sales and marketing for NextgenID, stated that this system can allow customers to renew their cards in five minutes instead of the hours it takes to renew in person. Kiosks can be positioned anywhere, and registrars connected to the devices can handle renewals at thousands of locations worldwide.

J&F Alliance Group, Hampton, Virginia, moved to the final round of competition with a synthetic environment that can run on small headgear, including little more than goggles. It allows users to create large-scale simulations on mobile devices with realistic physics integrated into the virtual worlds. Instead of requiring soldiers to attend complex training facilities, instructors can bring the virtual world to them. JarMarcus King, chief operations officer, J&F Alliance Group, noted that the company incorporated nine patents transferred from NASA to track biofeedback. The reactions of trainees during the simulation can be tracked and used to assess their performance, he explained.

Both systems already are in use. Thousands of NextgenID kiosks have been deployed throughout West Virginia as part of the state government’s Personal Identification Verification–Interoperable (PIV–I) credential system. J&F Alliance Group’s synthetic training environments, which are installed on commercial off-the-shelf headgear, are being evaluated by at least one military organization.

The two technologies will compete against other innovation shark tank finalists at AFCEA’s homeland security conference being held April 22-24 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.

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