Despite its moniker, Brand New Technologies is no newcomer to the biometrics industry. The company in its current form may only be a few years old, but its core team has over 25 years' experience in the biometrics and identity management arena.
Brand New has evolved from history of entrepreneurial spirit and solid business acumen. The two managing members, David Crawshay-Hall and Charles Laxton, have both previously been involved in start up technology companies, including Power Controls, Velocit-e and Biometric Solutions.
Following a hugely successful merger between NamITech and Velocit-e, the two continued to work together at NamITech. Being a shareholder in the company due to the merger, Laxton’s shares were sold along with Nampak to Altech.
During their long collaboration, Laxton and Crawshay-Hall have worked together in many significant biometric projects, such as a biometric and smart card solution for Home Affairs, polycarbonate datapages for the enhanced South Africa passports, mobile pension payouts for the Department of Social Services and were part of the team that was the first in the world to successfully implement and install biometric and smart card integration into a Dibold ATM, making the front page of the Financial Times in New York.
As a result of the Altech acquisition of NamITech, Laxton was forced to take a backseat from secure technology solutions, but at the beginning of 2011, he decided he needed to return to his true passion. Already a member of Brand New Technologies, Laxton has now joined the business full time and is actively pursuing opportunities within the private and public sectors.
“I realised that I missed the fast pace and constant learning curve you enjoy in an entrepreneurial environment,” says Laxton. “Dave had already done some fantastic work at Brand New, sourcing the latest in biometrics and identity management products and solutions, but a new impetus was required to really get the business going.”
According to Crawshay-Hall, the identity management industry is under constant pressure to deliver superior technologies backed by reliable service and support.
“Each year more players enter the ring, but many of these do not have the depth of knowledge and skills to deliver on their promises. What it does mean though is that smaller companies such as Brand New have to fight harder each year for a share of the market.
"Charlie and I made a strategic decision that we would focus aggressively on government and the financial sector this year, and to support this we needed a dedicated ‘rain maker’, as we jokingly refer to Charlie.”
Brand New holds the agencies for many of the major international biometric organisations, including Futronic Technology, Lumidigm Inc and IEVO in the UK.
“One of our most exciting products at the moment is the Lumidigm range of fingerprint scanners,” explains Crawshay-Hall.
“These readers use patented multi-spectral imaging (MSI) to read below the external fingerprint to the internal fingerprint, providing fast and accurate readings despite adverse environmental conditions such as dry, damaged or scarred fingertips.
"The technology has since been incorporated into access control solutions including the new IEVO access control units. We have just started bring these into the country and have already had a terrific response.”
“We may be a couple of ‘old dogs', but we certainly have enough Brand New technologies to enable the market’s identity management requirements,” concludes Laxton.