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PHOENIXVILLE, PA, December 02, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Hounds, LLC, has developed the TWiC-Health+ application for Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twicseries.twic_health_plus), the world's first mobile app that gives holders of Transportation Worker Identification Credentials, known as TWIC, the knowledge that their card is functional and the U.S. government still honors their credentials.
The United States government published in August of this year federal regulations for TWIC readers at maritime facilities and vessels. The full final rule can be found at:
(https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/search?conditions%5Bregulati ... =1625-AB21 ).
This regulation states, "The TWIC is currently being used as a visual identity badge on many vessels and facilities... While this system of ''visual TWIC inspection'' provides some benefits, it does not address all security concerns, nor does it make full use of the security features contained in the TWIC... Through the process of ''electronic TWIC inspection,'' by which TWICs are authenticated, validated, and the individual's identity confirmed biometrically, all of these [security concern] scenarios would be thwarted or mitigated."
Workers such as port employees and long-haul truck drivers who need access to secure areas of U.S. maritime facilities and vessels are given a background check by the Transportation Security Administration under the Department of Homeland Security. The workers are then issued a TWIC card that proves they are trusted by the government. The U.S. government has issued more than 3.5 million TWIC cards to date, with approximately 2.5 million of them actively in circulation.
"The TWiC-Health+ application is crafted to answer two simple questions for the TWIC card holder," says Hounds spokesperson Kathleen Nair. "First, does the TWIC card communicate with a reader? Specifically, is the antenna on the card still functional? And second, is the TWIC card still trusted by the U.S. government?"
No More Guessing
Until now, a card holder had no access to this very basic and invaluable information. Before the TWiC-Health+ app's development, a long-haul truck driver might travel halfway across the country with his cargo, only to discover that, upon arrival at a port, his TWIC card is damaged or cancelled by the issuer and he can't access the facility. By using the TWiC-Health+ application on an Android phone, the truck driver can check that his TWIC card is working and still trusted before beginning his journey. A TWIC card can be replaced only through an in-person visit to a TSA Enrollment Center or by contacting TWIC customer service to have a replacement mailed.
The app will also be extremely useful for port employees such as security personnel. For example, if a port worker tells the security office that his TWIC card is not working at one of the port's readers, the security personnel can use the TWiC-Health+ application on their phones to determine if the TWIC card is valid, thus immediately learning whether the problem is with the card or the card reader.
A Second App Helps Manage PIN Numbers
In addition to the TWiC-Health+ app, a card holder can now use a second Android app developed by Hounds, LLC. The TWiC-PIC ("PIN I Choose") application (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twicseries.twic_pic&hl=en) gives the card holder the ability to change a TSA preassigned 8-digit personal identification number (PIN) to a 6- to 8-digit PIN value that's easier to remember. The only requirement is that card holders must know their current PIN value or have access to their assigned PIN value.
"The ability of TWiC-PIC to change a PIN value without the need to connect to a card management system is the first of its kind among phone card reader applications," says Kathleen Nair.
Pricing and Availability
Both the TWiC-Health+ application and the TWiC-PIC application are available for Android devices through the Google Play store. TWiC-Health+ is $0.99. TWiC-PIC is priced at $10.
Founded in 2014, Hounds Interactive has been a leader in mobile applications, with mobile apps available in both the Apple AppStore and Google Play. The team at Hounds Interactive focuses on creating engaging applications that enhance the lives of our customers. The Hounds Interactive management team has more than 50 years of experience managing in complex and highly competitive environments, and is uniquely qualified in the development and delivery of mobile applications.
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