Biometric technology continues to find expanded applications in the military and commercial marketplace.
Hand geometry and fingerprint biometrics account for the majority of deployments, but this could change as other technologies such as facial recognition and retinal scan mature and reach more competitive price points.
The benefits of biometrics are ostensibly to eliminate the potential weaknesses of credential and PIN-based access. While a person can loan his or her card or share his or her PIN, there is no way to share a fingerprint. Augmenting a credential or a PIN with a biometric confirmation also boosts security.
Biometrics are finding uses in access control and time and attendance applications, where they offer payback for the initial investment by discouraging cheating and system abuse.
For a small company, a biometric time and attendance system also cuts down on record keeping and accounting costs by allowing a higher level of automation.
As an example, in retail security applications, biometrics indemnify chain stores by limiting access to high dollar storage areas to one or a very limited number of managers, and then making them accountable for shrinkage in inventory.
A biometric reader provides a level of security and convenience for staff requiring easy access to controlled areas such as computer and drug storage rooms, since there is no key or credential to misplace or get stolen, or PIN to possibly share or forget.
Issues such as throughput speed and reliability are being overcome as the technology improves and application engineering better matches products to deployments.
Schlage Hand Geometry
Schlage HandKey readers are ideal for applications where reliability and high security are critical. The readers are easy to install and maintain, and can be used outdoors or indoors, as well as in high-traffic locations.
Hand geometry measures the size and shape of a person’s hand, including length, width, thickness and surface area. When the user places his or her hand on the platen of a device like the Schlage HandPunch, the device scans the hand to determine if the profile stored in the system matches the hand on the platen. In many cases, a swipe card or PIN may also be required to allow access.
Advantages of this system include:
- No fingerprint or palm print is stored in the device.
- Data is not shared with any outside agencies or companies.
- Verification takes place in about one second.
- Unauthorized access is eliminated since credentials cannot be duplicated.
- Since the “credential” cannot be lost or stolen, there is no cost to replace lost, damaged or stolen cards or keys.
- Hand geometry accurately identifies the user even if his or her hand is dirty, wet or injured, or if the device is damp, dusty or dirty.
The Schlage HandKey-2 uses hand geometry to identify each user. Adding and deleting users is easy and the system can be expanded to support more users as required.
HandKey 2 features include:
- Supports multiple credentials, including proximity, magnetic stripe, bar code, iClass and MIFARE.
- Field-installable Ethernet module.
- Outdoor enclosures available.
- Field-upgradeable and expandable memory options to support from 512 to 240,000 users.
- Three user-definable outputs to connect other devices like audible or silent alarms, door locks or lighting systems.
- Antimicrobial coating on the platen inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew, limiting the spread of germs. Coating lasts for the life of the product.
- Blue hand outline on the platen facilitates easy enrollment and reduces errors during verification.