It Happened in Las Vegas

25,000 people packed the convention floor at the recent International Security Conference (ISC) in Las Vegas. For the last few years CCTV equipment has always seemed to be featured in a majority of booths. While there were still enough CCTV camera exhibitors to visit, many mid-sized access control systems were featured for 1-16 doors. Systems of this size fit right in with the requirements of a majority of commercial customers served by locksmiths.

Keyless operation is an inseparable feature of most access control systems today. One of the more diversified credential systems shown at the ISC convention was biometrics. The original biometrics system used fingerprint reading. Each person has general ridge formations on their fingers and palms. No two ridge formations are exactly alike. Until recently the amount of information required to assure an error-free reading limited the maximum users to approximately 200. As the amount of users increases, the time required for an access control system to verify a fingerprint reading also increases.

A newer system of touchless verification using optical readers has been developed in the last few years. This system takes an optical reading of distances between several ridge formation points on a finger or palm. This speeds up the verification process and vastly increases the amount of users which can be enrolled. Exhibitors at ISC spoke of having systems in use with thousands of people enrolled in an individual access control system. Biometrics is not limited to fingers or palms. Exhibitors also had retina scanners and facial scanners on display.

Biometrics products at the ISC convention came in many forms. A Kaba I.AM fingerprint reader also included a keypad and card reader all in one unit. Fingerprints for up to 50 individual users can be enrolled. Zwipe showed a fingerprint reader which is imbedded on each individual proximity card. If an access control card system is already in use, extra security can easily be added to an individual door such as a computer room. Each Zwipe card requires fingerprint verification plus card verification before a user can enter. Anviz showed a face recognition system which stores information according to distances between facial points. Up to 400 users can be instantly recognized as they approach the Anviz viewing screen. Fujitsu had a PalmEntryXS system which uses a camera to view points on the palm of your hand. Palms only have to be held near the viewing window for verification. Up to 20,000 templates can be held in memory.

Biometric verification does not require users to carry any extra credentials. Biometric products are simple to use and verification is swiftly accomplished. “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas” is an often heard expression but not usable when speaking of biometrics.

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