Biometric Updates: Combining Access Control With Time & Attendance

Nov. 1, 2010
Biometrics eliminates system abuses associated with PIN (personal Identification number) and credential single authentication based systems.

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.

Schlage HandKey ID3D-R/ID3D-RW biometric readers use field-proven technology to provide enhanced security at any door, while ensuring that the right person is at the right place at the right time.

Features include:

  • All-metal housing for increased durability.
  • Left-handed configuration for drive-through applications and entrance gates.
  • Recess-mounted option for reduced obstruction if high-traffic areas.
  • Supports multiple credentials, including magnetic stripe and bar code.
  • Integrated unit with heater and enclosure is ideal for outdoor environments.
  • Two user-definable outputs to connect other devices like alarms, door locks or lighting systems.

Schlage FingerKey

Schlage Fingerkey fingerprint readers deliver accurate, fast and reliable identify verification in less than one second using a person’s fingerprint.

Features include:

  • High quality optical sensor.
  • Stylish terminal with keypad and LCD easily blends into any environment.
  • Various options for external card reader inputs.
  • Memory can be upgraded in the field to support from 250 to 2000 users, depending on your needs.
  • Configurable Wiegand output available.
  • Field-upgradeable Ethernet connection.
  • Tough polycarbonate construction.

With the Schlage FingerKey DX Series, fingers are the credentials, providing reliable one-to-one matching to verify identity in less than one second.

The FingerKey is designed to easily replace existing readers and requires no new wiring for installation. The reader can easily accommodate any access control system, with eight Wiegand and two magnetic stripe built-in formats. You may also create your own Wiegand format.

Models include:

  • DX-2000 – Fingerprint with keypad, for systems without cards.
  • DX-2100 – Includes an embedded HID proximity reader, which adds an additional layer of security by requiring proximity card verification with every transaction.
  • DX-2200 – Includes an iClass smart card reader; the fingerprint template is stored on a contact-less smart card instead of in a database, protecting the user’s privacy while providing a higher level of security.
  • DX-2400 – Available with embedded MIFARE or DESFire smart card reader for greater security and biometric template portability.

Cansec Zodiac Lite

Cansec’s Zodiac Lite is a cost-effective biometric solution for single door/device applications for up to 90 users. The Zodiac Lite Kit comes with a single reader, door control module, and hand-held programmer. No cards, PC, or software are required.

Zodiac Lite Features:

  • Portable template stored in HID iClass™ smart card or stick-on Patch
  • Same iClass™ credential works on Zodiac and full range of iClass™ Readers
  • 26 to 64 Bit Wiegand or Magnetic Stripe output
  • Wiegand line encryption option available
  • User capacity of reader is unlimited
  • Plug & Play installation
  • No extra communication wiring
  • Built-in visual and audible Indicators
  • Fast, accurate and easy to use
  • Quick and easy centralized enrollment
  • Compatible with all access control systems
  • Programming and enrollment functions are performed at the Zodiac Reader using the supplied Hand-Held Programmer. The programmer is equipped with two rotary switches numbered from 0 to 9, as well as ADD, DELETE, and ON/OFF buttons.

Because Zodiac Lite is performing 1:90 matching, (Ed Note: comparing the finger in the reader with the 90 fingerprint templates stored locally in the reader’s memory), no additional card or keypad entry or FOB is required.

The Zodiac scanner continuously looks for fingers to authenticate. This produces a red stroboscopic light to emit from the finger scanner. The user simply places a finger on the scanner for access to the door or device being controlled.


The OA200 is a time attendance and access control system offering multiple functions, high technology, competitive price and smart design. It may be deployed as an access control reader, a time and attendance system or both in virtually any application.

Features include:

  • Optical fingerprint reader. scratch-proof, unbreakable and durable. Will accept all kinds of fingerprints.
  • Improved core module, 32 bit embedded Arm system, Super dual processor, High performance and Reliability..
  • Stand-alone without being connected with computer. Standard fingerprint capacity 2,000. Standard record capacity 50,000.
  • Multiple identification: Fingerprint only, card only, card+fingerprint.
  • Support user name display. 16 customizable time attendance status. Multimedia voice prompt.
  • Standard RS232/485 and TCP/IP communication. Wiegand26 and dry contact output.
  • Support realtime record download and WEB online tracking function.
  • Suitable for all kinds of complicated time attendance management. Easy-to-use and user-friendly software.

Specifications are:

Sensor: Optical Sensor

LCD: Blue

Resolution: 500 DPI

Fingerprint Capacity: 2000

Record Capacity: 50,000

Schlage HandPunch
GT-400 - Versatile, Flexible

The new smaller, improved Schlage GT-400 HandPunch terminal uses the size and shape of each employee’s hand for verification, making it fast, efficient and easy to use. With a large LCD screen and programmable soft keys, perfect for interactive workforce management kiosks, the new HandPunch GT-400 provides a conduit for employee communication right at the terminal. Its Linux platform offers multiple time and attendance/workforce management software developers with easy interface options.

“Our first totally redesigned HandPunch terminal in ten years, the new GT-400, coupled with a software provider, is a most effective solution for workforce management and lends itself to a diverse array of facilities and workgroups,” reports Randi Marchezak, Schlage biometric solutions marketing manager, time and attendance. “It provides daily, tangible benefits such as accurate record keeping, risk management and increased employee productivity that drives bottom lines and brings peace of mind to both employers and employees.”

Using biometrics to automate the collection of time and attendance data can reduce buddy punching (one employee clocking in or out for another), manual data review and correction time, and payroll error. HandPunch terminals are used in more biometric time and attendance systems than any other biometric technology. Millions of people throughout the world clock in and out of work daily with a hand geometry reader. Deployed properly, the HandPunch delivers a payback very rapidly.

The HandPunch GT-400 uses hand geometry - the length, thickness, and curvature of fingers or simply the size and shape of a user’s hand - to verify each employee. Hand geometry increases reliability and reduces privacy concerns over fingerprint and other biometric technologies. It takes measurements of the hand and converts them into a 20-byte numerical template. This template is then matched with the enrollment template and the user’s identity is verified. Hand geometry technology is not affected by tattoos, jewelry, fingernails, lotions, dirt, smudges or dust. The reading and verification process takes less than a second with impeccable reliability. During the process, the communication panel can display relevant messages to employees, promoting communication with management.

Administrators can download new firmware and application functionality through an Ethernet connection, without removing the GT-400 from the wall and disrupting productivity. They can also remotely diagnose the terminal for troubleshooting and maintenance without removing it from the wall. Antimicrobial coating embedded in platen, keypad and plastics inhibits the growth of bacteria.

For more information on time and attendance and workforce management using the HandPunch GT-400 terminal, visit