2024 Biometric Update

June 6, 2024
Ease of use, reduced costs, and reliability trigger greater demand and continued technological development

A biometric is a measurable biological (anatomical and physiological) and behavioral characteristic that can be used for automated recognition. Ony recently have we developed the technology to effectively capture human traits, and science to digitally store and manipulate it, and biometrics are still evolving.

Although automated biometric systems have only existed for a few decades, they are based on ideas that go way back. In the mid-1800s, the rapid urbanization of the industrial revolution increased the need for formal methods of identifying people, creating a boom in biometrics.

Today, biometrics are employed in law enforcement, commercial applications, migration control, civil identification, healthcare, and more.



  •  In 1892, Sir Francis Galton developed the first fingerprint classification system.
  • In 1903, New York state prisons began using fingerprints.
  • In 1960, face recognition first became semi-automated.
  • In 1969, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sought to automate fingerprint recognition.
  • In 1994, the Immigration and Naturalization Service developed IDENT as a law enforcement tool for U.S. Border Patrol. By 1999, IDENT contained 1.8 million biometric identities.
  • In 1999 a review of IDENT called for the integration of IDENT with the FBI’s fingerprint database.
  •  In 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provided the policy framework for interoperability between the DoD's Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) and IDENT.

Although the mechanical lock and electronic access control were the only tools available to the security industry for decades, biometrics has put the art of identifying individuals into hyperdrive and made it a practical science available to a wider segment of the security industry and end-users than ever before, or even dreamed possible.

The security industry was previously built upon easily copied and hacked mechanical keys, and PIN systems that suffered high failure rates. The expense and the shortcomings were rationalized as “better than nothing at all” or “the best solutions that technology could deliver.”

That situation changed over a very short period of time, thanks to a number of factors:

Risk Assessment: The realization that many situations posed risks, were hazardous but could rationally be addressed.

Faster Computer Processing: Data processing and storage rapidly transitioned from analog to digital to microprocessing. This brought more processing power into smaller places, using less power and wired and wireless network protocols.

Lower manufacturing costs: Savvy companies realized the costs to manufacture was very affordable compared the high costs of litigation.

Touchless technologies: No longer is physically placing your finger on a screen required to operate newer biometric readers.

Most Locksmith Ledger readers are involved in professional security, and therefore are keenly aware of the high level of technical sophistication security has achieved, with virtually no end in sight.

What new technologies are out there, what’s trending and where will the new frontiers propel us?  The ubiquitous smart phone showcases so much security technology that would not have been considered possible a relatively short time ago, and displays the power of facial recognition, biometric fingerprint and mobile credentials.


Biometric Identifiers

There is a constantly growing list of identifiers used for user authentication.

  • Fingerprints
  • Facial
  • Voice
  • Iris
  • Palm of Hand or Finger Vein

It’s essential that the identifiers can be obtained easily; the data can be measured, evaluated and catalogued, and the resulting data can be trusted to be accurate. Only those traits which typically do not change in a person and do not need to be updated are used.

Biological: Evaluate factors at the genetic or molecular level. Blood type and DNA are two typical biological biometric identifiers. This technology is used for forensics at this time, but broad spectrum genetic scans will soon become as common as taking a pulse.

Morphological: Body structure such as hand geometry, body height and weight, and facial features are evaluated.

Behavioral: This might include a person’s signature, posture, speech patterns.

When a biometric technology is selected for an application, ease of deployment, acceptance by end users and acceptable reliability rates all must be considered.

Biometrics technology continues to gain favor as the obvious means to determine an individual’s identity. While manual (an armed guard) recognition is the traditional solution, there are two drawbacks to this technique. First, it requires a person, and second, the normal process of visually identifying a person is not reliable since people can disguise their appearances.


Access Control Applications

The typical security pro will encounter frequent opportunities to offer biometrics for access control and time and attendance applications. You may want to supply biometric solutions as part of a new single-door or networked system or as an upgrade to an existing one.

The fact is that the public is aware that a memorized code or possession of a credential are not adequate to satisfactorily authenticate a person in a growing set of situations. In fact, higher security applications may require multi-factor authentication, using both a biometric identifier and a key, PIN or card.

Biometrics as it applies to access control is the term used to describe the automated measurement and recognition of a characteristic of an individual’s anatomy (fingerprint, hand, retina, face), and testing this measurement either by comparing it against a database or comparing it to a template on a credential presented at the door control terminal.

For example, some biometrics use a credential with the individual’s biometric enrolled onto the credential. Cardholders may have to prove that they are the rightful possessor of the credential and also perhaps that the credential is authorized to use the controlled door. The entry control station may have a biometric scanner and the individual requesting to be admitted presents the biometric (for example finger, retina or hand) which is stored in the control station’s memory database to be tested for ”credibility.”

For larger EAC systems, the door station may not contain any user data, but connects with the EAC centralized database to be tested. These processes and database distribution and processing are analogous to the traditional “valid user” credential or memorized code transaction in traditional non-biometric enabled EAC systems.

Following are some of the vendors active in the security marketplace and their products.


ZKTeco Omni Series Credential Readers

The OmniAC Series all-weather multi-technology smart standalone terminals (models OMNI-20 and OMNI-30) from ZKTeco USA are advanced palm and face readers that provide accuracy, speed, and versatility. Available with 3- or 5-inch displays, the readers are both weatherproof and vandal resistant, ensuring reliable performance in any environment.

Utilizing next-generation deep-learning biometric algorithms, the OMNI-20 and OMNI-30 are capable of reading QR codes as well as 125kHz and 13.56MHz credentials for multi-factor authentication. Additionally, these readers can store and match up to 50,000 face and 5,000 palm templates in less than 0.3 seconds, even in extreme lighting conditions.

With their rugged construction and advanced biometric technology, the OMNI-20 and OMNI-30 are the ideal choice for any application requiring reliable and secure access control.        


ZKTECO USA, PDQ Manufacturing, and TECH5 Group have announced their partnership and plans to develop a new biometric access control solution based on decentralized identity technology. This collaboration is aimed at delivering a more secure and efficient way for businesses to manage access to their premises using biometrics, but without needing to store or control biometric data.

The new solution combines the decentralized identity technology of PassiveBolt, the biometric readers of ZKTECO USA, the door locks of PDQ, and the digital identity container technology for encrypted storage of biometric and other data of the identity holder – T5-Cryptograph – of TECH5. This will enable businesses to utilize biometric matching to authenticate the identity of individuals before providing access to physical areas or digital resources.

The new solution will employ decentralized identity technology, providing an extra layer of security and privacy. This technology allows individuals to store and manage their own identity data, making it more difficult for hackers to gain access to sensitive information from centralized storage. It is compliant by design with all privacy laws, including BIPA and CCPA.

More info: https://www.zktecousa.com/


LOCKLY Flex Touch Pro

Lockly has expanded its portfolio of smart locks to include the Lockly Flex Touch Pro, which gives users the ability to turn their existing lock into a fully functional biometric smart lock. 

Flex TouchPro is centered around Lockly’s signature features, most notably its patented 3D biometric touch technology, advanced WiFi hub, and smartphone control for remote access and monitoring from the Lockly app. Users enjoy the freedom with Lockly’s most flexible smart lock option yet, which allows quick and secure access to their front door, back door, home offices, garages and more.

The Flex Touch Pro is a retrofit smart lock that attaches seamlessly to most existing deadbolts with the help of three convenient frames which are included in the pack, making it an ideal choice for homes, rental properties and offices.

The Wi-Fi capability allows it to lock, unlock or check the door status using virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, along with providing remote access and 24/7 monitoring capabilities.

Lockly’s 3D biometric fingerprint sensor’s rapid response rate (<0.3 secs) provides rapid door access and can store up to 99 fingerprints for any family members, groundskeepers, or others trusted users who may need regular access.

Features and Benefits:

  • 3D Biometric Fingerprint sensor stores up to 99 fingerprints
  • Voice Control: Using the WiFi hub, connect to Google Assistant / Amazon Alexa
  • Mobile App Control – Unlock, lock or check door status from a smartphone. Track access history and share access with unique users from anywhere.
  • Programmable Auto Locking - Never worry about forgetting to lock your door with a customizable auto-locking feature
  • Protection - IPX4 certified
  • Long Lasting Battery – Operates up to 9 months with regular uses


Lockly Smart Safe

The Lockly Smart Safe allows real-time monitoring and control directly from a smartphone. Utilizing the property technology company’s patented PIN Genie rotating keypad and 3D biometric sensor technology, the safe is protected by a unique code and recognizes a user’s fingerprint in up to 0.3 seconds for quick and discreet identification.

From important documents to expensive jewelry and other valuable goods, Lockly Smart Safe’s sturdy, premium build and compact assembly are designed to protect what matters most. The smart personal safety and security device market is expected to garner approximately $8.7B by 2030, according to a report by Market Research Future (MRFR), making it more critical than ever to provide the public with advanced technologies that secure their personal belongings to keep others and themselves safe.

More info: www.Lockly.com


Suprema BioStation 3

Suprema has launched BioStation 3, a contactless access control terminal specialized for facial recognition in the post-COVID era.

BioStation 3 is a next-generation access control solution created by integrating Suprema's 20 years of expertise in access control and authentication-related technologies.

In addition to facial recognition — the representative contactless authentication method of the post-COVID era — various other contactless credential options are offered to enhance user convenience, including QR codes, barcodes, mobile access cards and RFID cards.

BioStation 3 features increased usability and a compact, slim body that is reduced in size by 47% compared to Suprema’s predecessor, FaceStation F2, allowing for easy installation on any door, from small offices to enterprise environments.

In addition, Suprema has continued to maintain their position as an industry leader by adopting the most advanced AI processor — a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) — to provide the best facial authentication performance available on the market today.

BioStation 3 is an advanced edge device that can run AI algorithms locally with an embedded NPU to maximize the performance of the AI engine. Accurate authentication is possible even for faces with various types and colors of masks, hairstyles, hats and glasses.

BioStation 3 is certified with ISO/IEC 27001, an international standard that helps organizations manage the security of their information and is designed to comply with GDPR, one of the world’s strictest privacy regulations.

One of the initiatives in protecting personal data is 'Face Template on Mobile’, a first in the industry, which is an authentication method independently developed by Suprema that allows users to store and manage their facial authentication template on their mobile phone without having to store it in the company's database.

More info: www.supremainc.com



IRIS ID offers multi-modal iris and facial recognition solutions that deliver the highest levels of non-invasive personal identification and authentication accuracy.

The fundamental principle of frictionless authentication is that user identification occurs in real-time without hindering the overall customer journey.

This seamless authentication method can be implemented during various digital processes such as onboarding, login, or transactions. 

The frictionless solutions are designed for a myriad of mainstreamed and specialized diverse infrastructure applications, as well as the most demanding environments found in highly volatile manufacturing, industrial and mining applications.

The fundamental principle of frictionless authentication is that user identification occurs in real-time without hindering the overall customer journey.

In contrast, high-friction authentication methods may include protocols like selfie video verification, multi-factor authentication, document uploads, manual form reviews, and CVV and address verification for payments. 

Iris ID’s biometric technology becoming the first to attain certification for SIA OSDP (Open Supervised Device Protocol) version 2, combined with their long standing partnerships with industry leaders such as HID and NXP, underscores their unwavering commitment to advancing heightened security with personal privacy protection using cutting-edge biometric solutions.

More info: www.irisid.com


Identiv ScrambleFactor Reader

Identiv’s ScrambleFactor reimagines secure entry for the federal market with fingerprint biometrics and a state-of-the-art LCD touchscreen keypad, integrating multiple authentication methods to deliver security, speed, functionality and convenience.

ScrambleFactor offers federal users up to three-factor authentication suitable for the most secure applications. This dynamic device supports PIN (scramble and standard), contactless RFID (13.56MHz and 125kHz), contact (CAC, PIV, TWIC), and fingerprint biometric verification, meeting the rigorous standards of U.S. government FICAM PIV and CAK validations. With its 4.3-inch diagonal screen featuring viewing restrictors, ScrambleFactor ensures privacy and high security in restricted access environments.

Features and Benefits:

  • High Assurance Security: Supports comprehensive multi-factor authentication for enhanced security protocols
  • Superior Performance: Compatible with OSDP and FICAM modes, it continues to provide the industry's fastest credential processing performance
  • Flexible Installation: Easily retrofitted into existing mounting boxes or mounted to a double-gang box, ensuring a smooth upgrade path
  • Software Compatibility: Requires Hirsch Velocity security management system
  •  Future-Proof Technology:  ScrambleFactor is a software-driven device, allowing for continuous updates and upgrades, ensuring the system evolves with the latest security technologies and features
  • Customizable Interface: Offers various keypad layouts with the option to display a custom logo on the home screen
  • Dynamic Options: Supports PIN (scramble and standard), contactless RFID (13.56MHz and 125kHz), contact (CAC, PIV, TWIC), and fingerprint biometric verification

More info: www.identiv.com


Amazon One Enterprise

Amazon One Enterprise is a secure, palm-based identity service for enterprise access control. The service helps organizations provide a fast, convenient, and contactless experience for employees and other authorized users to gain access to buildings and secure areas, physical equipment, and software resources.

Employees and authorized users can enroll in Amazon One Enterprise by hovering their palm over an Amazon One enrollment device and associating their palm with their organization’s preferred ID—such as badges, employee IDs, and PINs. The enrollment process takes less than a minute.

More info: https://aws.amazon.com/one-enterprise/


Princeton Identity

Princeton offers practical, cost-effective, and viable identity solutions-expanding the use of biometrics from high-end security systems into the mainstream. PI’s Identity Server software (IDS) is at the heart of all their platform solutions. It offers a scalable software platform for identity management through an intuitive, easy-to-use web interface and an open, secure REST API. The platform provides a set of core services that include multimodal and multifactor biometric identification, including iris, face, and PINs. This base layer of technology powers numerous business solutions through our hardware and software endpoint interface

Princeton Identity’s EyeAllow readers support iris and face biometrics, cards, mobile credentials, and PIN codes. Integrates seamlessly with access control, time & attendance, and point-of-sale solutions.

The goal: to replace traditional and fraud-filled methods of access like log-ins, passwords, and keycards with biometric authentication. 

The new EyeAllow user authentication edge device adds to Princeton Identity's Iris on the Move product suite.  With improved performance, eyeallow provides secure and convenient authentication options to access control, time and attendance, and point of sale installations. 

More info: www.princetonidentity.com



Invixium offers a full line of NDAA-compliant, made-in-Canada, modern, and rugged biometric solutions that are specifically designed to thrive in the most unclean, hazardous, extreme, and harsh working conditions prevalent in the industrial and critical infrastructure sectors.

“Approximately, 75% of the working population work in harsh and non-clean industries. Our biometric products and software are purposely engineered to operate in such environments where it’s needed the most”, said Shiraz Kapadia, CEO & President at Invixium. “With 35,000 devices deployed across the toughest sites with large workforces, we’re safeguarding refineries, airports, manufacturing plants, data centers, construction sites, and critical infrastructure,” added Kapadia, enforcing the breadth of Invixium’s impact.

With advanced layered encryption at its core for data protection, Invixium’s new all-in-one software platform, IXM WEB 3.0 offers a revamped UI/UX, powerful analytics, and enterprise-grade visitor management. In addition to IXM TIME – A comprehensive workforce management module, IXM LINK – Integration to access control software, IXM WEB 3.0 adds IXM VISITOR as part of this platform, streamlining guest security with fast, paperless registration options and a customizable dashboard.

Complementing its top-tier software would be TITAN, the most rugged face recognition access control solution equipped with multi-factor authentication purpose-built for harsh industries, TFACE, a highly versatile and slim dual biometric device for enterprises, and others. Invixium’s software makes it easier for system integrators to implement biometric solutions quickly and accurately; significantly speeding up deployment and setup time.

The company has established a long list of integration partners including LenelS2, Genetec, Honeywell, ACRE Security (DNA Fusion, Feenics, and AccessIt!), Galaxy Control Systems, Gallagher, Paxton, Nedap, Siemens and Schneider Electric.

More info: www.invixium.com

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.

Courtesy of BigStock.com -- Copyright: ismagilov
Courtesy of BigStock.com -- Copyright: ismagilov
Implementing a large-scale biometric deployment requires expertise in biometric technology, security and project management.
Courtesy of Getty Images -- Credit:m-imagephotography
India&apos;s Department of Higher Education has mandated that colleges and universities deploy biometric identity solutions to track student attendance and test-taking more accurately.