Contactless fingerprint scanners provide user security with contactless entry

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From voice recognition to facial recognition, you don’t have to look far to see how advances in biometrics have shaped our approach to security in recent years. Previously confined to the realm of science fiction or reserved for the wealthiest individuals and corporations, advances in technology have made many biometric security options a much more affordable and, importantly, more secure option for many businesses and institutions.

Yet with the current changes facing our world, with the need for social distancing etc., biometric security must adapt, and one area that is rising to the challenge of a contactless future is fingerprint readers. digital.

What is a biometric fingerprint reader?

A biometric fingerprint reader is a form of authorization in which the system scans and stores a unique pattern on an individual’s fingerprint. This impression is then compared to a stored data entry of authorized users; if it matches, the system can then grant access to the user.

When we think of types of biometric fingerprint readers, many of us immediately think of our cell phones, and for good reason. Mercator estimates that 41% of smartphone users currently use some form of biometric authorization with their phone, with fingerprint readers leading the way when it comes to the biometric option of choice. By 2024, Mercator expects this number to rise to 66%.

Outside of mobile security, biometric fingerprint readers are often found in areas of physical security, where they are used to physically allow or prevent access to specific areas of a building. From revolving doors to fast lanes, businesses now have the ability to enhance their security with the addition of biometric fingerprint readers.

How do fingerprint scanners work?

While businesses have the freedom to choose the security entrance that best suits their building, they also have the choice of what type of fingerprint reader to integrate. Fingerprint scanners have traditionally been divided into three different categories:

Optical fingerprint scanners

The first and oldest method of capturing fingerprints, optical scanners work by capturing a photographic image of the user’s fingerprint and then comparing that fingerprint with what is stored in the database.

While the cameras used to capture the fingerprint provide much more detailed images than you might capture on your cell phone or DSLR camera, the fact that the scanner relies on a photo means that the image could easily be manipulated, i.e. it could be possible to deceive the system. with the right photo. Therefore, optical fingerprint scanners are rarely used nowadays.

Capacitive fingerprint readers

In response to this, the Capacitive Fingerprint Scanner was designed to help improve the level of security afforded to businesses. Using a capacitor, the scanner is able to store a small electronic charge, which is changed once the user places their fingerprint on the sensor.

When this happens, the changes are stored as a small piece of digital data, which forms the basis of your electronic fingerprint. This data is then analyzed and compared to the system; if there is a match, the user will be granted access.

Capacitive scanners are perhaps the most common form of fingerprint scanner on the market today, which is largely a result of their ease of use, as well as the fact that they are very difficult to handle. , because the capacitor can notice even the smallest changes on the sensor.

Ultrasonic Fingerprint Readers

More commonly found in modern smartphones, but still present in physical security options, ultrasonic fingerprint scanners work by taking advantage of ultrasonic pulses. Once a finger is presented to the scanner, a continuous pulse is sent, part of which is absorbed by the sensor.

Much like the charge found in a capacitive scanner, the pulse from the ultrasound scanner will be slightly different depending on the user. This pulse is then compared to the database.

The only advantage of ultrasonic fingerprint scanners over capacitive scanners is that ultrasonic scanners can scan for longer periods of time by adjusting the pulse duration. A longer scan equals a more detailed scan, which means that ultrasound scanners are generally more reliable and secure than capacitive scanners.

Overview of Contactless Fingerprint Scanners

While these three types of fingerprint scanners offer a number of differences, they all share one key similarity in that they all require the user to physically touch their finger against a reader or scanner.

Given the importance of social distancing, having an access point where multiple staff members are forced to touch to enter and exit areas of a building leaves managers with the difficult task of enforcing security, while ensuring the safety of staff and visitors.

To combat this, contactless entry entrances that operate without the need for physical contact are considered a popular choice, to help eliminate the need for contact to provide access to a building. Contactless options have been around for a long time; the difficulty, however, lies in balancing it with appropriate security options.

For example, traditional contactless entry is a swing door with manual sensors for automatic entry. While this method works to create a contactless environment, it leaves an organization vulnerable to infiltration due to unauthorized entry, such as through tailgating or piggybacking.

Likewise, automatic doors are a common feature of buildings, operating with a preset delay to prevent the door from closing early on a user. Although security sensors ensure that the door will reopen if someone stands in the way, it is this vulnerability that can also lead to entry by unauthorized users.

Advantages of contactless fingerprint readers

The solution is to combine contactless solutions with high levels of security, which Boon Edam UK is proud to uphold through its partnership with Idemia and its unique contactless fingerprint reader, the MorphoWave Compact.

Using the latest security technologies, the MorphoWave Compact allows users to access the scanner with a simple wave of the hand. During inspection, the non-contact scanner scans four fingers simultaneously, quickly creating a 3D image in less than a second and determining if the scan matches.

In addition to speed and efficiency, contactless fingerprint scanners such as the MorphoWave Compact offer reduced power consumption, improved user experience and, most importantly, a significantly reduced risk of infection and of cross-contamination through the use of contactless scanning.

Contactless fingerprint scanners for your business

For more information on our security entrances and how they can be integrated with contactless fingerprint scanners, be sure to download our latest ‘Contactless Solutions‘ Leaflet.

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