Iris scan technologies crowned as the winner with most long-term potential.
DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Representatives of four different forms of biometric identification—facial recognition, iris scan, fingerprint, and hand geometry—each made a case for their biometric being most prevalent in the future at TechSec Solutions 2016.
The winner, chosen by a panel of four Security Systems News “20 under 40” Class of 2015 award winners, was iris scan.
Manish Dalal, general manager of ZKAccess, represented fingerprint technologies. ZK Access is a division of ZKTeco, which he said is “the world’s largest manufacturer of biometric and RFID solutions.” The company’s products are primarily used for time-and-attendance and access control, he said, with 80 million units installed worldwide.
Susie Osowski, product manager—biometrics, Allegion represented hand geometry recognition. “Hand geometry is purely measuring the size and shape of your hand. It’s not taking any fingerprints; it’s not taking any palm prints. It is purely a geometry measurement—it is taking 90 different measurements of length, width, and height of your fingers and hand,” she said. The reader pairs the measurements with a template that is brought up with an ID card or PIN.
Blaine Frederick, VP product management—EyeLock, Stanley Security, discussed iris scans. EyeLock is partnered with Stanley Security is a separate company headquartered in New York.
Iris scanning is sometimes confused with retina scanning, Frederick said. Retina scanning “is an older technology that actually looks at the back part of your eye, the veins,” he said. Iris technology, on the other hand, takes a picture and “we look at the color pattern in your eye—it’s very nonintrusive, it’s very simple to interact with,” Frederick said.
Jeff Sebek, VP of business development for Stone Lock Global, presented on facial recognition. Stone Lock was probably the newest company on the stage, Sebek said, founded in 2011.
“Where our facial recognition technology is a little bit different is the fact that it is actually not image-based,” Sebek said. “When you approach one of our devices, it’s flooding your face with infrared light and it’s actually doing a reflectivity saturation of over 2,000 points.”
Ray Coulombe, founder and managing director of SecuritySpecifiers.com, moderated the session, held here, at TechSec Solutions 2016 in February.
Four of SSN’s “20 under 40” Class of 2015, two integrators and two end users, acted as judges: Christopher C. Moore, manager, public safety, and security, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Mass.; Ross Bourgeois, assistant chief of public safety, Mercedes-Benz Superdome/Smoothie King Center/Champion Square; Henry Hoyne, VP of professional services, Northland Control Systems; and Scott Ranger, VP of operations, CONTAVA.
Moderator Coulombe asked each of the biometric experts to discuss where their biometric excels.
Fingerprint scan is a long-established biometric, according to Dalal. Fingerprint authentication is the most cost-effective biometric currently being deployed, and is easy to use, he said. The technology is “extremely fast and extremely accurate when it comes to matching.”
In addition, the sensors are small, and the fingerprint technologies have the “most standardized specifications as far as the template is concerned,” said Dalal.
Fingers can become dry or injured, making them more difficult to read—but because you have 10 fingers, you have plenty of back-ups, Dalal joked.
Osowski said hand geometry scanners, as they are not scanning for finger- or palm prints, work with adverse conditions. “Your hands can be dirty, they can be oily, they can be dry, it’s not going to matter; it’s still going to be able to verify.”
She called hand geometry a “proven” biometric in use since the 1970s, with about a million installations worldwide, according to Osowski.
Hand geometry does not raise the same privacy concerns as other biometrics, according to Oswoaski. “We’re not taking unique data from you. The size and shape of your hand can’t be reverse-engineered in order to use it somewhere else.”
Minor changes to hand geometry, such as a small bandage, won’t deny access to a user, she said. The template is also updated with each use, which helps the biometric adapt to weight changes.
Fredrick said the iris doesn’t change over time and is the most stable biometric “From about 6 months to the day you die, your iris stays exactly the same.”
EyeLock uses video to capture the iris image, for ease of use, but other companies use still images. The reader then converts the image into a template to match it with another template.
Frederick commented that the technology isn’t as theatrical as it appears in movies, where lasers scan over a user’s eye. “If they were to put one of our devices in a movie, it would be pretty boring, because a person just glances at it and walks away.”