All About Biometric Door Locks for home and business use

on Electronic Biometric Access Control

Biometrics, or the recognition of the identity of someone using a biological aspect of a person is actually a very old technique. We use biometrics daily as we 'computer', which we call the human mind to use: for example, when we recognize someone by looking at his or her face, or when we verify a handwritten signature to what we trust to a bona fide copy of a signature. The sense of futuristic biometric technology comes about when we approach the traditional biometric new opportunities we have in the electronics race. Now we can use electronic devices to biometrics comment on the authenticity of a person, that is, "person X is who they say they are?" Because the information and digital age is upon us, the technology is established, which makes authentication exceptionally accurate, and possibly a more reliable means of authenticating a person than the traditional, human-judgment based biometrics.

Experts in authentication technologies usually classify the criteria used for someone's identity based on a number of different categories to verify. "What you know ', or Wyk, is a form of authentication: a common version of this occurs when you give an electronic banking terminal your PIN (or Personal Identification Number). "What you have, or WYH, is another criterion, and this refers to the possession of an object identification number, such as an identity card or a passport but you can simply type a key as proof of identity WYH even consider for allowing access to a private or controlled access property. Biometrics, according to this classification scheme, would generally be termed "What you are" or WYA. It is the presentation of a physical aspect of yourself that is quite unique and individual to you, with a view to obtaining authentication.

Electronic Access Control (EAC) on the properties based on biometrics is not new technology, which for decades and it has taken on many forms. Hollywood films have long portrayed high security installations that finger and handprints, eye (iris and retina) scans, facial and voice recognition and therefore use, in order to verify identity. Of course, the media usually Depicting the technology used by spies, high-tech companies installations, the ultra-wealthy and other elites of society: to be priceless assets and information to protect or to prevent espionage and treason. Only recently it has become an exciting time for the rest of us, technologically, as the digital age has brought electronic biometric technology to a quality standard and a price that is within the reach of the average consumer.

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of fingerprint biometric door lock

The latest consumer item is a biometric fingerprint access control device that scans a person, so that access to housing, or even a vehicle. High-tech industry commentators see biometrics as an emerging new technology that will eventually replace or at least be offered in addition to all other forms of access control (such as keys or electronic access control devices based on PIN keypads, magnetic card swipe or Radio Frequency ID (RFID) chips / key fobs). One of the main reasons is that the biometric device may be an incoming solution free of the typical problems facing older technology offers. This advantage can easily be avoided that awful feeling you get when you stand at your front door and can not get your keys, or if you so many PINS in your head that you can not remember the right to access to a property. Maybe it's when the so-called magnetic stripe card has lost its magnetic properties, or you've lost the card, or an RFID keychain has run out of batteries, stolen, or not to communicate with the lock. Biometrics can be advantageous for those who have physical problems with the operation of one of these older technologies. With biometrics, all you need is a finger on a small screen that the fingerprint scans, and then you have access to your property.

This is a relatively new technology for the consumer, so if you think of trying a biometric access device, it pays to be cautious in terms of unit you select. What do you need to look for? Knowing that this could mean the difference between having a new and more amiable relationship with your front door, or one that ends with a lot of frustration, when Jack Nicholson imitate in an ax-wielding doubling of the "Here's Johnny 'scene from the movie "The Shining". Hence, the following are a few things to consider when selecting a biometric device.

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When Biometric EAC Use

The wide range of benefits to the absence or using keys or other physical devices can not be described in great detail and most people immediately think of a list of benefits for their own home. Suffice to say, the potential benefits are many and varied. They can range from the potential increased accessibility for the disabled, elderly and young children through to benefits obtained in our "Great Aussie beach culture, where many will see as ideal to go to the beach and not to take a set of keys (or other devices that can be lost or stolen). Some applications can achieve enormous benefits of implementing a biometric access control system, where inventory of keys or other devices over an ever-changing customer base would be "a nightmare" or simply priceless. A few examples are kindergartens, schools, industrial complexes and offices, and high-security government and commercial activities. The U.S. "Disneyland" (and the Hong Kong location) have implemented a fingerprint scanning system called "Ticket Tag" to all its visitors the audit, the system monitoring the complex array of access levels, depending on which types of tickets the visitors to buy. Hotels can also greatly benefit from eliminating the need for key or card stock to maintain, while freeing the host from which either introduce or to check key at reception each time they input / output of the building. Computer remote control of a number of biometric locks and some locks are programmable to one of the guest room a body automatically access after a certain time interval erase. Many biometric devices have a built-in audit trails that track the entries by the user, date and time may keep. This can be useful to prevent "buddy bundying" in the workplace, or any kind of monitor for parents concerned about children. The potential uses and benefits of biometrics are only limited by imagination, and a number of advantages can make all the difference to older technologies.

Fortunately, in most applications, biometric technology is a suitable replacement for older technologies and biometrics can offer a versatile solution for residential access, government and commercial / industrial situations. However, there are a few exceptions. A case occurred a few years ago where a British prison invested in biometric fingerprint scanning devices to access through the internal parts of the prison to check. Because the biometric device is selected for the prison was not right, prisoners were quickly weakness of the special device that simply do not have a good enough discrimination between the different fingers to operate to keep prisoners out. Consequently they were able to unauthorized access to internal areas available. (The important issue of the accuracy of biometric devices is directly below.) While the overall prison security was not compromised for a short time the prison black market flourished. Some commentators on this event correctly observes that prison is not an entirely good enough for a biometric device, because some prisoners would not hesitate to cut off a guard of the finger, if the access provided for freedom (or in some cases, an extra box of cigarettes). It is certainly the last place I would like to install biometric access, but not necessarily for safety concerns because biometric module can sometimes distinguish between a member and a severed finger, based on measurements such as body temperature reading. The primary reason for not installing such equipment in prison is simply that prisoners wrongly perceive that the severed finger to their freedom access, and whatever success escape the false perception is probably a lot of work to an unfortunate prison Public detriment.

Physical attributes may not marry with biometric technology. A visitor to Disney had problems with readers because they had lymphodema in her right arm, which was one she selected to the fingers scanned. When her arm swelled during the day, her fingers and was expanded several fingers in the eyes of the biometric scanner. A simple remedy in her case would have been the arm that does not swell, but it does give an insight into an issue that may occur for some users. Very rarely, people have little real fingerprints, which can confuse some biometric readers, resulting in the malfunctioning of the device for such user.

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Biometrics Accuracy

In buying a biometric lock must be careful to make the device a high degree of accuracy can be selected, or in other words, low levels of error. In biometrics, there are two typical biometric measurement error related to: that of FRR or False Reject Ratio or FAR and "false acceptance rate. The lower ratio or any percentage, the better the biometric product.

FRR is also known as the "insult rate", and this is quite an appropriate term. It is the number of times you offended by your door locked, because it wrongly but quiet beeps to inform you that you really can not, but rather a pretender to the throne. FRR equal directly to the usability of the device. A registered user (ie, a person whose fingerprint is held within the memory of the lock or locking control as an authorized participant) should be allowed easy entry. If a biometric device has a low FRR, then it should not need a series of attempts before your home or office to enter. A high rate insult or FRR biometric device can be a frustrating with.


The second measure of accuracy, FAR, is crucial. It concerns the protection provided by the device. How easy is it for the fingerprint of another user, an actual "heir" to the device? How easy is it for a technology to simulate the lock into thinking it's the real finger? A high FAR or fraud rate is a security violation just waiting to be happen.

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Lies, damned lies and statistics

In buying a biometric lock, look closely at the FAR and FRR rates. They should both be as low as possible. However, it also pays to consider how the specifications are collected. Some biometric locks use what might be a "security setting" are called to reach a compromise between the fingerprint of discrimination and authorized users ease of access: that is, a setting that allows you to trade off performance between a false insults or false authorized to unauthorized persons. In my opinion a very bad thing to have a biometric device, because the user should not be forced to tweak key institutions: it has all purely automatic. Performance of a biometric should be about achieving both levels of accuracy at the same time, because that is what is asked in the real world. Manufacturers a correction level to build their device may attempt to achieve better performance figures for their product than they can deliver in practice.

It pays not too serious about the performance specifications offered by manufacturers. While they can serve as a useful guide, the specification which states, for example, a "1:10000 false reject rate" may never achieve such in practice to achieve. Such performance figures are based on a mix of empirical data and mathematical analysis. The best thing to do is to model the fingerprint testing, the enrolled finger in the machine and gain access site several times, and how repeatable is shown. If your finger scans are frequently allowed in until you get tired of testing the entry transaction, then chances are the lock is easy to live. If you're a lock that only a denial of entry beeps and requires you to once again scanning a hundred, it would be safe to say that this is a good lock to use on a daily basis. Rare physical characteristics (as noted earlier) can sometimes be confusing, biometric readers. So test first, and make sure the product is especially suited to your fingers.

Another indicator of the confidence may be to check with the supplier who makes the biometric module within the biometric device. Are they a reliable and reputable source of high technology hardware?

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Biometric Ease

Nordic Biometric Mermaid Doorlock

Figure 1: A biometric device with a friendly, easy to use menu driven interface, the industry standard navigation path, and a large screen. SEQ Figure ARABIC * A complete, standard numeric keypad on the front of a device helps ease .

It is not much good with a biometric device when the proverbial Ph.D. to use it. Some locks are so complex that even using a video of the steps needed to operate the watch (let alone program) is a confusing thing. Of course, the ease with which you use a biometric device contributes to or affect much in terms of how lucky you with your purchase. Look for a large and easy to screen, with controlling functions, the menu navigation in an intuitive way. If the biometric device is set, for example - the easiest to use mobile phones or digital cameras, with features such as four way navigation keypad, then it probably is user friendly. Try to make sure that if you want to get a job, you both a user and a fondness for astrophysics necessary: instead of you just have the option of a simple menu and press the navigation or selection buttons.


Don't external control interface or neglect, when it comes to choosing a good biometric device. If the unit has an industry standard numeric keypad lock on the outside body, this is an indication for easy access to check when you choose a PIN instead of or in addition to using a fingerprint scan. A full keyboard in front of the device is also significant that entering numbers in the biometric device (for programming the basics) will an easier thing than one that only a few buttons and not represent the full range of numerical digits (0-9).

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Biometrics and Privacy

There Some legitimate concerns of privacy advocates and the press in general, about privacy in relation to biometrics. Look for biometric unit not only to catch and process the image of the fingerprint, but use "minutia points", which is very specific details from a finger scan. A biometric device works with minutiae points by immediately capturing certain aspects of the finger and fingerprint, followed by mathematical analysis and then encrypted code-of those facets. Therefore, such a biometric device should not really compare pictures, but the very specific information they collected. Drawing data from the biometric system can result in little, but the collection of useless data, rather than compromising the biometric data of an individual. Some locks and network software programs that attach to them (if they are suitable for the network) will also allow programming lock, so only a guest user is stored in memory for a certain period of time. At the end of that period, the fingerprint minutiae data is automatically deleted from the system.

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Biometrics Sustainability & Design

A slide biometric device

Durability is very simple. Take a good look at the castle: it is protected from the elements? Some locks have sliding covers that the biometric scan window and controls to protect against dust, dirt, water and so on. The body is made up? Some locks have thicker walls of alloy in their construction to make them stronger, some have plastic parts that the unit more vulnerable. The finish is built to last? Some biometrics are "nano-tech finishes that they're so high tech on the outside as they are on the inside, and make them highly resistant to scratches that can make them less attractive. Locks firmly constructed based on a mortise lock design can be a bit expensive, but the most robust in terms of security, which is of course what they are there for the end of the day.

This leads to the ultimate criterion you should consider when buying a lock: it is attractive, and makes it visually complement (or charge) your company. Unfortunately, it seems that many biometric locks are designed with functionality in mind, and little or no attention was paid to the appearance: but there is no rule in stone that a biometric device is too ugly, and some units are attractive and elegant, and make a strong statement on any front door.

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When everything is taken into account, the step to apply this new technology can be a rewarding experience: just be careful that you are the right device for you, your situation and your "sense of aesthetics" option. Chances are you will be rewarded for your great care to buy, and you'll be able to really enjoy the best things that this new and exciting technology provide.

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All text copyright

Nordic Biometrics Pty Ltd (Australia) 2008. L 1

Michael Primero, B.Sc., M.Sc.Soc., is a director of Nordic Biometric (Australia) Pty. Ltd., which supplies biometric lock devices. More about the Nordic Biometric product (which is illustrated in the above essay) can be seen at The Nordic Biometric Website.

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