Announcing the First #Biometric Tweet Chat Hosted by @M2SYS Technology

Biometric technology tweet chat

Tweet Chat on Biometric Technology

When:  October 6, 2011

11:00 am EST, 8:00 am PST, 16:00 pm BST, 17:00 pm (CEST), 23:00 pm (SGT), 0:00 (JST)

Where: Tweetchat.com

What: The First tweet chat about biometric technology

                                                         Topic: Biometrics and Privacy

October the 6th, 2011 will mark the first tweet chat on biometric technology of its kind.  After running a couple of polls and talking with some industry professionals, we thought it was a good time to start a chat that helps educate, promotes communication and openly discusses challenges and issues that the biometrics industry faces.  Plus, it will also provide an opportunity to take a look into the future and ponder what changes may lay ahead and how they can affect the many different vertical markets that biometric technology touches.

Not familiar with a tweet chat?  A Twitter tweet chat is a  pre-scheduled chat on Twitter where participants can discuss and learn in real time through the use of updates (tweets) about topics of interest with other industry professionals and anyone else who wishes to participate.  Formal Twitter tweet chats are arranged in advance and occur at a specific time.  The biometric tweet chat will include a formal agenda with a specific leader or “speaker”, and involve a free flowing discussion between all participants.

To make tweet chats easier to follow, a Twitter hashtag is used for each chat so you can easily follow the conversation by creating a separate search within your favorite Twitter platform.  The hashtag that will be used for the first chat is #biometricchat  Although it is possible to participate in a tweet chat through a platform such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, we recommend using an online platform like Tweetchat which makes it very easy to follow the discussion, add in your own tweets and ask questions to the guest or other participants.  Simply click on “Sign In” on the top right hand corner and authorize the application (if you are already signed into Twitter) or enter your Twitter handle and password.  You will then see a hashtag symbol at the top of the page (#) and an open field directly next to it.  Type in “biometricchat” and the stream will then begin to list all of the tweets that are marked with the hash tag #biometricchat.  If you want to contribute to the conversation, type your tweet into the box below “Message to #biometricchat” and then hit your “enter” key or click on “update.”  You can also @reply to tweets, or retweet (RT) using the symbols on the right hand side of each tweet in the stream.

The format of the first chat will be single question, topic based Q&A which means that the chat will be on a general topic (privacy and biometrics), that asks specific, numbered questions to a guest throughout the chat within that topic. Each question gets roughly 15 minutes, and the chat lasts one hour. Participants can follow along the chat stream, and add any answers of their own to the questions, plus add opinions, additional questions and any other thoughts.  We expect that everyone understands there is a level of respect, decency and courtesy which is expected from participants and this is not an opportunity to castigate, berate or intentionally demean any guest or participant in the chat.

Our first guest for the inaugural biomteric tweet chat will be James Baker who will be representing the NO2ID campaign in the UK. James has previously written a guest blog post about biometrics and privacy for M2SYS in which he articulates his viewpoint on the perception of biometrics from privacy advocates and suggestions on how the industry can improve the technology to work towards privacy enhancement. James (and possibly some additional colleagues from the campaign TBD) will share; thoughts about biometrics and privacy to help everyone understand the issues that they see, the reasoning behind their views and the fundamentals of their interpretations.  We are grateful that they will be our guests for the first biometric tweet chat.  This discussion is not meant to be biased, but rather a free flow of conversation and open communication about biometric technology and privacy.

If there is a question that you would like us to include during the chat, please submit it to: john@m2sys.com and we will do our best to include it during the chat.  If the first biometric tweet chat goes well, we will continue to schedule the chat for the first Thursday of every month at the same time.

We look forward to seeing everyone on the 6th of October, and hope that you will spread the message to any colleagues or friends that you feel would benefit from the chat.  Please feel free to leave any comments below.

Free Webinar – How to use Palm Vein Biometrics to Strengthen PCI and Workforce Management Compliance

Free webinar on using palm vein biometrics to strengthen PCI and workforce management complianceM2SYS and Fujitsu will be offering a free webinar on August 30th from 2:00 to 2:30pm EST, 11:00 to 11:30pm PST on how palm vein technology can help to strengthen workforce management and PCI compliance.  The webinar will cover how using biometric palm vein technology to strengthen compliance can: help replace passwords with a palm scan, increase record storage security, establish significant cost savings, stop employee buddy punching, improve productivity, create a concrete audit trail, reduce payroll errors and strengthen labor law adherence.

The webinar is geared towards retail compliance officers and human resources/workforce management professionals but is applicable to anyone who would like further education on how vascular biometrics can help to strengthen compliance, lower costs and increase productivity.  For more information and to reserve your spot for this 30 minute webinar please click here.

Would you be Willing to Participate in A Tweet Chat on #Biometric Technology?

Take our LinkedIn poll on whether you would like to participate in a weekly or bi-weekly tweet chat about biometric technology.

Tweet Chat on Biometric Technology

Anyone who is a Twitter veteran or even if you are a novice has probably heard of a Tweet Chat.  Tweet Chats are pre-arranged chats that happen on Twitter through the use of Twitter updates (aka tweets) that include a predefined hashtag to link those tweets together in a virtual conversation.  They have caught on like wildfire across the Twittersphere and have proven to be an excellent forum to discuss just about any topic that surrounds their customized theme.

We are conducting a poll to see if there is enough interest in establishing a Tweet Chat weekly or once every two weeks to discuss biometric technology.  The idea is to bring together industry professionals, journalists, advocates, end users, academics, and anyone else who wants to join in on the conversation about the subject.  The forum will be a chance to share and educate with ideas, best practices, opinions, predictions, news, and points of view.  Each chat, there will be a topic of discussion to guide the conversation in a targeted direction and a list of questions distributed prior to the chat so that participants can review and prepare themselves for the discussion.  In addition, once a month we will add a guest to the format and prepare a series of questions for the guest to answer with the opportunity for participants to chime in with their own answers and opinions as well.

The chat will be centered on bringing people together for insightful and valuable discussions and we expect every participant to be respectful and courteous.  We will also make every attempt to schedule the chat at a time that is convenient and can include participants from all parts of the globe but it may be virtually impossible to schedule a chat that is convenient for everyone.

Please click here for a link to the poll.

M2SYS Volunteers With HomeStretch of Atlanta to Rebuild Houses for the Homeless Part II

Continuing in our goal of helping the community through volunteering initiatives, a few of us set out again to help HomeStretch of Atlanta rehabilitate homes for the homeless. HomeStretch is a noble cause — they provide temporary housing for the homeless of Atlanta who are picking up the pieces of their lives and making a concerted effort to get back on track.  We first volunteered for HomeStretch back in the summer of 2010 and enjoyed it so much that we organized another trip.

Here is a short video of our experience.  What volunteering initiatives do you consider worthwhile in your community?:

 

 

The Top 5 Reasons To Consider Fujitsu PalmSecure Biometric Technology Over Fingerprint

fingerprint readerOk, so you readily admit you are a biometric novice.  You know that biometric identification is growing in prominence, offers many unique features and characteristics not available with other technologies like barcoding and personal identification numbers (PINs) and is an affordable option.  However, what isn’t so clear is the difference between biometric readers in addition to the when, where and why of their use.  Let’s try and shed some light on that by comparing fingerprint to palm vein biometric readers.

Fingerprint biometrics is the most widely used modality in the industry hands down.  Well over half of all the biometric deployments across the globe are for fingerprint technology and it works very well in most situations.  Despite this, fingerprint biometrics is not normally viewed within the industry as a “one-size-fits-all” solution.  There are some subtle variables to recognize and keep in mind if shopping for a biometric system and considering fingerprint as your choice of reader.  Variables that may not be obvious at first but could very well cause you to choose palm vein biometrics instead as the optimal hardware for your deployment.

You may not have considered these top 5 reasons to evauluate palm vein biometrics over fingerprint, but we assure you that they are important reasons to consider and deserve careful review before moving forward:

Reason #1 – Your workforce tends to have unfavorable skin integrity.

Many people work in industries that require the use of tools, chemicals and machines.  Industries that are heavily dependent on the hands of their workers which may compromise skin integrity.  Cuts, scrapes, scars, bruises, dryness, roughness, moisture and other skin conditions can render an individual’s fingerprint unreadable which can cause difficulties when using a fingerprint reader.  Consider using palm vein technology instead which does not rely on skin integrity but instead uses near infrared light to map the vein pattern beneath your palm and uses that as the template for your biometric identification.

Reason #2 – Hygiene is of particular concern to you and your staff.

Fingerprint readers require direct contact with the sensor to scan and identify an individual.  Direct contact can lead to periodic reader cleansing especially in environments that see a high volume of use.   Palm vein readers do not require direct contact with the sensor and a successful scan can be executed by simply hovering over the device.  For those utilizing the hand guide, the device is easy to clean and keep sanitary without compromising the performance of the actual biometric sensor.

Reason #3 – Maximizing return on investment.

Because fingerprint readers require direct contact with the sensor (see #2) which accelerates wear and tear on the device, the longevity of the reader tends to be shorter.  Since palm vein readers do not require direct contact with any sensor to capture biometric credentials, they tend to last longer helping you to achieve a higher return on your initial investment.

 

Reason #4 – The stigma associated with fingerprint readers.

 

 

 

 

 

Fujitsu palm vein reader

M2-PV Palm Vein Reader

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most important aspects of deploying a biometric identification system is communicating to employees the safety and integrity of capturing and storing their biometric template data.  There are those who consider the capture of their fingerprint visceral because of the stigma that an image being stored has the potential to be misused or stolen.  Palm vein technology uses near infrared light to read vein patterns beneath the skin so the system is non-traceable – i.e. there is no latent footprint when a person enrolls and uses this type of system.  Because vein patterns exist inside of the body, it is practically impossible to recreate someone’s biometric template.

Reason #5 – Palm vein technology is affordable.

For all of the distinct advantages that palm vein technology offers, it is an affordable alternative to fingerprint.  You may think that switching to a biometric modality that uses near infrared light through a contactless sensor to map a vein pattern beneath the skin might be wildly more expensive than fingerprint but this is not the case.  We have examples of customers who were originally using fingerprint and decided to switch to palm vein technology for one or more of the reasons listed above.

Contact us to learn more about how Fujitsu’s palm vein technology can work to your advantage if you are considering a biometric system or if you have a current system that uses fingerprint technology.

We’d like to hear from our palm vein users – how has using Fujitsu’s palm vein reader been an asset to your biometric system deployment?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

 

How To Properly Clean Biometric Hardware

Some rights reserved by Chealion

Unintentional Consequences Resulting From Good Intentions

Recently, an end user contacted us to report that one of their fingerprint readers had mysteriously been damaged and unable to properly scan.  Turns out that the glass surface where the finger rests during the scanning process had become scratched and thus could not properly capture a fingerprint image.  Although no one on staff was claiming responsibility for the damage or the cause, management suspected (due to another fingerprint reader being damaged in a similar way a few months prior) that it was due to someone improperly wiping the surface with a prohibited cleaning agent.

Taking into consideration that fingerprint readers and other biometric hardware devices are an investment and have a shelf life just like most other electronic equipment, it prompted us to think that perhaps it was an appropriate time to write a blog post on how to properly clean biometric hardware to prolong the hardware longevity and get the most out of your investment.  Since regular use of biometric hardware devices (especially fingerprint readers) leaves residues or other foreign materials on the surface, this post will offer tips on how to properly maintain the devices.

fingerprint reader Wear And Tear More Prevalent For Fingerprint

No matter where you have a biometric system deployed, your hardware will undergo wear and tear as your end users place their fingers or palms on the device for recognition.  However, fingerprint readers tend to have shorter life spans due to the fact that an end user must make physical contact with the fingerprint sensor in order for the device to capture a print and identify through a biometric software interface.  Within environments where staff is prone to having dirty, greasy, or grimy fingers due to their job responsibilities, we always recommend cleaning your hands before using either of our fingerprint readers.  Remember that dirty residue, oils or other materials on the surface of a fingerprint reader can obscure the image causing performance degradation in terms of false acceptance and false reject rates.

CLEANING THE M2-EASYSCAN FINGERPRINT READER:

Dampen a lint-free cloth or cotton swab with alcohol or acetone. Gently rub the cloth across the sensor

surface in a left and right direction.  Move slowly down the sensor to cover the entire surface area. Repeat this process 2-3 times. Visually observe that no residual solution remains on the sensor.

Caution: Abrasive materials are not recommended for cleaning the M2-EasyScan.

CLEANING THE M2-S FINGERPRINT READER:

The scanning surface of the M2SYS fingerprint scanner is coated with a thin film of silicone.  This silicone layer helps the reader capture more ridge detail from rough, dirty, and other potentially difficult prints. The silicone layer is not removable or replaceable, so please make sure to treat it with care.

As far as cleaning, it is NOT recommended that you regularly use industrial cleaning solvents (especially those that are alcohol-based) on the scanning surface.  The repeated use of such products will definitely lead to the silicone layer on the scanning surface becoming damaged.  Such damage will result in decreased capture sensitivity, and will negatively impact the scanner’s performance.  A piece of scotch tape, placed sticky side down and then peeled off, should be sufficient to remove any dust or latent oil or dirt buildup caused by normal use.  The frequency of use for the tape will vary depending on the amount of traffic a scanner experiences.  Typically, once a week should be reasonable.

If something unusual does happen, like something sticky gets spilled on the scanner surface, a small amount of mild ammonia-based cleaner (e.g. Windex) can be sprayed onto a cloth (not paper) and blotted or gently wiped on the problem area.  Blot the area dry and use scotch tape to remove any leftover particulate.  You should not use paper-based products (e.g. paper towels) to clean the surface as they will leave small paper particles stuck to the silicone.  You should not spray any cleaners directly on the scanning surface. You should never use an alcohol-based cleaner on the scanning surface.  This procedure is only to be used in the rare case that something out of the ordinary gets onto the scanning surface – scotch tape alone will be sufficient for normal maintenance of the scanning surface.

It is possible that with heavy use the silicone layer on the scanning surface may become slightly cloudy over time.  Use of a mild ammonia-based, as described above, may help to remove this cloudiness.

Vascular Biometric Readers – Finger Vein and Palm Vein

Luckily, the dawn of vascular biometric readers meant that end users no longer had to make contact with the sensor that captures the image of the finger or palm vein for recognition.  It did not mean that these readers would not be susceptible to becoming dirty but cleaning frequency dropped significantly and the contactless sensor meant a longer life for the hardware.  Here is the breakdown of how to clean each M2SYS vascular reader:

M2-FV (Finger Vein) Scanner Maintenance:

  • Before performing the M2-FV Scanner maintenance, remove the USB cable. Keeping the cable connected with the USB connector during maintenance may cause failures.
  • For M2-FV Scanner maintenance, be careful not to allow water to come in contact with the inside of the M2-FV Scanner.  This may cause malfunctioning.
  • Do not clean the device using organic solvents such as gasoline and alcohol. This may cause malfunctioning.

Maintenance of the external part of the M2-FV Scanner should be about once a month or whenever required according the condition of the scanner.  Clean the external part of the scanner by rubbing it with a soft piece of cloth.  If dirt is not removed by doing this, soap the surface to be cleaned with neutral detergent and clean using a tightly wrung out piece of damp cloth.  If dirt remains, immerse the piece of cloth into water and cleaning detergent, wring tightly and apply to remove the dirt.

  • Scanning area maintenance. (About once a month or whenever dirt from fingerprints is detected.)


Scanning Area Maintenance Method

  • Use a soft piece of cloth to clean the scanning area.
  • Lift up and remove the front part of the device where the finger is placed (support).
  • Clean the scanning area using a soft piece of cloth. In case of big and obvious dirt particles, remove these before cleaning.
  • Place the support back into its position once the cleaning is finished.


M2-PV (Palm Vein) Scanner Maintenance:

Before performing the M2-PV Scanner maintenance, remove the USB cable. Keeping the cable connected with the USB connector during maintenance may cause failures.

  • For M2-PV Scanner maintenance, be careful not to allow water to come in contact with the inside of the M2-PV Scanner. This may cause malfunctioning.
  • Do not clean the device using organic solvents such as gasoline and alcohol. This may cause malfunctioning.

biometric software systemMaintenance of the external part of the M2-PV Scanner is required according the condition of the scanner. Clean the external part of the scanner by rubbing it with a soft piece of cloth. If dirt is not removed by doing this, soap the surface to be cleaned with neutral detergent and clean using a tightly wrung out piece of damp cloth. If dirt remains, immerse the piece of cloth into water and cleaning detergent, wring tightly and apply to remove the dirt.

 

Hope that this post has been helpful and we are always available for help if you need to contact us.

Cliff Notes On How To Navigate M2SYS Software Licensing

 

 

 

Some rights reserved by tyle_r

 

 

 

 

Software And Hardware Installation Can Be Confusing

At times, software and hardware installation can seem confusing.  Not only do you have to spend time identifying how software can benefit your business and which software and hardware would do the best job at the most affordable price, then you have to figure out how to load the software on your server and client (PC) post-purchase so that it works effectively.  There are probably occasions where you may have to call or e-mail technical support just to get the software working properly which eats up time from your schedule and can be frustrating.  We hope that this blog post can avert problems with licensing your software and provide you with a seamless installation.

P.S. – At the end of this blog post, we assembled a Glossary of Licensing Terminology.  Words marked with a * next to them are defined in the Glossary.

Tips On A Successful Client And Server Licensing Experience

In order to use M2SYS hardware and software, a license (LID)* must be generated either for the client (PC)/server or both.  We thought it might be helpful to take a moment and explain how licenses are generated, why they are needed and how to navigate the M2SYS License Page.*

Client (PC) software can be licensed in the following ways:

  1. If the client and server are running on the same PC, the client is automatically licensed by the server.
  2. M2-EasyScan Fingerprint Reader – licensed automatically by the internal code within the device.
  3. M2-S Fingerprint Reader – when prompted by a software license screen*, type the LID from underneath the device.
  4. M2-FV Finger Vein Reader and M2-PV Palm Vein Reader – license generated on the M2SYS License Page.

Server software can be licensed in the following ways:

  1. Connect a USB Smartlock.*
  2. Generate a license ID from the M2SYS Licensing Page.

Here are some tips that can make licensing and your installation a little easier:

Tip #1 - Let’s start with the most important tip – make sure to thoroughly read the installation guide(s) and the license page information first before attempting to generate licenses.  Installations will go much smoother if you take the time to go over this information prior to loading the software and connecting the hardware.

Tip #2 – DO NOT plug in the hardware (fingerprint, finger vein or palm vein reader) before installing the software.  Wait until you have started installing the software which will prompt you when it is time to plug in the hardware.

Tip #3 – If you need to generate a license from the M2SYS Licensing Page, make sure that you type it correctly into the prompt during installation.  To help prevent typing errors, use your mouse cursor to highlight the installation ID* and copy and paste it into the license page.  Repeat the same procedure to get the generated license ID back into the software license form.

Tip #4 – If you rename or replace a client or a server, this causes previously generated licenses to become null and void.  You must generate a new license upon renaming or replacing a server or a client.

Glossary of Terminology

  1. License ID (LID) – code used to activate M2SYS client or server software.  Can come from biometric device (client only) or M2SYS license page (client or server).
  2. Installation ID Machine-specific code displayed in M2SYS software after installation.  Used to generate license ID on M2SYS license page.
  3. M2SYS License PageWebpage which can be used to generate a client or server license ID by entering an installation ID.
  4. USB SmartlockUSB dongle which will activate the software when connected to a computer running M2SYS server software.
  5. Software License ScreenThe form where you are prompted for license activation within the M2SYS software.  The installation ID and license ID are displayed and entered here.  In the client software, this form automatically pops up when a biometric operation is attempted and the client software requires activation.  In the server software, this form is accessible via the M2SYS biometric server entry in the Windows Control Panel.

We offer these tips to make your life easier and your experience with our software pleasant and positive.  If you are still experiencing problems, you can always call our support team or visit our support portal at http://support.m2sys.com/

Do you have any suggestions on how we can make licensing our software and hardware easier and more efficient?  Please leave us a comment below.

 

Eliminate The Hassles Of ID Cards And PIN Codes With Biometric Identification Solutions

Please enjoy this guest blog post from our Partner, Horizon Software.  Horizon Software International is an innovative global leader in software, services and technologies for food service operations. The company, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner headquartered near Atlanta, GA, offers comprehensive food service solutions including Point of Service (POS), inventory management, menu planning, procurement, production, digital signage, temperature management, integrated vending, and more.

This post was written by Amy Huff, SNS, Vice President, Marketing at Horizon Software.

Many schools are realizing that biometric identification is no longer a high-tech futuristic concept and that it can significantly increase serving line speeds in the cafeteria.  Biometrics is a practical and affordable method of identification, removing the drawbacks associated with forgotten PINs, lost cards, and the potential for misuse due to bullying and other factors.

There are significant benefits to using biometrics for student identification:

Improve efficiency – Serving line speeds improve significantly when using biometrics rather than traditional identification methods. With biometrics, schools are able to avoid backed-up lunch lines due to misplaced cards or forgotten PIN codes.  One school system tested PIN pads versus biometrics and found that biometric identification was two minutes faster per 100 transactions.  With school cafeteria lines processing hundreds or thousands of students, those minutes really add up and make a difference in overall line speed.

Save time and money – A school’s staff no longer has to spend valuable time reissuing PIN codes and replacing forgotten, lost or stolen swipe cards.  And, it’s not just time they are saving; schools also no longer have the cost of producing the cards.

Boost security and protect privacy – Unlike ID cards and PINs, students cannot steal another student’s biometric template to gain access to another student’s account.

With all these benefits, why aren’t all districts using biometric technology?  The answer is that the biggest obstacle to using biometric technology is the misconception parents have in regard to what biometric technology is.

The misconception that students are being fingerprinted often hinders the adoption of this form of identification.  It is important to convey to school districts that particular care has been taken to ensure personal privacy.  Fingerprint images are NOT stored and the data is stored in a proprietary format, using secure encryption.

Instead of storing fingerprint images, the system stores only templates that are a numeric representation of the individual fingerprint.  Templates can be used for matching, but the actual fingerprint cannot be reconstructed.  Schools can rest assured that fingerprints are not stored anywhere and fingerprints cannot be recreated from the encrypted digital templates.

Beyond conveying this to school districts, it is even more important that the school districts communicate to parents when implementing biometric solutions.  Once they realize their children are not being fingerprinted and that this technology makes it very difficult for another student to gain access to another’s meal account, it is easy for them to see the benefits.

Fingerprint recognition is becoming the recommended method for education environments in secondary schools because it is reliable, cost-effective, easy to use, and secure.

 

What Does The Recent Unrest In The Middle East/Northern Africa And Biometric Technology Have In Common?

 

Suppression Of A Society Will Take Its Toll

Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock recently, chances are you caught wind of the unrest, protests and civic rebellions that are sweeping across the Middle East and Northern Africa.  First it was Tunisia then Egypt followed by Bahrain and now Libya.  Countries that are fed up with oppression  and living under the rule of dictatorships, oligarchies and autocratic rule are rising up and defying government power in an effort to force change, modernize their economies and provide citizens with a voice in their society.

For these countries and others crying out for change, demanding reform and putting the wheels in motion to make it happen it can be a frightening and anxious experience knowing that the actions they are taking are necessary and will pay tremendous dividends in the future but the short term implications can be difficult adjustments and fraught with uncertainty.  However, these rebellions have been years in the making and whispered about clandestinely in social circles for many years.  Revolt in Tunisia seemed to be the tipping point for the rest of these countries to follow suit and summon the courage to act themselves against their tyrannical regimes.

The Current And Future State Of Biometric Technology

The unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa got us thinking about parallels that we can draw from these events to the biometric technology market.  Modern biometric technology applications are revolutionary scientific breakthroughs in identification technology, with the ability to accurately identify an individual that is unsurpassed by any other identification technology on the market.  It is currently being used in some capacity by countries all over the globe through a wide variety of governmental and commercial deployments.

From border security, workforce management, membership management, retail point of sale, public safety, healthcare to banking – biometrics is slowly permeating our lives to boost security, create efficiencies, improve productivity and save money (among many other benefits for applicable vertical markets).  However, in certain countries it is being rejected and questioned on the grounds that it violates individual privacy rights and the validity of capturing and storing biometric identification characteristics of an individual without any plausible governmental data collection guidelines and laws in place.

These are valid arguments and ones that should be debated and resolved for biometrics to be more readily accepted.  However, these issues will not stop biometric technology from being the steam engine of future secure individual identification.  It is inevitable that biometrics will become more widely adopted and replace identification technologies such as barcode cards, personal identification numbers (PINs) and RFID technology.  There simply is no other technology that is neither comparable nor as convenient as biometrics.

The Connection

Just as the citizens of countries spread out across the Middle East and Northern Africa are rebelling for change and a better way of life, businesses are using biometric technology to halt unscrupulous practices that are draining their profits and polluting their environments.  Countries and companies across the globe are putting their foot down and saying , “Enough!”  They are tired of seeing things like fraud, time theft, shrink and buddy punching sap their profits.  They are seeking technological competitive advantages to increase operational efficiencies, establish accountability, build customer loyalty and achieve higher returns on investment in infrastructure.  Businesses and governments are abandoning the old ways of identification, those archaic and administrative intensive Stone Age methodologies and beginning to adopt modern technologies that offer far more benefits.

While we could never understate the importance and impact of the events that are unfolding in the Middle East and Northern Africa, we can draw some interesting comparisons to the present state and  how the future of biometric technology will unfold.

What do you think?  Are there some similarities you can draw from the unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa that you can compare to your market?

Why Vascular Biometrics Is A Good Fit For Membership Management

When You Think About Biometrics, You Think Fingerprint

For those who are familiar with biometric technology, the first picture that probably pops into your head is a fingerprint scanner.  This makes sense as fingerprint technology is the most widely recognizable and the most frequently deployed biometric modality in the industry.  Fingerprint biometric technology is a solid technology but not a one-size-fits-all biometric solution and its effectiveness is impacted by fingerprint integrity which can be compromised under certain conditions (e.g. – dirt, grime, grease, cuts, scrapes scars) environments (e.g. – temperature) and age groups (especially older demographics).  In fact, we recently wrote about questions to ask before you choose the appropriate biometric system which you can review again.

In addition, within the biometric industry it is often discussed that there is a small percentage of the population which simply have unreadable fingerprints, rendering fingerprint biometric technology ineffectual.  There are also certain vertical markets that have higher exposure to adverse conditions that render fingerprint biometrics more difficult to use effectively.  Considering the limitations of fingerprint biometric technology, especially in the environments we described above, businesses within these vertical markets that recognize the value of biometric technology may want to consider deploying vascular biometrics instead.

Vascular Biometrics Works Well In Membership Management

Membership management is a perfect example of a vertical market that can directly benefit from vascular biometric technology.  If you recall, vascular biometrics does not rely on fingerprints for identification purposes.  Rather, it relies on capturing an image of the vein pattern beneath the finger or skin and using that image as the basis for individual identification.  Unlike fingerprint technology, the integrity of the skin is not an issue with vascular biometrics.  By using near infrared light to capture a finger vein or palm vein pattern beneath the skin surface to identify an individual, vascular biometrics bypasses the need to have quality fingerprints in order to successfully use a biometric identification system for 100% of your population and allows end users to use biometrics in environments that otherwise are not conducive to fingerprint technology.

Here are some advantages of using vascular biometric technology vs. fingerprint:

  1. Due to the wide age demographic that membership management serves, vascular biometrics is a reliable technology that can identify near 100% of clientele which keeps the check-in process flowing.
  2. Fingerprint integrity is no longer an issue so vascular biometrics eliminates sensitivity to members who may work in professions where their fingerprints could be compromised.
  3. Members tend to be more apprehensive about offering their fingerprints as a means of identification due to the perception that it can be stolen or compromised and used to steal their identity.  Since most membership organizations that choose to use biometric technology for identification offer it as a voluntary service, members tend to be more likely to opt-in to finger vein technology which is perceived as being more acceptable.
  4. Member ID cards are no longer needed saving the expense of producing and replacing the cards which can be quite costly.

Recently, Montgomery County Maryland Recreation Centers began using M2SYS’ hybrid biometric platform technology with finger vein readers for their member check-in.  Here is a short video clip of the implementation followed by member and staff reaction: