Biometric Access Control: The 4 biggest developments about to change the workplace of tomorrow.


As commercial buildings around the world have continued to grow, they have also become more complicated. Filled with new requirements and ever more advanced technology, ensuring that the right people, can access the right areas of a building has never been more important. Property owners and managers around the world are seeking new ways to improve the overall safety and security of their spaces, while allowing the right people easy access and convenient freedom of movement.  

Although “access control” may be a relatively new term, the concept is not. Put simply, access control is a system that gives people access to the correct places and resources. Analog methods of access control have been in use for centuries, with locks and keys still remaining one of the simplest and most effective methods of security. Fast-forward to the commercial buildings of today and you’ll find the most common technology in use, is the popular RFID (radio-frequency identification) card.  

Over the last two decades, building security has seen dramatic increases, with advanced electronic systems and more physical security being added on the ground. Large properties globally have invested in access gates, secure elevators and are now beginning the transition to advanced biometrics. First implemented to combat the threat of terror these systems are now also being used to efficiently monitor and report on the people who work and live in our city’s largest vertical communities.

Biometric access control provides the perfect solution as it authenticates based on the user, rather than what the user is carrying. This makes it non-transferable and highly secure against theft and accidental access. Imagine never leaving your keys behind, never worrying about someone stealing your pin number, and never having to remember another password. With Biometrics, your body is the key.

Right now, firms around the world are competing to introduce a failsafe system that will change the way that we access areas every day. This fail-safe system will need to provide a frictionless experience, have rapid uptake, be cost effective for property owners and non-transferable between users.  

Here are the 4 biggest tech advances in biometrics happening right now:

1. Iris Recognition Technology

By reading the unique and intricate features of the individuals Iris, scanners pick up on precise patterns to quickly and reliably identify the user. Millions of people are enrolled in iris recognition systems, including automated border crossings and national programs. Arguably the biggest advantage of using iris recognition, besides its speed of use and accuracy, is its stability as an individual's iris remains the same over the course of their life.   

The world's leading iris recognition platform, was first introduced in 1997. Now in its 4th generation IrisID is used across six continents to authenticate millions of people. According to Find Biometrics IrisID’s technology is used in more applications than all other iris recognition products combined.

2. Digital Fingerprint Scanners

Commonly found in large airports and at border crossings, the well-known fingerprint scanner quickly matches and identifies or adds additional information to a new profile. Trusted by the world's most secure countries and organisations, fingerprint scanners remain one of the most trusted and secure forms of identification.  

Producing technology that is trusted by the FBI and a further 50% of U.S. Law enforcement MorphoTrak’s 10-Print, latent and RISC fast-ID is the go-to product worldwide. Innovating in biometrics for the last 40 years MorphoTrack has developed technology that supports over 100 countries and it consistently ranked #1 by NIST for matching accuracy.  

3. Apple Face ID

Although arguably less accurate than the other products on this list the development of iPhone X’s facial recognition system “FaceID”, marks the most prominent entry into mainstream biometrics to date since it's popular finger scanner. Famed for their highly secure encryption, Apple takes the security of its devices extremely seriously, claiming that the chance of someone else being able to unlock the new phone is more than one-in-one million.  

Using a combination of 2D images and 3D depth data made possible by the new device’s TrueDepth front-facing camera, the device uses a complex system to build a digital model of the individuals face. Unlike systems found on devices such as the Galaxy 8 (which has been known to have been hacked with a photograph) this system as it picks up various facial elements, including the contour of the user’s eye sockets, chin, nose, unique skin lines, patterns and spots on the skin.

4. InMotion Biometrics

Hailed as the holy grail of biometrics, advances in facial recognition are bringing the dream of long distance, unobtrusive, identification into reality. Seen time and time again on the big screen (The Bourne Identity, Minority Report ect.) this technology is hoped to revolutionise security on a global scale. With pilot test projects already underway in the US, the technology is currently being graded for its reliability and accuracy on a national security level.

For commercial purposes, FTS’ InMotion is leading the industry with its product already widely in use. Providing innovative and secure access to private clubs and apartments globally InMotion Access Control is frictionless for users and allows seamless free movement. FST’s identity management solution identifies people from a distance as they are walking. By doing away with fingerprints and other physical identifiers this technology does away with frustrating queues.  Current users of the technology include Singtel, The Bel-Air Bay Club and the Israel Diamond Exchange.  

By removing the need for key-cards, codes or time-consuming security checks, this technology is set to revolutionise the access control industry.

With the technology already here, biometric access control is set to be one of the biggest evolutions in property this decade. International property groups are investing now and partnering with companies committed to leading the industry and bringing this technology into the mainstream. By simplifying the way occupants interact with their spaces we can once again improve the experience for our communities and help people to love the place they’re in.

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