Favorite Biometrics 2014

By Brian Rhodes, Published Aug 18, 2014, 12:00am EDT

This IPVM integrator survey reveals the favorite biometric of professional integrators, with stats and color commentary.

The contenders are:

  • Face
  • Finger
  • Palmvein
  • Retina
  • No Biometrics

Key Breakdown

Almost half of responses listed 'fingerprints' as the preferred biometric, but this answer ranked only slightly higher than 'nothing' at 44%.  This signals skepticism and difficulty working with biometric offerings:

In the sections below we break down the major themes emerging from integrator's comments.

Fingerprints, by default

By a landslide, integrators voted fingerprint readers the most common type of biometric they use for access jobs. However, many integrators listed fingerprint preferences while making it clear they are not commonly used:

  • "In the rare cases that the customer requests biometrics, we use Fingerprint readers."
  • "Fingerprint. Others seem to concern people or cause longer lines and backups. People seem most comfortable with a finger print solution."
  • "Very limited use in our customer base but Fingerprint is the most requested."
  • "Fingerprint with sub-dermal It has the best false positive / false negative rates and read times that we have experienced. Can work in cold conditions and exterior if deployed correctly."
  • "Fingerprint - Mainly because it is all we have used in the past. We don't get much call for Biometric units."
  • "Finger prints, because they are the only ones we have used that have reliably worked."

Limited Brand Recommendations

Several integrators shared particular brands or fingerprint reader offerings they have most success with. However, most admitted experience with other reader types and brands are limited, mainly due to lack of demand:

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  • "We have used some readers by ZK Access in the past. They are priced aggressively and seem to work well for standalone applications."
  • "We use Suprema fingerprint readers but are not absolutely convinced these are the best. "
  • "We seldom have the opportunity to use biometric, but when we do, we use the HID BIOClass readers."
  • " Fingerprint as we have the most experience with these. The technology used in the Anviz readers are your typical colored LED light and not the best, though."
  • "Suprema, has their own access control software, so no need for dual enrollment like other hybrid biometric options."

'Nothing' Almost Wins

Indeed, almost the same percentage of votes declared 'nothing' as their answer for which biometric they prefer most:

  • "None, they're all terrible. We've mostly done hand geometry or fingerprint."
  • "We have never had any requests to use biometric in any of our sites."
  • "We don't use biometric readers."
  • "At the present time, I am not fond of any "biometric" reader. I believe there is still work to be done on the "biometric" readers."
  • "We do not sell biometrics. Too many problems, too expensive, no demand."
  • "Surprisingly these are not requested that often with our customers."
  • "We rarely use biometrics because of local privacy regulations."

Integrators mainly cited poor previous experience with production biometric use, or weak (in some cases: nonexistent) demand to use them in access designs. Overall, this clearly indicates biometric use somewhere near the fringe of access control designs and not widespread at all.

Other Types Marginal

The remaining total 5% - 6% of votes were divided among three other biometric types: Palmvein, Face Detection, and Retina/Iris scanners. Even when suggesting these methods, however, there were as many anecdotes of failure as success:

  • "Palmvein is a nice option in a bio reader because it allows for contactless recognition extending the life of the reader but can still cause failure do to dirty lenses and not a good option for all environments."
  • "I found the palms of old to be problematic. Only done 1 iris reader."
  • "The last retinal scanner I installed was way too big, and to get the speed you had to turn the matching down to a point where it wasn't worth doing."
  • "The Sally ports on our prisons use them and we use palm vein. Our perception is that they are more reliable, less non-reads and that the require less maintenance and cleaning."
  • "We have used both Iris and finger print. We don't have a favorite biometric, but we use Iris scanners in high security applications."
  • "Hand geometry. It's a great big box that hangs on the wall, with instructions written right on it. We get less bogus service calls due to user error from those than any of the others."
  • "Face recognition readers were a mistake, but non-contact palm veins work pretty well in some applications."
  • "Techsphere. Vascular hand reader has the least misreads."

Despite marketing claims to the contrary, access control biometric use is fringe at best.

3 reports cite this report:

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