Entertech FaceStation Examined

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Nov 05, 2012

Biometric credentials are more than just fingerprints. A growing trend in access control readers is face recognition, but is it dependable enough to be the primary credential for access control? Entertech Systems thinks so, and their FaceStation Access Terminal is designed around it. In this note, we examine the company, the terminal, and the face recognition technology behind it.

Authentication Process Overview

Face Station uses biometric information to authenticate users separately from the 'host' access control system. A database of biometric details - in the case of FaceStation, images of user faces - is stored an accessed independently of the host EAC system credential/card holder database. However, the host access control system database of cardholders is stored in the networked face reader. When a face image is validated as an approved record, the reader unit associates the face image record with a card holder record, and sends the face match information to the host access control system using cardholder credentials as a wiegand string.

In this way, as long as an access control system can accept wiegand inputs, the FaceStation can be used to provide 'Face Recognition' to an access control system regardless of how modern it’s reader technology is.

Face Station Examined

Entertech is the US distributor and reseller of Suprema's line of access control terminals. While Entertech is the primary reseller of the company's products in North America, Suprema is responsible for the engineering, development, and manufacturing of the FaceStation.

The primary attribute of Entertech System's FaceStation are the dual onboard cameras. One of the cameras is a 'standard' visual unit, and the other is an IR-only unit. The manufacturer claims this arraignment offers the advantage of measuring the ‘image depth’ of an image based on its IR signature, so the reader cannot be spoofed by pictures. In addition, the addition of the IR layer adds additional mapping features used by the recognition algorhytms, which the company claims increases the accuracy of reads. The unit is shown in the picture that follows:

Other technical attributes

  • 4.3” touch screen LCD display doubles as a keypad for multifactor authentication
  • The GUI can be customized using user-defined images and layouts
  • Fast: The manufacturer claims Face Detection matches of over 1000 records takes under 1 seconds.
  • PoE Enabled: 802.3af PoE compliant, 10/100 ethernet port
  • WiFi Enabled: Built-in 802.11b/g Wireless Internet
  • Built-in Microphone and Speaker for video intercom functions
  • 4 inputs / 2 output relays: The I/O ports allow for incorporation of locks, door position sensors, and serial devices like magstripe card readers.
  • No HID support: Face Station is built with the ability to read Mifare/DesFire/RF cards, but cannot read iClass or Proximity format credentials.
  • Cost: Face Station has a ~ $1700 street price

Function Examined

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Networked or Independent Operation: FaceStation units are networked to a central server, but operate as stand alone units if the network drops. In this case, the internal log capacity holds 1,000,000 transaction records or 10,000 image logs. However, unlike card readers that are directly wired to door controllers using 18/6 wire, the network segment between the Face Station and the EAC panel/controller is vulnerable to network failures in a way that traditional systems are not.

When using the Face Station without an additional enterprise EAC system, the readers can be wired to control door hardware directly from the reader and be centrally managed using device embedded or server installed BioStar Management Application.

While typical integration with Access Control systems are accomplished through wiegand connectors, Suprema claims full integration (ie: shared credential databases, remote unit configuration) with Lenel OnGuard will be announced next month. The company lists several other access control systems including Brivo, Software House, Genetec, Keyscan, and Hirsch.

Quick & Contactless Authentication: While other readers require contact to initiate a read, the Face Station automatically detects a person attempting to be read, and the on screen prompts help align them into position to be read. The unit then scans faces automatically with no user intervention required. While Entertech claims the authentication process takes under 1 second, we have not tested the unit’s performance to validate.

Face Recognition Drawbacks

Entertech System’s FaceStation relies only on face credentials for access. Most readers that use face recognition do so as an option among several types - fingerprints, veins, or PIN numbers, and seldom use Face Recognition as a primary method of credential. These products feature backup or redundant credential methods to assure access is not prevented based on bad reads.

Face Recognition is still a technology fraught with troubles - simple everyday clothing changes like hats, scarfs, or eyeglasses can prevent recognition software from working. Unless the credentialing pool of users is tightly controlled against this type of variation, Face Recognition as a sole entry credential will have problems.

Compared to Fingerprint

Fingerprint readers are a fraction of the cost of FaceStation. Mainstream biometrics manufacturers, like L1/Bioscrypt (soon to be MorphoTrust USA) sells a number of combo fingerprint/finger vein readers in their "4G series" than range from $600 - $1400 street price. Also, SafranMorpho's MorphoAccess 100 is a fingerprint-only reader, but can be purchased for ~$500 distribution pricing. It features the same number of input/outputs and networked credential management topography.

Considering fingerprint has less operational drawbacks, we see most end users seeking biometric solutions to pursue fingerprint. Unless there is a specific requirement to credential based only on face, the constraints and costs of the technology are still to great for widespread deployment.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Pelco GFC 4K Dome Camera Tested (IMP831-1ERS) on Mar 12, 2019
Pelco has finally released their first 4K IP camera, after years of competitors' releases. Is this move too late? Or is their new GFC Professional...
Start Up Safe Zone $150 Gunfire Detector Profile on Mar 06, 2019
While gunfire detectors have been around for years, typically they are limited to enterprise level or municipal deployments. Startup AVidea, makers...
Top ISC West 2019 Booth Moves on Mar 05, 2019
With ISC West just a month away, we examine the most notable exhibitor moves including big exhibitors who dropped out and a number of significant...
Prysm PSIM Profile on Mar 05, 2019
A decade ago, PSIM promised significant potential but has always suffered from significant problems. Now, a number of PSIMs have either gone out of...
Genetec Declares "Lead With Synergis" Access Control on Mar 04, 2019
Genetec started with and is best known for its video management software. However, the company is now imploring its partners to lead with Synergis,...
Mobotix Move OEM Camera Line Tested on Feb 25, 2019
Mobotix has long been criticized for not offering integrated IR, mechanical cut filters, varifocal lenses, optical zoom and other features that...
Private School IT Manager Surveillance Interview on Feb 22, 2019
This IT manager describes himself as the "oft-maligned IT person" whose "opinions may not always be appreciated by the integrator crowd." But he is...
HID Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 21, 2019
HID favorability results were strong, in the 2019 IPVM integrator study of 200+ integrators, with a net +62% and low negativity as the table below...

Most Recent Industry Reports

ONVIF Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 15, 2019
In the past decade, ONVIF has grown from a reaction to the outside Cisco-lead PSIA challenge, to being the de facto video surveillance standard...
Hanwha Aerospace / Techwin Korean Tax Evasion Raid on Mar 15, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
Today is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
US Drafting Separate Rule for NDAA Dahua/Hikvision 'Blacklist' on Mar 14, 2019
The most debated provision of the NDAA ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, et al. is the so-called 'blacklist' provision which would ban any company...
OpenALPR Acquired By Mysterious Novume on Mar 13, 2019
Startup OpenALPR has been acquired by Novume, a company virtually unknown in the industry. While there are many LPR providers (see our directory),...
Milestone Machine Learning Camera Auto-Setting Examined on Mar 13, 2019
Milestone wants to improve image quality using Machine Learning to solve the problem of "a camera doesn't know what it is being used for",...
Integrator Profitability Bonuses - Statistics on Mar 13, 2019
While winning projects typically gets the most attention, how profitable those jobs turn out to be is key to the long-term success of integrators....
ADT Stock Drops After Announcing Loss And Amazon Delay on Mar 12, 2019
ADT's stock price dropped significantly after reporting heavy losses and delays in its Amazon partnership, as seen in the screenshot below: In...
Pelco GFC 4K Dome Camera Tested (IMP831-1ERS) on Mar 12, 2019
Pelco has finally released their first 4K IP camera, after years of competitors' releases. Is this move too late? Or is their new GFC Professional...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact