Fingerprint Readers Examined

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 15, 2014

They all claim to do the same thing, but no two fingerprint readers are alike. How do you make sure you are choosing the correct model for your access system? 

In this note we cover the design differences between reader options, explain who the major player are and which types they offer, and simplify the process of choosing the right unit for your job.

Fingerprint ****** *****

****** ***** ****** *****, fingerprint ****** ******* *** not ******* ** ********* basic ********** ******* *** communication *********. * ****** survey ** *** ****** reveals ******** ** ************* offering ********* ** ******, but *** ****** *** be ******* ******* ********* a *** ***** **********:

  • ****** ****
  • ***** *********
  • **** ******
  • ******** ************** *******
  • ******** *******
  • ************* **********
  • ****

** *** ******* *****, we ********* ** **** point.

Specification *******

****** ****

*** **** ********* ** any *********** ****** ** the ****** ** **** to ******* *********** ***********. Mainstream ****** ******* *** designed ***** '*******' ** 'capacitive' ******* **** ******* the **** ******** ***********. Optical ***** ******* ****** of ************ *** ******* the ****** **** ********** capture ******, ***** ********** types ******* *** ********** resistance ** ***** ******** over *** ****** ****. 

**** ****** *****, *** even '******' ******* ********* both, *** **** ** mainstream ****** *************, ** this ****** ********* ******* demonstrates:

***** **********

*** **** ** '********', or ******* *** ****** is ********* *********** ** different *************. ****** ********** alone ** *** ************* enough ** ******* ****** prints **** ********** ******* users, ** ****** ****** add ********** '****-********' ****** to ***** *****.

****** ******** ******* '********* *********' ** '************ (*****) detection [**** ** ****** available]' **** ******** * finger ** **** *** attached ** * ***** body, ***** ***-****** ** multiple ******** ******** [**** no ****** *********] ******** the ************ *** ***** of ******, *** **** the ********* **** ******. The ****** *** ************** of '****-********' ******* ***** to * ****** ***** from **** ** **** expensive ****** ** **** or **** ** '****-********' models ** *** ********* range ** *******.

**** ******

**** *** ******, ******* the ***** ******** ******* so ** ** **** the *******, *** ****** and ********* ****** *** production *** ** * challenge. ** * ******, mainstream ****** *** ******* in * ***** ** sizes *** ******* ****** to **** **** **** available **** ******. *** all **** ******* ***** the **** ****** ** features, ** ******/***** ******* mount ***** ******** * few ****** **** * compact ********* ******** ** full ***** **** ** stand-alone ********** **** *** weigh * ****** *** take ** ******** ****** **** ** mounting *****.

******** ************** *******

** * ******, **** openings ******* **** **** than *** ********** ** verify * ****. **** fingerprint ******* *********** ******* different ****** ********* *******, contactless **** ******* ** face *** *******.

******** *******

*** *** ******* ***** fingerprint ********* *******. **** readers *** ******** ** keep *** *********** ** a ******* ********, ***** others ** *** ***** the *********** ** ***, instead ********* ** ** be ****** ** * smartcard **** **** ***** be ********* ** **** a ******. *** ******* storage, ************ *****, *** level ** *********** **** central ********* 

************* **********

*** **** '***********' ****** applications, * ****** ** connected ** * ********** by ******* ********. *******, *** all *********** ******* *********** directly ** *** ********** and **** ******* *** other ******, ****** ******** USB, ** ******** ***********, with **** ****** ************ ************. *** **** ****** for * ***** *********** depends ** *** ***** of *********** **** ** access ********, *** ***** features ********* ** *** reader, *** *** **** of ********** *** ****** inputs *********** ***.

****

**** ***** ********** *******, fingerprint ******* *** ******* in * **** ***** of ***** ******; **** this ~$** ******* ** to $*** - $*** for * ***** ****** with ** ********** ********** readers. ** *******, ***** that ***** ****** *********** and '****-********' ******* **** more. 

*******, ** **** **** several ** ***** ***** and ****** ** *** results ** *** ******** 'Fingerprint ****** ********'.

Company ********

**** ** ***** ** reader ********** *** ******, the ****** ** ***** is *******. ** ******* some ** *** ********** access ****** ******* *****:

 

*** ******

 

*** ** *** ******* names ** *********** ** also ** * ***** of ****** ********* *** fingerprint ****** *********. *** offered******* *********, ******* ****** ***** '********' ******* *** * number ** *****, *** the ******* ********* ******* sensor ************ ******** *** plans ** ****** *** entire ****. 

 

  • ****** ****:**** **** ** ******* sensor
  • ***** *********:*****-******** *** ********* ************ measures *** ******** ** all ******.
  • **** ******:* ****** **** ***** sized *****
  • ******** ************** *******:***** **** ** ****** with * ****** *** card ******
  • ******** *******: ******** ******** *** **** ** store * *********** ******** onto * ********* *** present *** **** ****** reading ** ******* *** reader **** * *********** for **********. **** ******* simplifies *********** ** ****** card ******* *** ********* speeds ** *** ************ process ** ******* **** large ******* ** *****, but ****** ****** ** multi-factor ************* **** **** require **********.
  • ************* **********:******* ****
  • ****:~$*** ******* ******** ************ 

 

******

*** ** *** ******* 'high ********' ****** *** to * ******* ** multi-national ******* *** ************,***************** *****************-* ********/*********. *** ********* ******* offers * ***** ***** of ******* ******** ** stand-alone ****** *******, **** and ********** ********, ** fingerprint ******* ******** ** larger *******.

  • ****** ****:**** ****** *** ******* sensors, *** **** ** the ********* *** **********.
  • ***** *********:**** ******** ****** ******* several ****** ** '****-********'.
  • **** ******:**** ***** *** **** sized ** **** *****.
  • ******** ************** *******:* ***** ** ****** feature ********** ******* (*******/*** formats) *** *******
  • ******** *******:*********** *********** ** ****** on *** ******.
  • ************* **********:**** ****** *** ** connected, *** ****** *** Wiegand ******* *** *******.
  • ****:*** *******'* ********* **************-****,******* ********* ******* ******* **** **** $***, to*****-**********, ******* *****, ** connected*** '***** *********' **** security ********* ******* $**** or ****.

*******

****** ***** ******* ****** a ***** ** ******** target ****** *** ******'* high ***, *** ********* includes * ****** ** connectivity *******, **** ****** options, *** *****-************** ******* on ********** ****** ********. Suprema ***** ** *** US ****** ******* ********* Systems [**** ** ****** available]*** *** ***** ******* to * ****** ** access *********, **************, ******** *****, **** [link ** ****** *********] and ******. 

  • ****** ****:****** '**** ********' ****** use * ***** ******, the **** *** ******* types.
  • ***** *********:**** ********* ****** ******* multi ******, *** *** include ********* '********' *********.
  • **** ******:* **** ***** ** models, **** ******* ***** to ********** *** *******, and **** ******* ****** support multi-factor ***********.
  • ******** ************** *******:*** ******** ** *** Suprema ***** ******* ******** factors, ********* * ****** with *** *********** ******* for ******* **** ***** at ****.
  • ******** *******:***** ***** ********* ****** the **** ** ** a ********* ******** ********* on *************.
  • ************* **********:**** ***** ******* ******** ********** busses, **** **, *****/***, and ******* ****** ** most ** *** ****. 
  • ****:***** *** *******'* ********* are ****** ******* ******, USB ********* ******* [**** no ****** *********] ******* **** than $** ** **** security '******' ******, ****-******, 'spoof *********' *****-***** ******* [link ** ****** *********] costing $****+.

******

******** *****, *** ******* under * ****** ** brands, *** ******** ************ offers * *****-*****, *************, IP *********, ******* [**** no ****** *********] *********** reader *** **** **** $50.  ***** *** ******* makes ** '**** ********' claims ** ********** ** anti-spoofing ********, *** *** price ***** ******** *********. 

  • ****** ****:**** ***** ******* ******* sensor, ******** ****** ***** may ****** ***** ** component ************.
  • ***** *********:**** *******
  • **** ******:**** ******* ****
  • ******** ************** *******:******* *** ****** **** readers ******** ** *** models
  • ******** *******:******* ****
  • ************* **********:** *** ******* *** claimed, *** ******* ** evaluation.
  • ****:*** ******* *** *** of *** ****** ** covered ****, **** *** 'F7' ***** ******* **** $35 - $** ** Amazon. 

Shootout ******

** *** ******* ***** from **** ** *** above ******* ** *** upcoming "*********** ********', ***** we **** ***** *********** and ******* ******* ** see ***** *************** **** the ********** ** **** world *******.

Comments (13)

What about US company Innometriks which was just deployed in Manchester and Baltimore?

(note: I am not affliated or associated with them at all)

I know a few years ago, Innometriks was using Lumidigm sensors, so I think we'll have the overall performance covered. However, its a good suggestion for future tests.

Has anyone ever deployed fingerprint readers in a heavy industrial environment (power plants, chemical plants, etc.)? We're looking at a possible application but many of our employees hands are coated with grease residues from the shop floor part of which remains even after they wash. Does this increase the number of false negatives? Is there a technology to overcome this problem?

Thanks,

Tim Lawson

Hello Tim:

Part of our shootout will be testing read accuracy/sensor performance when fingers are 'subprime', ie: soiled, wet, oily, etc.

I've got a whole mess of grease and cutting oils, but it you have a specific chemical recommendation (no acids please), I'd love to hear it.

Thanks,

Maybe include the IEvo in the test. It claims to work under all conditions.

ievo Ltd - Biometric Fingerprint Scanner & Reader Solutions

Sonovation seems right up your alley. Though the fact the Brian didn't mention these guys himself makes me think either he doesn't believe their claims or that they will actually release a product anytime soon...

Startup: Fingerprint Reading through Gloves

"[Sonovation] ultrasonic fingerprint sensors read not just the surface fingerprint ridges and swirls, like conventional optical sensors. Instead, using ultrasound they extract a dynamic, deep tissue and vascular map of the fingertip that encompasses all seven layers of the epidermis, plus the underlying fat pad, fascia, microvascular and vascular, plus the arterial blood flow, bone structure, and nail bed."

Thanks for linking to that Rukmini.

Sonovation is 'not ready for the primetime' yet. They have an interesting tech, but it is years away from showing up as part of physical access reader design.

...but it is years away from showing up...

These days, years away is forever and day away. They act like they have started their beta program or are just about to. What do you think the biggest challange is? The innovation or integration?

Because if, and its a big if, there are no show-stoppers with this beta product, and it actually can come close to standard sensor performance in terms of accuracy, speed, reliability isn't that the hardest part? Even if it is not using any common protocol?

Can the FOB only recognize one print? Even if it could only do 100 you should be able to make it a residential reader, no?

Regarding the deployment of fingerprint readers for users in heavy industrial environments, you need to use a technology that can read beyond the dirt and surface of the finger and into the layer behind the skin. Most optical based technologies do not do too well with dirty or wet or too dry fingers.

Our experience with deploying fingerprint based time and attendance machines at a sugar plantation yielded a very large number of read failures. Workers with sugar cane sap on their fingers cannot be read (even though we were able to enroll these workers previously). So many people ended up having to use proximity cards instead.

Also note that people who work with their hands like bricklayers will likely have trouble with most optical based technologies since their fingerprints will be worn off the surface of the skin.

It would be interesting to see how the Lumidigm readers perform with multi-spectral scanning in such scenarios. Ultrasonic technology also seems promising since it can read beyond the surface.

I'm a green card holder and at my last renewal they were using a large Safran multi-finger biometric capture device. I asked the woman taking my fingerprints how often they run into a problem. Surprisingly she said that she was not-registerable herslef and that the number runs around 2%.

So biometrics are good, but it seems you need to be prepared to have an alternative in most environments.

This is a good article discussing those 'Born without Fingerprints' which contributes to that 2%.

Interesting, that must be what this woman had.

Personally, I am finding that the security-breach risks of any form of biometrics to be too great of a risk.

If my password is compromised, I can change it. If I use two-factor PIN, then it changes every minute. If my fingerprint, hand, iris, etc. is compromised, then what?

Given the prevalence of tamper-proof credit card readers that capture the data, capturing biometrics is coming.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has officially signed a biometric ban in Florida prohibiting schools from collecting biometrics: palm scans, iris scans or fingerprints of its students.

I went to an amusement park this year with my new season pass. They asked me to put my finger on a sensor. I said "I'd rather not", and they simply asked for me to show ID.

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