HID Fingerprint Reader Tested

By Brian Rhodes, Published Oct 09, 2019, 11:17am EDT

HID has released their first access reader to use Lumidigm optical sensors, that touts it 'works with anyone, anytime, anywhere'.

We bought and tested the unit to see if it lives up to the claims.

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Inside, we answer the following questions:

  • How well does the fingerprint reader work on dirty, oily, greasy, and wet fingers?
  • Does saltwater spray on the reader and sensor impact performance?
  • What types of wired connections and power is needed?

Our test also evaluated key performance parameters including:

  • The problem with the RB25F fingerprint enrollment process
  • How well the unit communicates using OSDP and Wiegand
  • The new software application needed to configure the unit
  • HID Mobile Access compatibility
  • Which 13.56 MHz credential formats are supported

Testing Dirty Prints

To test fingerprint reading performance, we subjected a finger to different types of soiling.

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For testing, we used five different methods of determining read performance apart from ideal 'clean' fingerprints. Testing checked:

  • Soil/Mud: Common dry and slightly damp topsoil was applied
  • Water: Both finger and sensor were subjected to potable water
  • Oil: A thin vegetable oil was used to coat finger skin
  • Grease: A heavy paste was used to 'build-up' and fill fingerprint features, but was translucent
  • Saltwater Spray: Finally, a mild saline solution was sprayed onto the reader and sensor to determine if slightly cloudy/turbid liquids impacted performance

We also benchmarked those individual results against a 'control' finger that was clean and dry.

Key **** ********

**** ****** ********* *** HID's *********** ****** ********:

  • ******* ***** ***** ******:** ****** * ***** of ****** ******, *** the ***** **** *** optical ****** *** *** have ******** ******* **** with **% ** ****** read ***** ** ****.
  • ******** ********** *******: ** ****** ************, cards, *** *** ****** and *** ****** ********* reliably ** ******* **** credential ****.
  • **** ** ******* ******:****** **** *********** *******, the ***** ******** **** as **** ** *******. Our ******* ***** *** unit ******** ******* **** ******** ********** **** is ****** ***** ****** protocol.
  • ***** *********: ** ****** *** sprayed ***** *** ***** liquids ** *** ****** during *****, *** ***** nor *** ****** *** affected ** ******* ** repeated ********.
  • ****** *****: *** ***** ************* ****** ******, *** ******* ******** the ****** ******** ** other *** ******-******* *****.

*******, *** **** ** HID's **** ***** **** weaknesses **** *** *** present ** ***** *********** readers:

  • ****** **********: *** ******** ******* sensor ** ********* ** shifts ** ****** ********, and *** **** ******** in ****** ********* ************ ends *** ********** *******.
  • *********** ******** ********: ***** ******** ** a *** ***** ****** in * ******, *** RB25F *** * ********** schedule ******** **** *********** can ******** **** ********** types *********.
  • ******** ******** ********: *** **** ******* piece ** ******** (********* Manager) ** ********* *** monitor *** ******, ****** than ********* *** ******** Reader ******* *** **** on *** ***** ********.
  • *** ******** *****: **** * ****** anti-tamper ******** ******* *** reader ** * ******** plate. **** *****, *** ~$725 ******'* ******** ***** is * ****** *** head **** *** ** undone **** ****** *********.
  • *** *** ** ****-**** Powered: *** ***** ******** an ********** ** *** power ******, *** **** up ** * **** of ***** ********* ********** pass-thru ** *** *******.

Background: ***** *** ****** **** ******** ******* *******

********** ***'* ***** ****** reader ************* ******** ******* fingerprint *******.

*** (****)******** ******** ** ******* ~$** *******. ****** HID's ****, ******** ******** fingerprint ****** ******* ** a ****** ** *** party ********* ****** *************.

*** **** *****, ******** claimed *** ******* **** superior ** ***** *********** readers. *** *******'* ****** uses'************* *******'**** ***** ********* *********** with '******** *********** ** light' ***** *** ****** makes *** ****** ****** on ************ ********** ** other *******:

****-******* ****** *** ******** by ************* ******* **** when *********** ****** *** hard ** *********** *** to ********, ***, ****, finger *********, ** ************* conditions.Lumidigm ******* *** ****** ****** *** ****** *** ****** — including that 2-5% of the population with “problem fingerprints” that fail to enroll on conventional sensors. [Emphasis IPVM]

****** *** ************** '**** flash' ** *** ******* sensor ****** *****:

Summary: ********** ******** *******

** *******, *** ***** fingerprints **** **** **** <5% ****** *****, ***** 'clean' ****** ******* ***** read ************ ************/********** ** 100% ** ********.

*** ******* *** *********** of *** *****'* *********** sensor ** ****, *** in ****** ****** *** does *** **** ***** of ***** * *******.

Disclaimer: *** ******, ****** ****** ******

*** **** **** * small ********** ** ****** enrolled ** *** ******. Unlike ********** ****** *******, we **** ******** ****** different ***** ************ **** four ******.

*** **** ****** **** at ******** *** ******** prints ** *** ***** library, *** *********** **** larger **** *********** *** show ********* *******.

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

** *** ****, ** scanned **** ***** ******* 200 ***** ********* ** a ***** ** ******* soils, ******* *** ****** itself **** *********, *** tested *********** **** ** ideal '*****' ******.

** **** ********** *** number ** *** ***** when ********* ****** *** files:

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** *** ****, ** scanned **** ***** ******* 200 ***** ********* ** a ***** ** ******* soils, ******* *** ****** itself **** *********, *** tested *********** **** ** ideal '*****' ******.

** ********* *** ****** into *** ****** *********** well, *** **** ******* the ****** *********** ***** the **** *** **** before ******* ** ***** on *** ********.

** *** *****, *** reader *** *** ********** read * ***** ** someone ****, *** *** errors **** '****** *****' that *** *** ***** the **** ** *** templates.

Soil/Mud *******

*** ****/***, *** *********** was *** **** * times ** *** *** a ********** ** *% bad *****.

*** *** ***** ***** of '***** *****' *****, we ********* * ****** dampened ******** **** ***** to *** ***** ******* dirt.

*** *********** ** *********** soiling *** **** *** loose **** **** ***, and *** ****** *** dampened **** ** **** would ****** ** *** skin:

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** ****** *** *****, 100 ******** **** ** default '***' *** '**** high' ******** ********** ******, with ** *********** *********** difference ***** ******* ********.

Water *******

*** *******, *** *********** was *** **** * time ** *** *** a ********** ** *.*% bad *****.

*** *** **** ***** round ** *****, ** subjected * ****** ****** with ***** ***** *** allowed ****** ** **** on *** ****** ****** the *********** ****, ******** both *** ****** *** the ****** **********:

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** **** ****/***, ** tested *** *****, *** attempts **** ** ******* 'low' *** '**** ****' security ********** ******, **** no *********** *********** ********** noted ******* ********.

Oil *******

*** ***, *** *********** was *** **** * times ** *** *** a ********** ** *.*% bad *****.

***** **** *** *** overall '*****' ***** ****** application, *** *** ******* friction ******* *** ****** and *** ****** ** that *** ****** ******* slightly ****** *** ******** process, *** *** ****** may ** ********** ** finger ******** ****** ***** rather **** ***** ******* obscured ** ***:

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*** ***, ** ****** 200 *****, *** ******** each ** ******* '***' and '**** ****' ******** confidence ******, **** *** 5 ****** ********* ** the '**** ****' ******* and **** ********* ** the '***' *******.

Grease *******

*** ***** ******, *** fingerprint *** *** **** 3 ***** ** *** for * ********** ** 1.5% *** *****.

** **** * ******-***** petroleum-based ****** ****** ****** over *** ****** *****. The ***** *** ******* and *** **** ** a ******* **** *** oil, ******** *** ******* of *** ***** *** clear:

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********** ***** **** *** less ******** ** **** difficult **** ***** (**** common) *******, *** ** general, **** ************* ***** would ***** **** ***** finger ***** ****** ********** a ****.

** ******* *** ******** each ** ******* '***' and '**** ****' ******** confidence ******, *** *** reads ******** ** '**** high' *** *** *** read ******** ** '***' setting.

Saltwater ***** *******

** ***** * **** solution ** ***** **** and ***** ***** *** sprayed ** ******** **** the ****** *** ******.

*** ****** ****** **** accurately *** ******* ****** in *** ***** ** 200 ********.

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Control: *****, *** ******

** **** ******* * clean *** ******** ******. That ****** **** ********** and ******* ****** ** all ***** *** *** 200+ ********. ** ****** at ******* '***' *** 'very ****' ******** ********** levels.

** **** ****** ******* applications, *** *********** ** clean *******, ****** **** population *****, *** *************** stable ************ **** ** ideal *** ***** *******.

*******

**** ********* *** ****** an************* * ****** ***** of~$***. *** **** ** available **** ************.

Physical ********

*** ***** ** * combo *********** *** **.** MHz ********** *******, **** IP67 *** **** *****.

*** ******** ******** ***** below ***** * ******* of ****** *********, ****, and **********:

*** ***** **** *** support ***, *** ***** demand ** **, *** exceeding **** ** ********* furnished ** *** ********** (usually *** ** - 750 **) *** ***** must ** ******** ** an ******** ** *** power ******.

** ***** ** *********** credentials, *** **** ******** five ****** *******. ** successfully ******:

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

** ****, *** **** reader ** *** * multiclass **** ********** **** 125 *** *******.

*** ***** ** **** 'HID ****** *****', ********** Origo ******* ****** *********** via *** ** ***. We ****** ****** ***** the **** ****** (***) with *** **** ******* reflected ***** ****** ******.

Two ***** ******** ********

*** ***** *** *** fixed ***** ***** *** the **** ** *** unit, *** ********** ****** plan *** *********** **** to ***** **** ** boxes ** **** ****** during *******.

*** ******** **** ** used ** ********* *** monitor *** **** **** HID's ********* ******* ***********, but * **** ******* connection ** *** **** by *** ****** ****** to *** *** ******.

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*** ********* *** ******** on *** ******* ** cut *** ****** ******* and *** **** ** typical ********.

*******, *** **** ** the ********* **** ** used ** *** ******* in ****** ******** ********* desktop ************* *** ********** cradles *** *** ****.

Uses *** ********* ******* ***

****** *** ***-***** *** Reader *******, *** ***** uses ******* *******-***** ******** called********* *******. ***** ****** ******* can ** **** ** iClass ** ******* *** does *** ******* ** the *****.

*** ***** ***** ******** a **** ********:

Problem: ********** ******* ***** ** ******

*** ****** ** *** that **** *** **** well ** *** **** errors **** ***** **** enrolling ************.

********* ******** ******* ** enroll ** **** ** clicking ** ******** ******* in *** ********** ******:

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*******, ** *** ******* and ******** ***** *** made ****** **** *******, an ***** ******* **** up *** *********** ****** the ****** *******.

*** ***** ******* *** fingers **** **** ************ enrolled, ** *********** ** enrolling *** ** ******, if ** ***** ******* on *** **** ****, the ******** ** ********** scans *** *******.

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**** ***** ** *********** in ** ******** ** the ********** *******:

** ***** *** ** comment ** *** *****. They ********* **** *** error *** ** ********* if ***** ** *** roll ******* ****** **********, common ** ***** ******* like *********** ****** *** user ** **** *** entire *********** ******* ****** template ********.

*******, *** *****'* ****** requires ***** ** ******** repositioning ******** ** **** the ***** *** ********.

******, ********** *** ****** in *** **** ******** to *** ****** ******** the '**** *****' *****, but *** **** *** make **** ***** ******** and **** ***** **** need *********** ****** *********.

Each ***** ******* ***** *****

****** **********, **** ****** is ******* ***** ***** and ********* ******* ******** the *******.

*** ******* ******* ** each **** ** ***** a ******* ** '***** starts' ** ******** *** good *** **** ****** is:

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** *** *****, ***-**** quality ***** **** ******* and ******** **** *********** results.

** ***-**** ***** **** recorded ** *********, *** if *****-**** ***** *** desired, ******** **** *** sensor *** ****** ******* scans ** ******.

Reader *************

*** *******-***** '********* *******' replaces ************* ******** **** via ****** *******, *** all ** *** ******** in *** *** *** available, ********* ***, ******, and **** ** ******* outputs.

*** ***** ***** *********** the *************:

Schedule ********* ********

******* ********* ***** **** RB25F ** **** *** device ****** ** ******** schedule **** ********* *** default ******** **** ** the ****** ******.

*** *******, ****** '**** OR ************' *** ********* as * ******* ************** method, *** ******* ** an ******** ******** ****** either '***** ****' ** 'Fingerprints ****', ****** *** default *******.

**** ***** ******** ** prevented ** ****** *** configuring * ****** ******** at ***, * ***** HID ********* ***** ********* the *****:

** *** ***** *** case, *** **** ***** you **** ** ********* with *** ************** **** as ********* ***** *** ignore *********. ** **** use ****, *** **** authentication **** **** ** used **/* ** *******. The ****** ****** **** always ******** *** “*************” schedules.

***, *** ***** ************* has *** ********** ** configure *** “**************” ******** from ****** *** *** Biometric ******* **** ** something ***** **** **/* is *******. *** *******, it ** ******** ** require “**** ****” ** M-F *-* *** “**** + ******” ********* ********* the ********* ***** ** that **** ****** ********** hours.

**-****** ******* ** ******** of **** ******** ****** be ********, **** ************* installers *** ****** *********.

** ****** *** ******* and ********* ***** *****:

Weakness: *** ******** *****

******* ********* ******* ** the ~$*** **** ** held ** *** ********* via * ****** ***** anti-tamper *****.

***** *** ********* * (~$5) ******** ************ ****, we **** ****** *** Allen ******** ** ****** them,* **** **** **** ~$1*** ** ******** ********* at ******** ******.

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******* *** **** ** secured ** *** ********** uncommon *****, *** **** of ****** ******* *** very **** ** *** strong ** ****** ** high-security **** *****.

Device ******** & ******** ****

  • ****** * **** ******* iOS **.*.*
  • *** ***** *********** *******, 1.5.0.82 ********
  • *** ********* *******: *.*.***.*****
  • *** ****** ****** ***: 3.5.1 (*)
  • *** ***** *** *******: 1.4.2
  • *** ********* *******: *.*.***.*****
  • ****** ****** ******* **.*.****.** (Official *****) (**-***)
  • ******* ** *** ****, build *****.***

[June **** ******]

*** ****** ***** ****** has **** ******** ** HID ** ******** ***.

**** * ****** *********** and '*********' *********** ********** point ** ****, *** new **** ******* **** was **** ** *** RB25F ****** ****.

*** ****** ********* ********** door ********** ******** ** described ** '****** ********' already ******** ** *** unit's ******** ********** **** pigtail.

******* ** ******* *** the *** **** ** part ** ******** *********, ***** ****** ** was ***.

Comments (19)

So, the Biometric Manager contains the fingerprint database on a separate server? Does this reader pass a credential to the ACS or is it just authenticating the fingerprint? Thanks!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Thanks for the questions.

the Biometric Manager contains the fingerprint database on a separate server?

Yes, exactly

Does this reader pass a credential to the ACS or is it just authenticating the fingerprint?

The reader passes a credential number to the system after the reader authenticates the finger.

This number is essentially a card number in whichever format your host system uses. That number is associated with cardholders in the access cardholder database like a traditional access card.

Does that answer your question?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Did you scan the network interface on the unit. Historically fingerprint vendors have been terrible at securing their Ethernet interfaces (has anyone yet convinced Innometriks to turn on TLS?)

And OSDP 1? So it's tech isn't even as good as the readers they're shipping today (during their 25 day awake intervals....)

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I would love to see a head to head against this and the iEVO range which is similar by using vein structure technology. I could have this wrong but I think the amount of read points also impacts the reliability and security so for example on iEVO they have scanners which can be 7 or 11 points. How many points of scan does this use?

One concern with this is how secure is it to have a LAN cable that low secured by one screw... Other vendors use a control cable so if the unit is breached you cant get to the control unit etc. Just a thought...

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I am very surprised/disappointed to see this only supports OSDP V1 being that HID, you know, wrote the standard... Full OSDP V2 seems very useful for biometric readers in particular.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I'll ask HID about their plans with V2. The unit contains a number of 'RESERVED FOR FUTURE USE' labeled wires and inactive controller-type functions too, so a firmware update might be planned.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Why don't companies realise that Biometric readers like this are typically installed in high end systems which generally implies high end locations, they are beyond ugly and stick way too far off the wall when installed. I can foresee issues with companies not wanting them on that basis. The only decent looking bio readers I've seen are TBS, all of the rest are ugly bricks or cheap shiny plastic. At 700 USD a reader this shouldn't be the case.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Thanks for the great review of the read accuracies!

Did you explore panel-based OSDP biometrics capabilities? Hopefully, they are working towards this.

Competing products have this capability built-in and advertised, offering a more open-source solution. The capabilities of the established ISO biometric standards and OSDP can hopefully move us to handle this as a standard format.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Our test used a small population of prints enrolled in the reader. Unlike production access systems, we only enrolled twelve different adult fingerprints from four adults.

were both Aces (Ethan, Ryan) in the 12?

just since family members fingerprints are typically more similar...

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

No, I enrolled other (adult non-family members) people local to me. As mentioned in the post, the sample size was small.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Does it integrate with Genetec?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

'Integration' is via Wiegand or OSDP (v1), so it will function with Genetec Synergis.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Interesting article from Purdue University regarding biometric scanners and germs. (biometric scanners have no more germs than doorknobs according to Purdue)

Biometric sensors no dirtier than doorknobs, study finds

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

We’ve sold a few of these to customers and have had nothing but problems.

The biometric manager software is awful and the readers constantly have to be reset.

My only positive comment is that the read speed is fine and fairly reliable if the reader is working.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Interesting. Are you powering the units via PoE or external DC transformers?

Has HID helped at all?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

They’re all powered directly via Altronix power supplies.

We have some other issues that we’re working on with HID around the biomanager software.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

FYI I am under the impression that HID has heard some of this feedback and (I guess) is looking into it. It's not like they don't know some folks have a not-positive reaction.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I had installed this and we always have a communication issue with the biometric manager. At first, it was fine. once the enrolment and sync is done, we don't use the biometric manager. However, the problem arises when we need to enroll new users.

Since there is a communication error, unable to add new users. HID support did remote access but unable to identify the root cause. Perhaps we may need to re-install the engine and re-enroll the existing users.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

[June 2021 Update]

The reader model tested has been replaced by HID by the Signo 25B.

From a reader performance and 'biometric' fingerprint management point of view, the new unit matches what was used by the RB25F tested here.

The change activates additional door controller features we described as 'future features' already provided by the unit's included additional wire pigtail.

Pricing is similar and the new unit is part of the Signo series now, where before it was not.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
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Funny
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