Biometric readers are devices that quickly identify people by matching one of their behavioral or physiological attributes with their profile in a database. These attributes are unique, permanent, and easily saved. Physiological behavioral examples include face recognition, retinal scan, DNA comparison, blood vessel, palm scanning, iris recognition, voice print, typing rhythms, and walking movements. The two main types of biometric analysis are identification and verification.
With access control systems, card readers or keypads are often used for verification. Users present their credentials by entering their identification number into the keypad or scanning their identification card with the card reader. If the credentials match the claimed profile in the database, authorization is granted. This simple technology is known as a “one to one match”.
Identification readers, on the other hand, use what’s known “one to many” comparison and match. To become an authorized user of a biometric reader, a person will need to enroll in a database. This usually requires providing several samples until the system stores enough attributes to build a complete profile. With these readers, identification cards and numbers are not required by the user. Instead users present their biometric credential (their palm print, for example) to the reader and the reader searches for a match. When a match is found, the portal opens and a record of the authorized entry is logged.
If you’d like to read more about Biometric Readers and other Access Control topics, check out Thomas L. Norman’s book Electronic Access Control.
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