The benefits of biometric Time and Attendance systems have been well documented and the biometrics field has made considerable advancements in recent years. Despite this, there are still common environmental and demographic issues that represent significant challenges for the biometrics industry, limiting widespread adoption of the technology for employee management purposes.
The true test of a biometric Time and Attendance system is how it performs under real world conditions.
This article examines some of the environmental issues that can cause a major headache for system administrators whose conventional fingerprint sensors depend on unobstructed and complete contact between the fingertip and reader, and how the next wave of biometric technology can help address the problem.
Damp or Cold Environments
Most biometric systems are relatively reliable in sheltered, enclosed environments. However, the reality is that many Time and Attendance systems are often required to perform outdoors or in cold, refrigerated areas.
In particular, conventional biometric fingerprint sensors can struggle in damp conditions as excess moisture obscures fingerprint ridges, resulting in images of puddles rather than fingerprints. Sweaty hands can cause a similar problem.
Standard biometric readers rely on a firm and complete contact between fingertip and sensor in order to capture accurate and reliable images.
Unfortunately, the common problem of dry hands caused by anything from climate conditions or natural skin characteristics to frequent hand-washing or air travel means that this is not always possible.
Worn, torn and dirty hands can also become an issue with biometric systems. Workers’ fingerprints may not be registered by conventional biometric readers that rely on quality, clean contact between the finger and the sensor.
How multi-spectral imaging can help
The core problem with conventional technologies is that they rely on clear and complete contact between the fingerprint and the sensor, a condition that is elusive in the real world.
Multi-spectral imaging is a sophisticated technology that was developed by Lumidigm, a world leader in pioneering biometric solutions to overcome the fingerprint capture problems conventional imaging systems have in less-than-ideal conditions.
Multi-spectral imaging combines multiple spectrums of light and advanced polarisation techniques to extract unique fingerprint characteristics from both the surface and subsurface of the skin unaffected by surface wear and other environmental factors.
This enhanced data capture capability overcomes the fingerprint capture problems conventional imaging systems encounter due to injury, dirt or moisture. Since the subsurface information remains intact, the multi-spectral sensors can collect it.
Mitrefinch Australia is now incorporating Lumidigm’s award-winning technology into their new biometric Time and Attendance terminals.