Biometric access control allows you to use unique, identifying characteristics, such as a fingerprint, iris, venal patterns, voice or a face, to determine whether a person is permitted to enter a building/ area or not. Unlike swipe cards, fobs, keys or pin codes – biometrics check who someone is, rather than what they have and provide a method to control entry and egress within your site that cannot be falsified.
Upgrading to a biometric system not only improves security but also gives you a flexible and affordable management tool which will improve productivity and save time for your management team. As criminals and employees become more sophisticated at circumventing traditional access control systems, by adopting biometric access control you future-proof security to your site.
Why Choose Almas Industries for your Biometric Access Control System?
Almas Industries have been installing and maintaining biometrics systems in UK and Irish businesses since 2004. We manufacture our own biometric fingerprint readers and develop our complementary access control software. We know access and will help determine the system for the way your business and teams work.
Our biometric access control systems are designed to be configured easily. Installed expertly by our inhouse engineers to save time and keep administration as simple as possible.
We have the expertise and experience to design and install a bespoke system for your company, safeguarding your people, property, and assets. We deliver peace of mind that your business is safe, secure and protected.
"Excellent support, latest technology, innovative. We have CCTV and Facial Recognition systems installed securing our premises to the highest standard. "Read More
"The fingerprint access control system, alarm, and remote CCTV monitoring have all made a significant difference. It's the ideal solution for our growing nursery. "Read More
"My staff all feel safe coming to and from the buildings especially in the Winter months."Read More
"This iconic bar caught the attention of none other than President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during their visit to the area."Read More
"Time and attendance technology has improved the efficiency of our company so much."Read More
"When they came out to demo the 360 system, we knew that that system was the system that we wanted to utilise."Read More
Free 3-Step Audit
We’re passionate about creating a security package that’s tailored around your business. Our Security Consultants work with your specific needs and budget.
- Contact Us
Complete a quote form and then we’ll arrange a free no-obligation security audit.
- We visit you
We carry out a free security audit of your premises at a time that suits you.
- Your security system
Our experts build a security package tailored to your business needs.
Here are the questions our customers most often ask around biometric access control.
Are all biometric access control readers the same?
No, not all biometric readers are the same. Biometric readers can be classified based on the type of biometric data they collect and process. Here are some common types of biometric readers:
These are the most common type of biometric readers. They capture the patterns of ridges and valleys in a fingerprint to create a map that is used for identification. You can find out more in our leading article on fingerprint scanners here.
Facial Recognition Systems:
These systems use cameras to capture facial features from a photo or video. They then use algorithms to compare the captured facial features with the ones in the database. All face scanners are not the same. They vary wildly in both price and quality. 2D scanners capture only a flat image. Good scanners use multiple cameras to capture a 3D image and will not allow you to enrol a user from a flat photo. They have anti-spoofing technology built in. Cheap scanners can easily be fooled and also store an image of the person’s actual face rather than an encrypted template. Facial access control became more popular during the pandemic as it was contactless. It’s a fast growing technology, but isn’t as trusted or as proven as fingerprint scanners.
These scanners capture the pattern of veins under the skin by bouncing infrared light through the dermis. This is often done on the back of the hand or the finger, your highly complex and unique venal network is then turned into a biometric template. Vein patterns are unique and remain stable over time. Notable though is that extreme changes in temperature can lead your veins to expand (when hot) or contract (when cold), if your enrolment was done when it was extremely hot then you could have some issues if it’s sub zero. Generally vein readers are considered to be highly secure but more suitable for internal location rather than on the exterior of buildings.
These biometric readers identify the unique patterns in irises, which are the coloured area around your pupil. The iris is targeted by invisible infrared light and this identifies unique patterns that are not visible to the naked eye. These are unique to each individual and therefore can be used to identify an individual. It’s only the iris that is scanned, eye lashes, glasses, eye lids are all disregarded. The final result is a set of around 240 features that become pixels of just the iris. Then, as with other biometric readers, the identifiers are analysed and turned into a digital template which is stored in a database. It’s important to note that there is no paid or damage to the eye through using an iris scanner. They are known to be very reliable, but are significantly more expensive than finger or face scanners which is why the are less readily available.
It’s non-contact and easy to use. Using vocal verification for access control is a relatively new concept. There is a different between speech recognition – that is being able to interpret what someone is saying, and vocal verification which is using what someone is saying to identify that they are who they claim to be. Evidently, it has clear applications for phone based and remote verification of identity and will become increasingly adopted for banking and secure transactions in the future.
However, it must be implemented with care. HMRC were fined for recording and using vocal recognition for users and were in breach of GDPR because they didn’t inform the users that they were using their biometric data for this purpose.
What is biometric access control?
Biometric access control is a type of access control system that uses an individual’s unique physiological or behavioural characteristics to confirm their identity and grant access to restricted areas.
Biometric access control systems, as opposed to traditional access control systems that rely on key cards, fobs, or codes, use an individual’s unique biological features for authentication, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, iris or retina scans, voice recognition, or even hand geometry.
The primary benefit of biometric access control systems is the increased security they provide. Because biometric characteristics are unique to each individual, these credentials are extremely difficult to duplicate, forge, or share, making them a more secure option than key cards or codes, which can be lost, stolen, or shared.
Because of their enhanced security, convenience, and ability to quickly and accurately authenticate users, biometric access control systems are becoming increasingly popular in a variety of settings, including offices, government facilities, research labs, and data centres.
Are biometric access control systems expensive?
Biometric access control systems certainly come at a cost, and this will vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, the quality of the system, and the related software.
On a sliding scale, fingerprint scanners are now an affordable solution, as are facial reader (but be careful with quality of both of these). Venal and iris scanners are more expensive, and generally reserved for high security requirements. Voice recognition scanners are rare and not generally used as a form of commercial access control (yet!)
Cost vs Security
These biometric systems represent a sophisticated form of technology, and whilst there are more affordable options available, it’s critical to bear in mind that you should not compromise the security of the system and the data it manages for the sake of cost savings.
Are biometric access control readers waterproof?
Yes, most biometric access control readers are designed to be waterproof and robust to withstand various environmental conditions. They typically come with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating, which is a standard that denotes the degree of protection provided against the intrusion of solids and liquids.
For instance, Almas’ facial recognition and fingerprint readers mentioned have an IP rating of 65.
What does IP65 mean?
This means they are dust-tight and protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction, comparable to rain or a sprinkler. However, they are not designed to withstand extremely high-pressure water streams, like those from a fireman’s hose, which could potentially cause damage.
Despite this, under most normal and even challenging conditions, such as inclement weather, these readers prove to be robust, reliable, and tamper-proof. Their design ensures they can provide consistent performance and maintain the security integrity of the system, making them suitable for a variety of installation environments.
Right equipment for the right location
As with all security equipment, it’s important to consider the specific environmental conditions of your site when choosing and installing your biometric readers.
How is Biometric Data Stored in Access Control Systems?
Some systems take a picture of the biometric attribute and save it within the software, some softwares encrypt and convert this data so it’s stored as code rather than an image.
Read more on biometric data storage in access control systems here
How could biometric access control work for event management?
Pre-enrolment of visitors, staff or VIPs before events can streamline processes and reduce long queues, thereby improving your users’ experience and reduce ticket touting or staffing substitution.