Biometrics: Facial Recognition for Access Control

Biometric technology has been improving over the past few years and applications for use are increasing exponentially. Facial recognition technology in particular has a wide range of applications including threat detection, tracking and access control.

Biometrics traditionally have a reputation of being expensive and unreliable. While these can be true in some applications, if properly installed under the right conditions, biometrics offer a range of benefits over traditional access control systems.

Biometrics used in an access control application enable higher security of a premises by only granting access to enrolled personnel. A card or pin number based system are less secure as these can be shared or lost.

Fingerprint Technology

Fingerprint technology has been used as the preferred biometric option in the past however this option has some disadvantages. It requires the user to touch the fingerprint reader which is not only unhygienic, over time the fingerprint reader becomes less reliable with the buildup of dirt etc.

Facial Recognition

There have been a number of improvements in facial recognition camera systems of late, including the release of specially designed access control products. These products, usually called a facial recognition terminal are used in place of a traditional access control card reader to allow access. The terminal has a built in facial recognition camera to capture the image of the person, and a screen to provide feedback to the user.

This solution allows a person to approach a door and be verified in motion, allowing a seamless entry. The user does not have to reach for access cards or enter a pin number allowing freedom to carry items or enabling disabled persons easier entry. This particular feature is of great benefit to the Healthcare or food industry as it prevents contamination from person to surface as no physical interaction with the access control system exists.

Another advantage of this system is its ability to provide a biometric as the access log. With card or pin based systems, the access control log may be incorrect due to sharing of credentials. The Facial recognition access control system logs a picture of the users face for each access attempt. It will also capture a picture of an unauthorized person attempting to gain unauthorized access.