Biometric Verification is a technology which uses unique characteristic features of an individual to automatically identify a person preferably over cards or badges. There are several biometric technologies including fingerprint, hand geometry, and retinal scan. Each of these verification techniques provide positive identification of individuals and there is no need for different forms of ID which can be transferred, forgotten or lost.
There are many popular applications for these biometric identification systems including time and attendance, security and controlled access, computer access, law enforcement and corrections, couriers, banking, department of motor vehicles, etc. Anywhere personal identification is required (such as PIN numbers at financial institutions), biometric verification can be used.
These biometric devices are typically installed at the entrance of a building or secured area and are the "keys" for entry. Fingerprint verifiers, for example, generally allow any finger on either hand to be used for positive identification. Usually an alternate finger is also chosen as a backup in case of injury (cut, scrape, etc.) to the first. Multiple fingerprint templates can be stored locally inside the fingerprint terminal or through a network on the host computer. Most manufacturers also include software that supports common security access features such as unauthorized overtime or early clocking in. In addition, many of these systems can be integrated with existing time and attendance packages through document Windows routines. Therefore, separate systems do not have to be maintained in order to record and restrict access.
Biometric applications are highly specialized and costly to install when compared to card access systems. In addition, if a biometric unit such as a terminal goes down, the manufacturer is the only source for replacement or repair. With other technologies, such as magnetic stripe, input devices are readily available and can be purchased from a variety of vendors. Biometric Identification, however, does have it's benefit. When ultimate security is vital, biometric identification is proven to be the best solution.