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TBS touchless biometric technology makes an imprint on security

TBS touchless biometric technology makes an imprint on security
The use of biometrics in the security industry have been growing in popularity as a form of identification and access control. Ongoing developments in fingerprint recognition and authentication have led to significant advances with regards to accuracy of reading and ease of installments.
Driven by increasing concern over terrorism and criminal activities, demand for high-level security systems has been on the rise. The biometrics industry, in particular, has been growing steadily. According to a recent marketsandmarkets report, the biometrics market is set to be worth $23,448.8 million by 2020, expanding at 17.9 percent CAGR through 2020.

Owing to its convenience and improved accuracy of reading, fingerprint technology has remained one of the mainstays of this industry. However, how well the system operates is highly dependent on how accurate its fingerprint sensors are in capturing images since poor ones can lead to erroneous readings and cause delays or problems down the line.

How TBS Grows its 3D Touchless Fingerscan Technology 
Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS) is a Swiss manufacturer of 3D finger scanning technology for numerous applications in access control and time attendance. At the beginning, they won a government research grant to develop contactless technology that can overcome the limitations of legacy systems. Conventional 2D rolled fingerprint technologies often suffer from issues such as interference from fingerprints left behind by previous users and distorted images due to varying pressure exerted by the operators. 
Alex Zarrabi,
CEO of Touchless Biometric Systems

Their efforts resulted in the creation of the Touchless Ten Finger Scanner, also known as the Bioguard Ten, a device that can capture all ten rolled-equivalent fingerprints in a record amount of time. The generated images, available in both 2D and 3D, were highly detailed due to its ability to capture third-level details such as ridge structures, scars, and sweat pores. 

Originally created for government use, this technology was adapted for commercial applications and resulted in the launch of the 3D Fingerscan Terminal beginning of 2010.

Touchless 3D Fingerscan Technology
Certain limitations associated with the use of conventional fingerprint readers have led to increasing acceptability and use of 3D technology fingerscan readers. One advantage this technology has over its predecessor is accuracy of identification, which is an issue for a lot of 2D readers.

"This is common with 2D technologies, regardless of the brand or technology. The reason is that 2D only takes a small detection area. Nothing in the industry is 100 percent but 3D is definitely the closest to that," said Alex Zarrabi, CEO of Touchless Biometric Systems.

The company's flagship product, the TBS 3D-Touchless fingerscan reader, simultaneously employs three cameras to capture a 3D image of the finger; thus, increasing the surface area for more detailed fingerprint details. The additional details captured dramatically decreases the possibility of rejections, which is key to user satisfaction. Furthermore, higher acceptance smoothens user flow and optimizes the passage time, especially in crowded situations.

This design also allows it to take images contact-free. Since the finger is just hovering on top of the reader and never touches the sensor, it is more hygienic and can limit the spread of germs. This also eliminates the frequent need to wipe down or clean the fingerprint scanners for both sanitary reasons and for the device to get a good reading.

2D Technology Continues to Evolve
Despite this rising trend in 3D technology, 2D fingerprint sensors are still what majority of the    customers are familiar with and, therefore, an important part of any company's product portfolio. "3D technology was the core technology at the beginning of TBS and remains the  core product. We have now grown from reader to solution provider. The first step was  completing the 3D with additional products — 2D touch fingerprint, RFID, face recognition  (which is upcoming), and 2D Multispectral," commented Zarrabi.

While 3D readers rely on multiple cameras, TBS' 2D Multispectral terminals feature HID Global's Lumidigm sensors, enabling the readers to combine several images of the finger pictured at different wavelengths into a single composite picture, resulting in the capture of both surface and sub-surface skin features. This increases the yield of terminals that may be operating in less-than-ideal conditions such as in the presence of water, dust or other contaminants.

The commercial applications of fingerprint sensors seem to be increasing. Instead of limiting   the technology to biometric readers, TBS readers have now also been embedded in turnstiles. Although, many would think that this can cause more delays compared to traditional card readers, the low rate of rejections of the unique TBS 3D fingerprint technology allows a free flow, while identifying individuals. Turnstiles can thus be linked to the payroll system, for streamlined time & attendance.

Biometric Subsystem Integration
As more companies are now turning toward biometrics to enhance security, it became increasingly important to find a way to easily integrate the technology into existing security systems. TBS has created a unique platform that allows customers to use their products in conjunction with other terminals and systems.

"We have created the TBS biometric subsystem. This is a platform that attaches to the third party software and enables them with biometrics," shared Zarrabi. "So imagine, you have a software that does video surveillance today with no biometrics, you don't need to add all the biometric software, you just attach the TBS subsystem, and then your software can manage biometrics and work with all our range."

This offering has enabled TBS to market its products as an end-to-end solution or be installed as a biometric subsystem into an existing security solution, providing all the needed biometric infrastructure and hardware. Due to its widespread applications, this has already been integrated in various solutions from companies such as Honeywell Security and Fire, Siemens, Johnson Controls, KABA, and Interflex.

Biometrics' Role in Security
It is definitely too early to conclude whether biometrics will evolve to replace other traditional means of identification in the future. However, it is evident that this has become an important tool that enables companies to enhance their security systems and protect property and people. Ongoing developments and innovations will only further help secure its place in the industry.


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