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Touchless, biometric access control grow in high-tech manufacturing

Touchless, biometric access control grow in high-tech manufacturing
More high-tech manufacturing facilities are requesting touchless access control and contactless biometric solutions.
High-tech manufacturers are looking for more touchless access control systems, including biometric authentication in the form of face and iris recognition. Not only that, as companies determine the best way to return safely back to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, access control providers are seeing a rise in demand for contactless systems integrated with temperature scanning as an extra layer of protection.

More demand for face and iris recognition

Andrew Fulton Vanderbilt
Andrew Fulton,
Head of Product Management,
Access Control, Vanderbilt
The sensitive nature of high-tech manufacturing requires an even higher degree of security that biometric access control can meet. High-tech manufacturers are particularly interested in touchless biometrics, leading them to deploy iris and face recognition scanners in place of more traditional fingerprint systems.

High-tech-focused manufacturing companies are looking to adopt biometric access control that offers a more seamless, pass-through approach for access to restricted areas. While employees may need to engage with a more traditional key card to enter the main facility, biometric access control may be used within specific areas deemed more classified or that have more restricted access requirements.

Ken Poole, Senior Director of Commercial Sales at Johnson Controls pointed to increased requests for facial recognition, specifically 3D facial recognition. Unlike 2D face recognition that uses an image of the user for authentication, 3D face recognition uses sensors to produce a depth map of the face. The later is considered both more accurate and more secure.

Poole explained that the growing demand for 3D face recognition is coming from educated customers that understand how AI is contributing to its increased accuracy.

Iris recognition is also gaining popularity in this space. Considered to be highly accurate, reliable and fast, iris recognition is especially useful for any site in which workers are required to wear protective clothing, such as gloves or a face mask, and are unable to touch any credential scanning surfaces directly.

Touchless access and temperature scanning

Access control providers are seeing an increased interest in touchless systems, including automatic doors, as a result of COVID-19.

“Before, it didn’t matter so much if you had to touch the door handle to gain access somewhere but limiting access to germs is now much more of a consideration,” Poole said.

With this focus to leverage touchless technologies, including the above mentioned biometric methods, thermal scanners are also be integrated with access control to identify at-risk individuals.

Andrew Fulton, Head of Product Management for Access Control at Vanderbilt, noted how it recently partnered with ZKTeco to offer facial recognition terminals with temperature detection to help meet this demand.

“Through this touchless technology, skin temperature acts as the credential, and as more and more countries begin to introduce mandatory requirements for citizens to wear masks, this touchless technology can detect if someone is or isn’t wearing one,” Fulton said.

More specifically, the terminals have a straightforward, intuitive interface to set temperature thresholds and collaborate with the environment around them. Protocols can be set to prevent access if a mask is not being worn or if the temperature of the visitor is above the set threshold.

As facilities continue to look for ways to manage both health and access in the current COVID-19 climate, we can expect the demand for contactless systems — including those integrated with additional health monitors such as temperature scanning — to continue growing.

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