Asian manufacturers are designing innovative fingerprint products. Despite relying mostly on the original equipment manufacturer model, many players are developing robust R&D capabilities of their own.
Fingerprint readers are now widely used in access control.
¨People need not bring cards to work anymore because of fingerprint readers,〃said Eric Chen, General Manager of Jantek. ¨Fingerprint readers are convenient as users no longer suffer from problems stemming from lost cards; they also make identity fraud more difficult.〃
Integration is also propelling sales. ¨In addition to time attendance, fingerprint readers can be applied to access control management,〃 said Alex Lin, General Manager of Excel Systems. ¨Fingerprint readers are not only convenient, but also accurate and efficient when recording attendance and identity.〃
¨Fingerprint readers are being applied to highly sensitive areas such as government, banking and gaming,〃 said Jack Wang, Manager of the Overseas Business Department at Miaxis Biometrics. ¨We foresee that they will play a key role in elections as they are more economic and time-saving than traditional paper ballots and the complicated registration procedures that go with them.〃
Challenges, however, remain. ¨We are trying to enlarge the capacity for stand-alone fingerprint readers, ¨said Pil Kyung Kang, CEO of IDTECK. ¨We need to meet the needs of big companies with thousands of employees.〃
Large numbers requires fast recognition speed. ¨We are working to speed the process,〃 said Sky Huang, General Manager of Soca Technology. ¨We want to achieve recognition in less than a second for each fingerprint.〃
Another important issue is accuracy. As readers are easily affected by weather and humidity, recognition is a problem.
¨We are also working on problems due to unique features,〃 said Wang. ¨First-generation products have achieved recognition rates of 80 percent; that is 90 percent for third generation.〃
¨ Sensors and algorithms are core technologies,〃 said Joey Won, Sales Manager at Nitgen. ¨We have a strong R&D team working to meet the challenges of recognition accuracy and speed.〃
Suprema fingerprint algorithms greatly increase both accuracy and speed of authentication. ¨ The award-winning algorithm from Suprema is the result of our engineersˇ efforts,〃 said Young Soo Moon, Vice President of Suprema. ¨We are proud of the fact that it has been widely adopted because of its performance.〃
¨To improve our products, not only does the R&D team at Miaxis work on optical sensors and algorithms, but also it seeks for the best combination to raise accuracy, efficiency and reliability,〃 Wang said. ¨We believe that we can raise recognition to 95 percent this year.〃 Capturing a complete fingerprint on the screen is important for accurate authentication, said Samuel Wu, Sales Manager at DigitalPersona Taiwan. ¨A silicon layer is attached on the scanning screen to enhance adherence between the fingerprint and the screen to capture a complete fingerprint image for detailed analysis.〃
Fingerprint readers are also being combined with Mifare cards, Wang said. ¨Mi fare cards br ing many advantages such as security double checks, fast authentication and high accuracy due to one-to-one matching.〃
Moreover, fingerprint readers combined with Mifare card are especially suitable for big companies with many employees as well as those wi th huge databases. ¨One-to-one matching saves memory, enabling greater storage capacity,〃 Wu said.
In addition, fingerprint readers with multiple functions are providing higher security. ¨We are working on systems that provide double checking to elevate access control,〃 said Peter Park, Overseas Sales Manager at Union Community. ¨Combining fingerprints with facial or iris recognition ensures a higher level of security. I believe that this represents the future,〃 he said.