A range of uses crop up for biometrics

Monday, September 1, 2003

While biometric access control may be more commonly implemented in government facilities and high-end applications, the reality is that in addition to these traditional users, many more adopters are finding a place for biometrics.

Companies such as Melbourne, Fla.-based AuthenTec have entered the biometric market through commercial applications such as PCs and wireless phones and are just now making their niche in home and commercial security.

F. Scott Moody, president, chief executive officer and co-founder of AuthenTec, said the access control market will grow three-fold this year for his company. The key, he said, is driving down the cost of fingerprint sensors and total integration so the technology is accessible to a broader market. Potential users range from the home security market to enterprise commercial systems to time and attendance, he said.

“It not hard to imagine how to use this product,” Moody said. What is driving biometric access control, he said, “is it’s as much about convenience as security.”

Much of the delay in adoption of biometric applications on a more widespread basis at the commercial level has been because of the stagnant economy, noted Art Buckland, chief executive officer at Advanced Biometric Security, Littleton, Mass. “Companies don’t have money for more security,” he said. “So overall, the drivers for the commercial sector just aren’t there.”

However, Buckland said the commercial side will likely become more aggressive adopters once the government puts more biometric systems into place. “It will be a selling point for the commercial side,” he said, as they see the need for fewer guards and thus the lower cost of providing security.