Biometrics-based access control could be the next big thing...


I was reading through my Google Alerts today and found a story from on Ion 247 deploying the building-wide access control system SafeRise from Israeli security company FST21 at a senior housing facility. I wrote about FST21 a while back when they first came to the U.S. and their technology seemed, admitedly, a bit sci-fi...

Security Industry luminary and former Mace Security Services Division president Peter Giacalone said it best: 

"It’s rare when you come across technology that you get excited about—I mean there’s a lot of cool stuff out there, but it’s all just better versions of what you’ve seen before—this is almost like Star Wars,” Peter told me in late 2009.

Think of that scene in "Minority Report" after Tom Cruise gets his eye transplants... He's trying to make a slick, quick and sly getaway and ducks into a GAP to escape his pursuers... Unfortunately, biometrics are in wide use and the store recognizes him--or at least the eyes he's currently got jacked into his skull--and addresses him as the former owner of the ocular orbs... Yuck factor aside, that's pretty cool.

And becoming more and more real every day so it would seem.

My former editor Sam also wrote about them when Kent security took on the rather large and involved solution and began deploying it.

From the story in which Ion 247 president Ed Welden is interviewed:


Because Ion 247 is the first to deploy the system in the region, Welden said he thinks Birmingham is in a good position as its use grows. He said his firm is preparing to install the SafeRise system at facilities in Mobile, St. Petersburg and Houston.

"We want Birmingham to be the hub of the new technology," Welden said.

Welden said his firm tested the system in its offices for three months before marketing SafeRise to others and installing it at Faush Metropolitan Manor.


Basically what the solution does is mesh different technologies inlcuding facial recognition, voice recognition and behavior pattern recognition (as well as more traditional if less cool and sci-fi technologies like smartcards) to make the individual desiring entry the actual key.

The execs at FST21 feel pretty strongly that this is what the future of access control looks like.

Again from the story:

"We have to find a new intelligent, convenient way to access buildings," Farkash said in a video teleconference interview from Israel. "The fusion of technologies gives you very close to 99 percent positive identification."

Farkash knows a bit about security. He retired as a major general after spending 40 years in the Israeli military, including time spent leading the Directorate of Military Intelligence. Farkash will be in Birmingham on Feb. 23 for a 9:30 a.m. demonstration of SafeRise at Faush Metropolitan Manor.

"When we put all three technologies together, we turn your body into a key to access buildings," Farkash said. "It's very, very difficult to imitate this key."

While the systems can cost up to $60,000, they represent the kind of security technology that many observers have predicted would become a reality someday.

"We believe this is the way people will access their buildings in the 21st Century," Farkash said, noting that the technology is still in its infancy, much like cell phones were once large, clunky devices that were limited in what they could do.

A recent report, "CCTV Based Remote Biometric & Behavioral Suspect Detection: Technologies & Global Markets – 2011-2016," from the Homeland Security Research Corporation also forecasts significant growth in this new market of converged biometrics for access control. Keep your eyes on this emerging tech... unless you agree with Wired and feel biometrics' only use is as a cool way to lock your iPad...