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Biometric tech secures resources

July 29, 2011 • Security

Biometric technology continues to add value to commerce and the ripple effect is an increased investment in this technology within organisations and community-focused services.

“The level of interest in biometric solutions, particularly those that are based on fingerprint identification, is increasing amongst institutions and other stakeholders within the education sector,” says Marius Coetzee, Ideco Biometric Security Solutions COO.

“We are seeing more investment in the solutions for access control and HR management within schools and tertiary institutions.”

Ideco entered into a supply chain distribution agreement with Cape-based high-end security and access control service provider, Powell Tronics (Pty) Ltd, to strengthen the rollout of Morpho biometric security solutions to the market.

Powell Tronics partnership

Powell Tronics has been directly involved in numerous projects to integrate the benefits of access control infrastructure within education institutions, including a large-scale access management system refurbishment at University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Both companies are aware of the potential that exist in this market and both acknowledge that this is largely because this type of infrastructure is ideally suited for the education environment.

“Biometric technology lends itself to this type of environment because it is robust and works well alongside traditional access control systems. It can be integrated seamlessly into existing infrastructure with minimal cost, is straightforward to operate and does not require additional training or other resources,” explains Coetzee.

This is where the combination of Morpho solutions with access control solutions via a partnership with Powell Tronics adds significant value, says Coetzee.

Most fingerprints have approximately eighty five true minutia points that form a unique pattern known as a template. When scanned during the enrolment process, this template is encoded and stored. Identification occurs when an enrolled fingerprint is scanned and matched to its stored template.

“Whereas other technologies not only capture fewer minutia points, their templates also contain many false minutia,” says Coetzee.

“Typically created by cuts, abrasions, burns and dirt, false minutia points reduce template accuracy which results in unacceptable levels of false acceptances. By contrast, Morpho’s algorithms is recognised internationally for its speed and accuracy, the main reasons why Morpho remains the preferred brand in South Africa.”

According to Coetzee if one considers the growing popularity of biometric technology and the likelihood of innovation taking this technology forward, early adoption could add significant value to educators going forward.

“There is a growing shift towards the further implementation of facial recognition technology, which is based on aspects such as the position of retinas and contours of the face. It is an exciting development that is progressing rapidly and one area that could be of greater influence and value within identity management in the not-too-distant future,” he adds.

John Powell, representing executive management at Powell Tronics, believes that this combination works very well in practice.

“There is a trend in the institutions to specify biometric solutions that work alongside card-based systems, as many of the institutions require student card identification, many of the periphery systems require card-based technology like the libraries, photo copy and printing equipment etc.,” says Powell.

As examples of technology being used within the education environment, Powell refers to the Morpho OMA520 outdoor, which caters for outdoor applications.

“The MA500 and J-series units are suited to indoor applications/areas and we recommend the MSO300 be utilised to ensure the best possible registration,” he continues.

Staff Writer


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