Articles by Arie Melamed
Biometric identification technologies today are becoming pervasive. Many smartphones offer fingerprint unlock options, and most organisations have at least considered the technology as a solution for their identification and access needs. While biometrics have dramatically improved in the past several years to deliver faster, more efficient and more secure solutions, not everyone is ready for the change. New York MTA case study But does that mean that organisations need to hold off on implementing biometric solutions? Or do they need to ‘force’ it upon users? A historic case study provides an excellent example of how to implement a new technology with millions of people, under pressure, allowing users to adapt slowly and the organisation to reap the benefits. In 1953, New York Metro Transit Authority (MTA), one of the world’s largest mass transit systems, began using tokens as payment for subway rides – a solution to engineers’ problem of creating a machine that could accept different types of coins for the new 15-cent fare. This technological advancement that may seems almost archaic today, served the MTA well for 40 years before the introduction of the MetroCard - a lighter, more automated solution. Technology adaption works Yet, the MTA, despite positive results from its first implementation in 1993, had both the older tokens and the new MetroCards in place, simultaneously for a full decade until 2003. This allowed “early adopters”, who understood the advantages of the MetroCard, to switch over, while allowing those that preferred their ‘trusty’ tokens to continue using them. In 2003, when tokens were finally phased out for a MetroCard-only system, only a small percentage of commuters were still using tokens; most had realised the significant benefits to the card and had switched over of their own volition. The MTA example serves as a model for how technology adoption works. From tokens to MetroCards, fax to email, landlines to cellphones –there is a distinct process new technologies go through as they are introduced and ultimately adopted by the public. Biometric technologies are no different. Yet, organisations must find way to implement new biometric systems that simultaneously provide organisations with the significant advantages biometrics offer, while ensuring that users are given time to adapt to and adopt the new technology. Let’s look at a few practical strategies for biometric adoption: 1. Optional, with added value Many facilities, such as airports, stadiums and theme parks, already use biometric technology to create ‘express lanes’ to save time and improve efficiency. Frequent fliers, VIPs and season ticketholders can enjoy faster and more personalised service with biometric identification solutions. These users can still opt to be identified the old-fashioned way, with an ID card or ticket, but doing so means they will have to line up and wait their turn as the old methods are much less efficient than biometrics technologies. Airports, stadiums and theme parks already use biometric technology to create ‘express lanes’ to save time and improve efficiency Biometrics can also be used to improve the customer experiences, or create more tailored, personalised programs. For example, the ICER (Industry, Culture, Education and Recreation) Innovation Center in the Netherlands implemented biometric visual identification technology to create customised experiences for museum visitors that were fun and interactive. Visitors could choose not to take part in the biometrics-enhanced visit and experience the baseline version of the museum, but by utilising the biometric system, museum goers are offered a tailored experience where exhibits and information are presented based on what a visitor has already seen in the museum. 2. Start with biometrics in optional locations Not all services or locations in a corporate setting are mandatory for employees to visit. For example, employee centers or health and wellness facilities are social settings for individuals to relax and connect. Implementing biometrics-based identification solutions in these types of settings allow employees to interact with the new technology in a low-stress environment and only if they choose to. For example, companies can provide an option for employees to pay for meals at corporate cafeterias using biometric identification, saving break time for those who choose to adopt the technology and enabling them to skip longer payment lines. This has the added benefit of reducing fraud resulting from lost or stolen ID cards. 3. Educate users in advance To ensure smooth deployment and adoption of biometric technology – whether partial or full – it is important to ensure that new users are educated on the new technology in advance of its deployment. For example, employees may have privacy or data security concerns. It’s critical that organisations clarify that the data being collected is kept private and secure. This information can be imparted in several ways. Organisations should be as transparent as possible and provide employees with enough information to address concerns. A Town Hall meeting can be held to explain benefits of the technology and answer questions that new users might have. Providing educational materials to new users, such as letters or videos that explain the new technology can put employees at ease. Make sure to outline how data privacy will be ensured as well as the benefits that employees stand to gain. Have management lead by example and be the first to enroll in the biometrics system. This can help inspire confidence and trust in the system. Make implementation competitive and fun. This can help users who aren’t as excited about the technology take part and learn about it. Implementation of biometric technology can still allow individuals in an organisation a choice of whether or not to partake. Over time, most people tend to adopt new technology by choice if it saves time and makes life easier. When considering biometric systems, keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily require full adoption now and can coexist with other systems until users feel comfortable with the system, and recognise the benefits it provides.
FST Biometrics, a global biometric identification solutions provider, has announced that it has installed it’s In Motion Identification (IMID) solution to provide secure access and an enhanced customer experience for students and members of the Wellington Health & Fitness Club. Wellington College is one of the UK’s esteemed boarding schools, established in 1859, built as a monument to the first Duke of Wellington. The classically-built institution decided to make the high-tech upgrade to its security infrastructure by selecting FST’s IMID solution for its accuracy, speed and ease-of-use for members. IMID biometric access system “We required a system that provided touch-free in-motion identification for smooth member access to our fitness centre, while preventing access to those unauthorised,” explained Brian Cannon, Operations Bursar for Wellington College. “We value our tradition, but also are prepared to go cutting-edge for the sake of members’ time, health and safety, all of which are preserved through FST’s advanced biometric identification system.” FST’s IMID Access will manage secure access for the fitness centre’s 3,000 members, with access points deployed at the facility’s main entrance. IMID is also integrated with Wellington’s Gladstone MRM Plus2 system and TRP member experience management software to ensure every member receives appropriate service and attention from staff. We are proud that such a prominent institution has selected IMID to enhance the center’s security and operational efficiency" Gladstone MRM Plus2 management system “We are proud that such a prominent institution has selected IMID to enhance the center’s security and operational efficiency, and to help staff provide more personalised service to members,” said Arie Melamed, Head of the Access Control Identification Solutions Division of FST Biometrics. “Our biometric solution is ideal for use in this setting. The centre is reserved for student use at specific hours, while paying members access the leisure facilities at other times. IMID is fully customisable to ensure the right people are granted access at appropriate times.” “Given our strong experience working with Wellington College for several years, we knew they expected an access control solution that would be both secure and elegant,” said, Andrew Wylie, FTL Secure Solutions, FST’s strategic partner in the UK, and provider of design, installation, commissioning, testing and training for access control systems. “FST’s IMID Access provides the convenience and simplicity of in-motion, visual identification while also offering the highest level of biometric-based reliability.” FST’s IMID Access is deployed in health and wellness centres around the globe, and is also used in large corporations, healthcare facilities, institutions of higher education, in retail applications and others.
FST’s IMID system allows freedom of movement for members and staff, while restricting access to unauthorised users FST Biometrics, the leading biometric identification solutions provider, recently announced that The JCC Association of North America has named FST Biometrics a preferred identity management vendor. “In today’s climate in which the need for security – especially for Jewish organisations – is greater than ever, we believe our solution offers the best in security and convenience for users,” said Arie Melamed, CMO of FST Biometrics. “JCC managers are challenged with finding the right balance to create safe spaces for fun, sport and education, while also ensuring that their facilities are functioning optimally and creating a welcoming environment. This is exactly what FST delivers.” FST biometric identification technology As a preferred vendor, FST is recommended by the JCC Association of North America as a smart choice for securing and enhancing the operations of individual JCCs. FST’s IMID system utilises biometric identification technology, including facial recognition and body behaviour analytics, to allow freedom of movement for members and staff, while restricting access to unauthorised users. “We are committed to offering the JCCs of North America the best solutions on the market – whether for security or gym equipment,” commented David Posner, Vice President, Director of Strategic Performance of The JCC Association of North America. “FST Biometrics is doing something unique. When we learned about FST’s solution, as well as its track record with Jewish organisations and membership-based clubs, we knew this was something our JCCs should consider seriously. We are very excited to offer our members FST’s unique solution for keeping our centres safe and welcoming.”
Proving ROI, setting proper customer expectations and training is imperative tothe success of biometric implementation End user customers increasingly expect their security systems to provide measurable benefits beyond protection of people, facilities and assets. The biometrics sector is undergoing a similar shift in mindset: The benefits of using biometrics to drive business operations and other corporate functions are becoming part of the return on investment (ROI) “equation.” Cost savings & efficiencies influence biometric adoption Many customers now recognise that a biometric system saves money in the long run, says Arie Melamed Yekel, CMO, FST Biometrics. The company’s In Motion Identification (IMID) technology uses a combination of facial and body behaviour analytics. Yekel says the system can demonstrate cost savings in two ways. First, the system avoids the need to issue or replace cards and keys – potentially a very large expense that is simply not a factor with biometrics systems. Another cost saving is related to time: Both users and administrators continually save time by removing barriers to entry. The associated savings include, among others, the time spent waiting in line to enter a building, time looking for a key or card, time lost when a user can’t enter a building because they don’t have their key or card, and staff time required to issue a new key or card. “Once the biometric system is in place, there are inherent savings of cost and time compared to standard card systems,” says Yekel. “Furthermore, quality biometric solutions such as IMID are far more secure than other identification systems.” Every user of a card-based system needs a dedicated ID card, he says, and the cost of the cards, and of replacing lost/damaged cards, can become a great expense for organisations. For example, a system that supports 1,000 users can expect to spend $3,000 to $5,000 annually replacing lost cards. Improving efficiency via automation and accurate identification Automating manual processes is another cost saving. “In many cases, we found that our customer decided to replace the human guard with IMID Access solution” says Yekel, “as the outcome of placing IMID Access will be even more accurate and more secure than using a human guard, and it saves them tens of thousands of dollars annually.” An example is the Granite Club, Canada’s 10,000-member premier family, recreation and athletic club. The club wanted a solution that would ensure only Granite Club members, staff and authorised visitors would be able to access its athletic and children’s centres as well as the dining and meeting facilities. With a health and hygiene focus, the Granite Club also wanted a touch-free solution that would not require users to swipe a card, carry a fob or punch in a code. The Granite Club selected FST Biometrics because it is a non-invasive, secure access solution that does not impede the movements of members and staff, or detract from the Granite Club’s atmosphere. IMID Access is used in various access points throughout the Granite Club, allowing members and staff to freely access restricted areas of the facility. IMID was also deployed in the children’s centre, supplying a highly secure level of protection. Once a biometric system is in place, there are inherent savings of cost and timecompared to standard card systems Lower costs of biometric technology make ROI much easier Prior to the last 10 to 15 years, biometrics primarily existed only in the public sector, where government has both an obvious need and budget for advanced biometric security, says Larry Reed, CEO, ZKAccess, another biometrics company. “Fast-forward 10 to 15 years and the cost of biometric security has been reduced dramatically,” he adds, “and it’s within the budgets of even individual consumers.” Indeed, the proliferation of fingerprint sensors retrofitted into today’s smart phones is all around us. Apart from smart phones, as with any product, the market adoption rate for biometrics is normally consistent with the ROI associated with that new product, says Reed. The most commonly acknowledged ROI for biometrics is when used for lowering payroll expenses, since payroll is often 10 percent or more of any company’s overall operating budget. Biometric time clocks are used to prevent “buddy punching” (hourly-wage employees fraudulently punching in for each other and getting paid for unearned work hours). Another obvious ROI is avoiding fines from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), says Reed. Among other things, OSHA safeguards employees from being injured from the accidental/unauthorised startup of dangerous mechanical equipment (i.e., trash compactors, cardboard balers, forklift trucks, etc.). Without first authenticating to a biometric reader, electricity remains cut off from the machine. “Where you can prove an ROI, you’ll find a customer willing to pay for biometrics,” says Reed. Proving ROI to encourage biometrics adoption Prior to any technology change/refresh, a customer must first be convinced the change will either result in increased revenues or reductions in operating expenses. Reed says ROI can be more easily proven if/when any of the following scenarios are acknowledged by the customer: 1) Buddy punching payroll losses; 2) OSHA fines for non-protected dangerous equipment; 3) Recent break-in or misuse of employee access ID badges; or 4) downtime (accidental lockouts) experienced when employees misplace ID badges and must be reprocessed to gain access to their workplace. Fast-forward 10 to 15 years and the cost of biometric security has been reduced dramatically and it will be within the budgets of even individual consumers “For biometrics veterans, we’re well aware of the inherent security flaws and unnecessary expense of managing a card-based access control system,” says Reed. However, without the customer feeling the “pain” of a security breach, financial loss or inconvenience acknowledged by the customer, it will be more difficult to convince that customer to invest in biometric technology. “Once you’re proven an ROI, the next step is ensuring that time and labour (and total cost of ownership) for the biometric install is minimised,” says Reed. Biometrics that are wireless, battery-operated and/or can utilise existing infrastructure will be most favoured. Lastly, setting proper customer expectations and training is imperative to the success of biometric implementation, says Reed. Without the cooperation and commitment of both the decision-maker and all of their employees to learn and properly operate the biometric solution, the project is doomed to fail, he notes.
A number of misconceptions exist about the capabilities and technology ofbiometrics, perpetuated in popular culture by films and TV Like many categories in the security marketplace, the biometrics market suffers its share of misconceptions, ranging from misunderstanding of the technology to underestimating its utility for a broad range of uses. Misunderstandings created by pop culture Contributing to the problem of understanding is the popular culture. “Popular movies such as James Bond and Mission Impossible have created many misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding biometrics,” says Robert Fee, Director of Sales, Access Control, Zwipe. “We all see them create perfect copies within minutes, and enter buildings or highly secured areas. If it was that easy, there would not be a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry.” Another misconception that comes up is that a fingerprint template stored on one device works exactly the same with any other biometric device, says Fee. There is also a misconception that someone can steal and use a digital version of a person’s unique biometric, says Phil Scarfo, VP Worldwide Marketing, Biometrics, HID Global. “Some of the more advanced technologies like multispectral imaging [from HID Global] can identify human tissue as authentic, quickly detect fraudulent materials and respond and adapt to new vulnerabilities with a ‘learning’ capability that keeps up with new threats,” he says. Another misconception is that all biometrics devices and solutions are created equal. “What may be right for a mobile device and consumer application is not sufficient for commercial or enterprise applications,” says Scarfo. While there is the fear by some that biometrics poses a threat to personal privacy or a potential permanent loss of digital identity if it is stolen or compromised, it is far outweighed by the measureable benefits, he says. Ironically, the focus historically has been more on the potential risks rather than the benefits, adds Scarfo. Biometrics binding digital identities to individuals Most people don’t fully appreciate the critical importance of biometrics in an increasingly complex world of digital identities and ever-expanding ecosystem of ID cards, phones and other devices, says Scarfo. Biometrics is the only true means of linking or binding digital identities to the individual, determining who is actually using the system, and verifying whether he or she is a legitimate user for a myriad of new mobile and on-line applications. “The ability to securely link or bind digital identities to ourselves will simplify life and make it more secure,” says Scarfo. “Intelligently coupling what we have with who we are is a much better way forward in today’s complex digital world.” Misconceptions also persist around cost and ease of use, according to Steve Perna, Executive Director, Products and Solutions Division, SRI International. “Today’s biometrics systems are reliable, cost-feasible (particularly from a lifecycle cost perspective), and deliver ease of use,” he says. “Costs are being driven down across all aspects of the biometrics ecosystem, from underlying technologies and platforms to the devices themselves.” As prices reduce, functionality and features improve, and technologies become more mobile, biometrics is becoming an increasingly attractive form of security Misconceptions related to privacy There are also misconceptions related to privacy. People are apprehensive about sharing their biometric information out of fear of how their information can be exploited maliciously, says Arie Melamed Yekel, CMO, FST Biometrics. “However, these concerns are unfounded.” Much of an individual’s biometric information is already available publicly, whether registered through a governmental database, or facial/body/voice images and videos available on public social media profiles, he says. “In fact, entering one’s biometric information into a system such as FST Biometrics’ is much more secure since we take care to encrypt our data and protect our users,” he says. ZKAccess sees a big misconception is that biometric devices capture the actual image of a person’s fingerprint or face when enrolled. This creates a privacy concern for users that their fingerprint/face image can be compromised and subsequently used or shared without their permission, resulting in personal and/or financial harm to them. Biometrics do not capture live images. "Biometrics and fingerprinting are not the same,” says Larry Reed, CEO, ZKAccess. The commonly observed method of “fingerprinting” (seen on television and in hospitals/government facilities) is also known as an AFIS (an Automated Fingerprint Identification System, which uses digital imaging technology to obtain, store and analyse fingerprint data and originally used by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] in criminal cases). However, commercial biometric systems do not store/match actual images. Instead, biometric devices capture and store only a few dozen minutia points on the finger or face, apply proprietary mathematical algorithms, and convert those minutia points into binary code (i.e., a series of zeros and ones). “If you were handed a pencil and told to draw someone’s face by using 40 to 50 dots, would anyone recognise the face you drew?” Reed asks. “This is how biometrics capture, store and match templates. Only binary code is used.” Early adopters of fingerprint readers Some misunderstanding of biometrics stems from suboptimal experiences of early adopters of fingerprint readers for access control, says Steve Perna. “But the truth is that, in most cases, organisations didn’t try and abandon biometrics,” he says. “More likely they never adopted it due to stories they heard that impacted public perception. In other cases, higher prices dampened enthusiasm.” However, Perna says these impediments to adoption continue to fade, as prices come down, functionality and features improve, and as biometrics become inherently mobile and can deliver benefits beyond access control, such as time-and-attendance tracking, inventory management and logical access to other applications.
The universe of biometric authentication applications is expanding rapidly invertical markets such as healthcare and retail Once used mostly to secure high-value government facilities, biometrics are now a basic tool used in a variety of vertical markets. This article will look at some of those opportunities. For healthcare organisations, for example, biometric authentication is being used for secure medical dispensing to streamline workflow and control drug diversion, and for securing access to electronic medical records, e-prescriptions, and patient registration. “These are just a few of the many examples of today’s rapidly expanding universe of biometric authentication applications,” says Phil Scarfo, VP Worldwide Marketing, Biometrics, HID Global. “We are seeing the transition of biometrics into broader markets,” says Steve Perna, Executive Director, Products and Solutions Division, SRI International. “By making biometrics easier to use and implement, we see changing public perception and adoption spreading to mass market applications such as financial/banking account access control, personalised healthcare, mobile payments, as well as residential market access control.” Biometrics-embedded tablet devices In terms of market potential going forward, Perna expects to see consumer applications grow substantially because prices are going down, while performance and ease of use are vastly improved. An example of this is increased activity around biometrics-embedded tablet devices, which can provide the mobility and flexibility to be used for numerous applications beyond access control. Tablets are also accelerating the shift of consumer/employee access control from passwords (weak) to iris recognition (strong), while ensuring an individual is accessing information over a network – or a company is providing information to individuals – that only they are entitled to see. “We’re really talking about security in general,” Perna says. “Biometric-embedded tablets can make guard tours easier to track and monitor, and enhance data communications instantly in both directions.” Iris recognition guarantees that the person checking in is the right person at each station. With the SRI tablet, they can access real-time surveillance video or other information as they respond to an incident. For routine maintenance reporting, a broken pipe or burned-out bulb can be recorded on the spot – automatically triggering maintenance processes. These activities are typically conducted, with no authentication, through handheld data loggers and other devices for future download. Performing these functions on one tablet eliminates multiple steps and increases accuracy. Biometrics-enabled tablets and devices provide mobility and flexibility applicationsfor users across multiple markets Perna points to the use of SRI’s biometric computing platform in a warehouse scenario. Warehouse access – as well as any secure areas or cages within – can be controlled by the same device that interfaces with the inventory management system. Picked items could be instantly recorded for a precise audit trail that limits theft. Usually this is done with a combination of cards or PINS, handheld devices, remotely managed systems and even paper pick lists. With the integration of security and businesses processes you know exactly who is at the location and exactly what they’re doing while they’re there. FST Biometrics In-Motion Identification (IMID) FST Biometrics reports the company’s In-Motion Identification (IMID) is being deployed in greater numbers by large corporations and residential buildings to secure facilities that are used by thousands of people daily. However, FST Biometrics’ solutions provide benefits beyond security. The IMID product line also saves time and money, says the company, by shortening the time it takes to enter and exit an access point and eliminating the need for keys and cards – and the replacement costs associated with them. “In addition, we are starting to see FST Biometrics’ solution being used in consumer loyalty programmes as a way to provide better user experiences and services,” says Arie Melamed Yekel, CMO, FST Biometrics. “We believe there is a huge potential in this space for biometrics.” An application that illustrates the use case is a customer who has enrolled in the loyalty programme of a coffee shop chain. Upon entering a location in the chain, the customer’s identity is verified via the IMID system. Without having to present any card, the customer is offered his regular coffee and promotions tailored to his/her preferences and previous purchases. Once the customer makes a purchase, payment is applied to a previously registered account, to which relevant discounts are applied. The company has experienced growing sales and increased interest in the last few years.” The products’ newest generation includes integration with C-Cure by Software House (Tyco), a major physical access control system. In-Motion scanners can also be applied in retail markets to scan customersand access their loyalty scheme account ZKTeco fingerprint readers Hundreds of ZKTeco’s IP68-rated fingerprint readers protect passengers and crew from unauthorised access to hundreds of doors on a few multi-million-dollar super yachts. “We also protect chickens (livestock) from dangerous predators/poachers and environmental conditions that exist if their enclosures are not protected,” says Larry Reed, CEO, ZKAccess. “We protect the homes, parking garages and wine cellars of some rich famous celebrities. And we protect the outhouses (bathrooms) of a campground proprietor wishing to discourage non-paying patrons from using/vandalising the toilets.” ZKTeco has been in business over 20 years and has tens of thousands of customers; therefore, it’s difficult to specify a single solution, says Reed. “In very modest terms, we simply make ‘electric switches’ that only operate once the authorised user first presents for identification their fingerprint, face and/or more recently, their finger vein,” he says. “Our ‘switch’ has been used to control doors, gates, fences, elevators, computer server cages, trash compactors, balers, forklift trucks, medical and gun safes, motorised robots, students’ locks and key locks. Our biometrics are used to control anything that is protected or operated by a low-voltage electric motor. The obvious benefits are improved security, added convenience, and avoidance of regulatory fines.” Call for CIPS-006 compliance There has been strong biometrics demand from organisations required to comply to NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection, specifically CIPS-006: Physical Security of Critical Cyber Assets. The standard specifies two-factor authentication, which typically means, replacing existing readers and running new cabling. Zwipe eliminates that need and locks the card to a single card owner, says Robert Fee, Director of Sales, Access Control, Zwipe. “Zwipe devices cannot be borrowed or loaned to anyone, and issues related to lost or stolen credentials are greatly reduced,” he says. “Plus, if an organisation wants to use a biometric reader with on-reader template storage, that device becomes a critical device requiring additional physical security protection.”
FST’s IMID technology guarantees security for the permanent staff & visitors of IDE FST Biometrics, the leading biometric identification solutions provider, recently announced its cutting-edge secure access solution has been deployed by the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) at the entry point of its new polishing house. FST’s award-winning In Motion Identification (IMID) technology combines a unique fusion of facial recognition and body behavior biometric analytics technologies. Providing a non-invasive and highly secure system, in motion access guarantees security for the permanent staff and hundreds of frequent visitors to IDE’s polishing house – while allowing them hands-free, hassle-free entry. Secure access needs of new state-of-the-art facility “We are delighted to have been selected by the Israel Diamond Exchange to service the secure access needs of its new state-of-the-art facility,” said Arie Melamed Yekel, CMO of FST Biometrics. “FST’s IMID Access is perfectly suited to provide the polishing house with critical security, without impeding the speed of operations.” Located outside of the IDE’s main campus, the polishing house requires an access solution that guarantees security for the diamonds it processes daily – worth millions of dollars – without impacting the access speed of hundreds of staff and visitors. FST was selected after completing a rigorous trial period, in which the company’s IMID Access successfully passed all testing, and was subsequently piloted at the world-renowned International Diamond Week, hosted by the IDE in April 2014. “Serving as a trading center for a high volume of diamonds, the Israel Diamond Exchange demands the highest level of security without slowing down operations,” said Israel Vantosovski, Director of Security for the Israel Diamond Exchange. “Having experienced the technology in action, we are confident that FST Biometrics’ IMID Access is the most secure and effective solution available.”
Security vigilance can be sporadic at many companies and institutions. Facilities tend to tighten security in the days after a scary event happens or makes headlines, and people are generally tolerant of the associated inconvenience – for a time. But as memory fades, so too does tolerance for being inconvenienced. We want to be safe, but we also don’t want to be bothered. We want a security system that both provides safety and is unobtrusive. Security doesn’t have to be inconvenient. That’s a core message of FST Biometrics, which leverages multiple technologies to identify people in motion, ensuring non-invasive, seamless security in a variety of environments. “In Motion Identification” FST Biometrics’ system analyses body size, gait, movement and direction as an individual approaches an entry point, and then uses facial recognition to confirm that person as someone authorised to enter a facility The approach, says FST Biometrics, is to combine facial recognition biometrics with analysis of body behaviour and characteristics. Their system analyses body size, gait, movement and direction as an individual approaches an entry point, and then uses facial recognition to confirm that person as someone authorised to enter a facility. It all happens without the individual realising it or thinking about it – in effect, tightened security is invisible and non-intrusive to the environment being protected. FST Biometrics calls it “In Motion Identification” (IMID). The benefits are obvious in a global environment where security increasingly is needed everywhere. “It’s very accurate identification that translates into security without a high visibility of security,” says Arie Melamed, CMO of FST Biometrics. “If you have security that isn’t invasive, and without changing the status quo of life, people feel safer and they will be safer.” Accuracy With a false accept rate around 3 in 10,000, the system is sufficient for all but the most secure facilities, says Melamed. If additional security is needed, the system can also implement a voice recognition element, or other multi-factor identification such as cards or smart phone credentials can be added (with resulting false accept rates around 1 in 1 million). FST Biometrics’ software includes visitor management and access control suites, too. It can also be integrated with access control platforms such as Lenel, Tyco’s C-Cure, Honeywell and others. Analysing body recognition factors FST Biometrics analyses body recognition factors as an individual approaches an entry point to narrow the field of possible identities, from which a face is confirmed at the entry point. Narrowing the possible matches from 10,000 to 500 or fewer, the system both simplifies the task of recognising the face and eliminates a majority of possible false accepts, thus improving the accuracy of the total system. Body characteristics are analysed at distances ranging 12 to 18 feet from the entry point, and the final facial recognition takes place 2 or 3 feet from the entry. The system can be used with doors, speed gates or turnstiles, or even in an open environment where a security guard is notified if a person isn’t recognised. The company claims throughput at turnstiles of 30 people per minute. “It’s very accurate identification that translates into security without a high visibility of security. If you have security that isn’t invasive, and without changing the status quo of life, people feel safer and they will be safer”, says Arie Melamed, CMO of FST Biometrics The software system works with standard hardware, including a 5 megapixel IP camera installed at the entry point, and a server. Only the facial image is enrolled in the system. Over time, the system then “learns” information about body behaviour and characteristics -- and applies the data to simplifying identification and increasing accuracy. About FST Biometrics FST Biometrics was founded in 2007 by the former head of Israel’s military intelligence. The company installed the first systems in customer facilities in 2012, and has been receiving feedback since then. In 2014, they began to focus on the enterprise market, including “open campuses” that want security but without the “feel” of security. Clients include corporate, retail, financial services, telecommunications, residential and governmental sectors. Melamed says a new $15 million investment in FST Biometrics by GMF Capital is an endorsement of the company’s approach and a statement of trust. “We know how hard they look for uniqueness [in companies they invest in],” he says. “They are looking for companies that are changing the world.” Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak will represent GMF Capital on the FST Biometrics Board of Directors. FST Biometrics has also introduced a system that uses an Android-based mobile device (such as a smart phone with a camera) to enable a security guard to recognise people without being tied to a specific location, even in an environment such as a parking garage. After the identity is confirmed, the mobile system advises whether the person can enter and may also list who is authorised to be a passenger in their car (to identify possible car-jacking scenarios).
FST will develop and produce SIGAH Mobile and SIGAH Fixed – both based on FST's In Motion Identification technology FST Biometrics, the leading biometric identification solutions provider, recently announced a strategic partnership with Groupo Haganá, Brazil’s foremost provider of residential and facility security systems and personnel. As a key component of the partnership, FST will develop and produce SIGAH Mobile and SIGAH Fixed – both based on FST's award-winning In Motion Identification (IMID) technology – to enhance the operating level of Haganá’s security infrastructure. SIGAH Fix and SIGAH Mobile for important work of security With an initial deployment to Haganá customers in São Paulo – Brazil’s most populous city as well as the largest in the Americas – SIGAH Fix and SIGAH Mobile will supplement the important work of security personnel at critical resident access points. “FST’s biometric identification solutions deliver vital tools to increase the level of security we provide to our customers, without slowing the speed of operations,” said Villi Braverman, Ombudsman of Groupo Haganá. “FST technology helps us address the specific security requirements of our customers while adding tremendous value. This incredibly accurate and empowering solution offers an exceptional user experience.” Identifying authorised users SIGAH Mobile – a smartphone application that identifies authorised users – is modeled after IMID Mobile, the latest product offering by FST Biometrics. Security personnel identify authorised users – and are alerted to unauthorised individuals seeking entry – on the guard's personal mobile device, providing a seamless, secure access experience. To combat the threat at parking facility entry points, the SIGAH Mobile solution enables security personnel’s smartphones to act as mobile identification devices. Supplementing guards’ existing knowledge and memory, drivers and passengers entering a Haganá-controlled garage are accurately verified by SIGAH Mobile without the need to exit the vehicle. Adaption of IMID Access Technology in Brazil “The implementation of FST Biometrics’ newly-released IMID Mobile solution with Haganá Security demonstrates a key application of our secure access capabilities,” said Arie Melamed Yekel, CMO of FST Biometrics. “Due to the adaption of IMID Access technology in a challenging security climate, Brazilians are more secure without having to sacrifice comfort.” FST IMID Access technology will also be deployed at pedestrian entry points, under the brand name of SIGAH Fixed. Residents and authorised visitors seeking access are seamlessly identified by the non-invasive and highly accurate in motion identification access solution. Haganá plans to implement the FST Biometrics IMID technology in hundreds of facilities it serves throughout Brazil.