Following the successful launch of its latest solution Precise YOUNiQ earlier this year, Precise Biometrics announced in August that it was expanding its offering for secure digital identity to include facility access. Using facial recognition, employees and visitors can now be conveniently and securely granted access to offices and restricted facilities.
Sarandis Kalogeropoulos, Senior Manager Sales/Business Development at Precise shares his insight around some of the challenges organizations are facing today for facility access and how biometric technology helps to overcome these.
What are challenges organizations are facing in terms of enabling access to their facilities and workplaces?
Traditionally when a person is first hired as a new employee or arrives at a premises as a new guest (e.g. a gym), there’s a lengthy process onsite to photograph the person, give them a tag and enable access rights so they can enter the pre-determined areas. As well as taking time, this is not at all cost efficient or convenient. Then, once people have been granted access in this way, they then will sometimes lose or forget their tags, so a new or temporary one has to be issued – another admin cost and further inconvenience. Finally, even though the initial process of access and identity checking has been carried out correctly, you simply can’t be certain that the correct person has entered by relying on this method of using tags since they can be stolen or borrowed, allowing the wrong person to enter. Security can easily be compromised in this way.
How can biometrics help to solve these challenges?
Human biometrics are unique. Using a biometric such as a fingerprint (which we offered as a BioAccess solution as far back as 2000) or face detection (which we’ve now evolved to using with Precise YOUNiQ) means we can easily and correctly identify ourselves every time with the advantage that we don’t forget or lose our bodies! Biometrics are also very secure.
So how does Precise YOUNiQ work for enabling access?
There’s just four easy steps, let me describe it for you as if you were a new employee. Firstly you send your new employee a link to digitally onboard to the access system. This link takes the employee to a web app, where they provide YOUNiQ with a selfie (similar to the normal procedure when starting a new job when someone will take a photo of you, only this is done at a time convenient to the employee). Depending on local requirements, identity is also added if required for further security. Next the selfie is transformed into a biometric template and securely stored in a server connected to the camera at the facility’s entrance. Finally when the person arrives at the facility, the camera will live video stream them approaching. As the system recognizes the individual, the door opens automatically with no need to stand and wait. The process for visitors is very similar – all quick, convenient and secure.
What other benefits does Precise YOUNiQ bring?
We know that people today already have too many objects that they need to use to access different things – their house, car, work, gym, the list goes on. We believe that an extra key will not make life easier. Instead we already possess the best possible key – ourselves. By enabling people to use their biometrics in an easy way for access means that security levels are kept high along with convenience levels. Additionally, as YOUNiQ works with passive Facial Recognition, you just need to move towards the door and the camera will automatically recognize you to open the door. There’s no need to push a button or stand still to wait for a picture to be taken.
So when can people expect to start using this new solution?
We’re already piloting Precise YOUNiQ for access in three locations – at Clarkson University, at a software engineering company and at a gym. We’ve also been using it very successfully in our offices at Precise both here in Sweden and in the USA so it’s already being used, with lots of great feedback! We’re looking forward to completing the pilots and sharing more about those ahead of making it more widely available in the near future.