Tutorial for Deciding Fingerprint Time Attendance System

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Published: 23rd November 2010
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Biometric Science enables identification of somebody based on innate physical characteristics. There are many body parts which are regularly used for biometric identification such as fingerprint, face, iris, and palm. Fingerprint is the one that most widely used for identification system. Besides showing unique pattern for each somebody, fingerprint also own other attributes that make it favored biometric object such as easy to capture, consistent throughout human lifespan and enable quick verification.

These days, fingerprint machine has been widely used as common office equipments. Its application encompasses variety of purposes. It is used for controlling the physical security access, authenticating privilege for particular business process, and also recording time attendance. This article mainly talks the last issue, which is to help you to select fingerprint machine as a time attendance recorder. Here are numerous features that you must consider when deciding fingerprint machine:

+ Kind of Sensor: sensor is the most crucial part of fingerprint machine. It captures the image of fingerprint before being transformed into unique identification number. There are two most regular types of sensors: optical sensor and silicon sensor.

- Optical Sensor is the oldest type of sensor. It is easier to implement and relatively more durable in diverse room temperature. However its performance will be highly dependent on the clarity of the optical surface. For this reason, when choosing fingerprint machine with optical sensor, you should consider the coated optical sensor. The coat prevents the sensor from being touched directly and maintains the clarity of optical surface.

- Silicon Sensor is newer technology, it constructs fingerprint image by mapping pressure or capacitance differences between the skin and the silicon chip. This technology offers many advantages like producing a more accurate fingerprint image, taking up smaller space, and requiring smaller to budget implement. However, unprotected silicon sensor will not be stable for frequent application. Consequently, Silicon Sensor is not commonly used for public application such as time attendance machine that will be accessed hundreds of times everyday.

+ capacity of Fingerprint Template: capacity of fingerprint template is maximum number of fingerprint image that can be saved within the Fingerprint Machine. It is advisable to select a fingerprint machine that has fingerprint template at least twice the maximum amount of employee. By having number of fingerprint template twice the amount of employee, each employee can register a backup finger if the machine has a difficulty for identification.

+ Size of Log Buffer: size of log buffer is the maximum number of log transactions that can be saved temporarily inside the Fingerprint Machine. Time attendance transaction log is usually saved for many days before being downloaded into database sever. Therefore, the capacity of log buffer must be many times (usually more than five times) bigger than amount of employee.

+ Identification Speed: identification speed is the average time required by fingerprint machine to identify a somebody based on his or her fingerprint pattern. The process includes scanning the fingerprint, searching, and comparing the fingerprint pattern against its own fingerprint database. A good fingerprint machine should be able to identify a somebody in less than 1-second.

+ Regular Error: Fingerprint machine cannot work perfectly all the time. It may incorrectly identify the fingerprint pattern. There are two types of identification error: FAR (False Acceptance Rate) and FRR (False Rejection Rate). False Acceptance Rate is the percentage of machine to grant access the impostors. Meanwhile, False Rejection Rate is the percentage of machine to reject access by authorized user. Fingerprint Machine should have as low as possible FRR and FAR. A Common quality reference for FRR is below 0.1% and for FAR is below 0.001%.

+ Reporting Software: reporting software aggregates the transaction logs and reports in readable format. This software also assists the owner to analyze productivity of each employee. Although not all fingerprint machines come with built-in reporting software, it is very significant component of time attendance system. It will eventually give the result to the owner. The quality of fingerprint machine is determined by its ability to give reports that meet the business requirements.

There are many different models, features, and capabilities of fingerprint machine available in the market at the moment. The most advance and versatile fingerprint machine may be not the most suitable for particular company's environment. The best product is the one that fits the business and technical requirements. It means the machine must have correct technical specification that fits the physical environment and number of users. It must also give valuable information for managing the human resources productivity.

The author is building technology consultant and freelance contributor based in Jakarta. Visit us to learn more about fingerprint and access control system in general.

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