This week we will be talking about what to look for in a finger ID system. The main focus when picking out a biometric reader is will it connect to my system and is it going to be fast. Those are very important features but there is a lot more you should be looking at.
Lets start with the main focus topics. Speed, you want something that is going to get your patrons through the line as fast as possible. You want something that will identify in milliseconds. Not something that is dated and takes seconds to identify. The other part of the speed is the identification process. A true identification system is needed, not verification. Verification is a two-step process that requires confirming an ID card belongs to the patron by placing a finger on the reader. Verification will drastically slow down your line.
Will it connect to my system? Of course you want the finger reader to connect to your current software. You want it to work seamlessly. What if sometime in the future you switch vendors? Or another department on your campus wants the finger reader too? That is why you should go with a finger ID system that connects to any system.
Reviews. You want to find a system that has a lot of good reviews. I’m not talking about a company making a bunch of google reviews to make it appear as if their product is worthy. I mean actual customer reviews. Ask for some customers that are currently using the system. Better yet ask for customers that have had a different finger reader system and switched to the one they are currently using. These end reviews will give you more insight to the technology and the company comparisons.
Database Size. You want a system that can have huge databases but also be able to search them at high speeds! Don’t fall for companies that try to sell you a database where you have to move patrons to different servers every time they switch buildings. That is very time consuming and can easily get messed up. You want a database that can be accessed from anywhere on the network. Look into their customers and see what sites they have. Look for large districts using many readers at the same time or universities moving thousands of students through lines fast!
Works with all types of fingers. Look for a system that for sure works with fingers in all types of sizes, ages, and styles. This goes hand in hand with the reviews. Ask customers how it works with small children. What is the style of the reader pad? Is it large area where it would be hard for the system to pick up a small print? Or is it a smaller streamlined pad that can identify quickly? Make sure that the program has age progression built in, otherwise you will have to re-enroll students every year as they grow.
Accuracy. A system with a 0% false identification rate is truly needed. It would be terrible if someone got mis-identified as another student charging the wrong account. This accuracy has to be perfect even in huge databases like 200,000 patrons.
Company. Look for a company with years of experience and one that is dedicated to the technology. Do they have in house technicians and programmers that are always working to produce the best software? Or do they hire it out to the cheapest company they can find to just get the job done? Do they specialize in this one product or do they have their fingers in many pies (yes a finger reader pun)? Is the history of the company in working with software or did they just try to jump on to the product?
Options and aps. Look for a product that excels in all the connection options you may have. Can the system run multiple readers off of one computer at the same time as your pin pads or card readers? Are there other programs built in that are useful for now and the future like attendance aps and activity trackers. Look for something that can be connected in many ways like serial cables, network drops, and usb devices.
Just like any other product there is the right solution and then there are cheap imitations. As you probably guessed we can do all of this and much much more. If I were to keep going this would end up being a novel instead of a blog. So if you have any questions contact us anytime, we love to help out!