Biometric Attendance Systems
What is a biometric attendance system?
A person who works on a job gets paid for the amount of time that they spend doing the job. It is, therefore, important to track the amount of time spent by any employee working on a job. This need to keep track of the working hours of employees gave rise to maintaining attendance records. The late 1800s saw the emergence of the time clock which kept track of when a factory worker entered the premises and when they left.
Eventually, electric time clocks replaced the original mechanical time clocks. However, these were subject to failure and required frequent repair. This paved the way for the emergence of time clock software (in the 1990s) and businesses started moving away from the mechanical devices.
With the growth in sophistication of computing systems, time clock software has also evolved into complex packages such as biometric attendance systems that could take care of problems such as proxy attendance marking when one person logs in data instead of the original.
In commonly used biometric time and attendance systems, a fingerprint scan of an individual becomes the unique code of entry into or exit from the workplace. Biometric scans of irises (got by scanning the eye), faces, typing cadence, voices, etc., are also used to create unique patterns for individuals that cannot be replicated in any manner whatsoever by another individual.
The use of biometric attendance systems thus reduces the chances for any kind of malpractice such as proxy entry virtually to zero. This is because the biometric details of the fingerprints of one individual will not match with that of any other person.
How Does the Biometric Attendance System Work?
Making use of an individual’s fingerprint in a biometric attendance system has allowed unobtrusive monitoring of worker’s timings in factory and office settings. To get a biometric attendance system going, first and foremost, every individual worker’s fingerprint is scanned and further mapped out to specific coordinates that are defined by the system.
Further, each fingerprint’s coordinates are plotted against a graph and stored in the system. Next, whenever the same individual places their fingertip on the scanner, the coordinates are checked against the mapped and stored coordinates.
The individual’s entry is clocked only if the latest image matches the stored one. The fingertip of one individual can no way be duplicated by any other because scanning a single finger in the biometric attendance system causes several coordinates to be mapped and stored. It is difficult to match all the coordinates generated.
Further, the coordinates generated of any single fingerprint is unique and cannot be duplicated. This is the most unique advantage and because of this, the fingerprint reader biometric system is the most common one that is in use today.
The factors that limit the use of biometric systems are the cost of the system, biometric databases can be hacked by marauders, databases can become corrupted and biometric systems involving facial recognition are blamed for intrusion into the users’ privacy.
Which biometric system is the best?
The most preferred forms of biometric systems are fingerprint and iris scanning. However, methods such as facial recognition and recognition of vein pattern are gaining popularity. Given below are the pros and cons of some of the biometric systems that are currently in use.
Images of the ridge endings and bifurcations that make up a fingerprint pattern are stored as images. This is the most popular techniques used in fingerprint attendance system software. Like any other method, this is not foolproof. Older people who are involved in labor using their hands may not be able to get their fingerprints recognized every time.
The shape and position of different organs and skin on the face are drawn into a map. This technique is observed to be particularly useful when used for remote settings to detect a face amidst a crowd. The disadvantage is that one has to look straight at the camera to make recognition possible and may not work every time.
The iris patterns which are unique to an individual are stored as encrypted bar codes. This is among the best techniques used for biometric attendance systems.
The scanning renders the best effects when performed under infrared light and provides a high level of security. The disadvantages include discomfort during scanning the iris, the time taken to scan, and hygiene concerns during scanning.
Vein Pattern Recognition
Scanning the pattern of veins under the skin of the fingers and recording the bifurcations and patters as digitized images is a favored technique. This method is faster and more convenient. For people with cold fingers and having specific diseases, this method does not work and is not very popular. The palm vein pattern recognition is a more secure one and simpler to execute. This method is also fast and convenient.
Biometric Time Attendance System Features
As a result of the unprecedented thrust on digitalization, businesses around the world are automating their mundane tasks. Most businesses have already started using biometric time and attendance systems for monitoring the attendance and hours of work put in by their employees. If you are planning to install the best biometric attendance system on your premises, you must buy one that offers the following features:
Fingerprints storage capacity – The system you are planning to buy must be capable of storing and verifying many fingerprints, even if you currently have just a few employees. When your business grows and you hire more people, the device should be capable of storing the fingerprint details of all your employees.
Durability and ruggedness – The devices you choose should be rugged and durable. This is to say that they should be capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, dirt, and dust.
360-degree verification angle – Employees will always be in a hurry, whether they are coming into or going out of the premises. This means the biometric time trackers you are planning to purchase must have a 360-degree verification angle to ensure that employee fingerprints are identified quickly irrespective of how they put their fingers on the device’s optical sensor.
Access control – Apart from tracking time, a biometric attendance system can be employed for security purposes. It prevents unauthorized people from entering secure areas. As such, you must consider devices that offer access control functionalities.
Fingerprint identification time – The accuracy of fingerprint identification is one of the most important features that must be considered when going in for a biometric system. The biometric sensor should be capable of quickly sensing fingerprints and transmitting the same.
This is not an exhaustive list of features of a biometric fingerprint attendance system. Other features include Internet connectivity, battery backup, integration to the payroll system, and after-sales service provided by the system supplier.
Things to keep in mind when using a biometric attendance system
It is the dream of all organizations to make the workplace smarter with the help of technology. This makes employee management smoother and easier. That is why most organizations are installing biometric time and attendance systems. They serve multiple purposes such as premise access control, monitoring attendance, and improving productivity and accountability, among others. However, some of the important aspects that organizations must keep in mind when using a biometric fingerprint attendance system are:
Safety of data
Data security is the most important aspect to be kept in mind when using a biometric attendance system. As the system uses the personal information of employees, the safety of data should be ensured to prevent identity theft.
Usability of the system
The biometric attendance management system installed must be easy to use, effective in serving the purpose for which it is being employed, and provide the best user experience. This is essential for any organization to achieve its goals and desired outcomes.
The technology used in a biometric attendance system
Biometric systems that use a variety of technologies are available in the market today. They include fingerprint, face, hand geometry, or iris recognition, and DNA matching, among others. However, fingerprint recognition technology is the most widely used biometric attendance system because of two aspects – the cost and biometric identification time. The biometric system installed should capable of identifying the employee within milliseconds for smooth functioning.
Cloud accessibility for a biometric attendance system is helpful in many ways. A cloud-based attendance system provides employees with access from their smart devices. This helps them keep track of their scheduled work hours irrespective of where they are working. Also, it enables remote working situations, especially in pandemic kind of situations.
Keeping in mind the factors listed above when using a biometric attendance system helps organizations provide the best experience to their employees.
Why is the Biometric Attendance System important?
The use of biometric time and attendance systems is on the rise as they offer several benefits to organizations. A biometric system works by identifying a person’s fingerprint, face, or iris to ensure that he/she is authorized to enter the premises of an organization, building, etc. Apart from access control, it helps to keep track of employee attendance and work hours. The importance of installing a biometric attendance management system is as follows:
Prevents proxy attendance
It helps to prevent proxy attendance and ensures that only authorized people enter any premises. One employee cannot market his/her colleague’s attendance as each person has to share his/her fingerprint, iris pattern, or facial feature to be recognized by the biometric machine.
Ensures accuracy of data
Biometric time and attendance systems connect directly with an organization’s HR software. Further, the time and attendance details provided by the system will be accurate. Manual calculations are prone to errors.
In addition to simplifying and streamlining the employee salary processing procedure, a biometric system enables the maintenance of leave records accurately as it remains linked to the HRM software as well as the access control system.
A biometric fingerprint attendance system is a very cost-effective system. Chip cards often turn out to be an expensive affair as most employees tend to lose their cards and they have to be replaced.
From the above, it is quite evident that the installation of a biometric attendance system is beneficial in many ways.
Industries that prefer biometric time and attendance systems
Biometrics technology is a fast-developing field and their acceptance is also rapid. Biometric fingerprint attendance systems are preferred and considered as the most efficient and economical solution to mark entry and exit times of employees belonging to different industries. Listed below are some industries that make extensive use of fingerprint identification biometric systems.
This is extensively used by banking software developers to accurately identify banking service users. Another area this technology is used in is in KYC compliance areas and in accessing ATMs where it is preferred to PINs and cards.
Public safety systems of government agencies employ biometric systems for citizen identification and visitor management in public areas and safe zones such as border control, prisons, sensitive department entry points, areas where public functions are held, voters’ enrollment, etc.
Schools, Colleges, and Educational institutions
Biometric technology is used to collect information in schools and colleges to collate attendance data of both students and the teachers. The technology is easy to use for both students and teachers.
Weekly and monthly attendance of students can be sent to both teachers, school authorities, and parents to keep them informed of their wards’ attendance records. This also helps to eliminate proxy attendance.
The HR departments of most industries make extensive use of biometric attendance management systems. Fingerprint sensors are used to grant preferential access to employees in sensitive areas of the facility. It is also integrated with payroll systems to provide and integrate attendance data for compliance with labor laws.
Biometric Time and Attendance System support
For biometric time and attendance systems to function to their full potential and provide the stated advantages, they must be supported by suitable hardware and software.
The loaded software should function from a cloud-based platform so that data can be recorded or accessed at any time at any place. The software should facilitate centralized data collection even if the biometric data is recorded at different places. The reporting system of time and attendance systems should be extensive and scheduled at regular intervals. Time attendance management should be set up for different time shifts, time zones, and should also facilitate live attendance tracking. The maintenance and system support offered to solve any problems should be round-the-clock.
The hardware units should be robust in construction and should have mobile network support for non-network locations. The processor used for matching should be accurate and have high speed. The equipment should allow for easy installation and maintenance in both indoor and outdoor scenarios.
Features of Biometric Attendance Systems
Biometric time and attendance systems help businesses to do away with manual time tracking and the use of complex spreadsheets. Manual tracking of attendance is not only a labor-intensive affair but also a time-consuming process. It can adversely impact the growth of businesses. However, it is important to install a biometric system that offers the following features to derive maximum benefits:
In addition to tracking employee attendance and work hours, biometric attendance systems can be employed for access control. Integrated systems improve security as they restrict unauthorized personnel from entering specific premises.
Even businesses that employ a few people should opt for a high capacity biometric fingerprint attendance system. The device should be capable of accommodating the needs of a business when it grows and adds more employees.
Internet connectivity enables the transfer of employee time-in and time-out details directly to the payroll system. It is also needed for updating the device and keeping it functional.
Accuracy and speed of fingerprint identification are two must-have features for any biometric attendance system. These features help organizations in avoiding long employee queues in from of the fingerprint sensor.
Durability and Ruggedness
The best biometric attendance systems are capable of functioning well in extreme temperatures and even in dirty and dusty places. Devices with scratch-proof optical sensors provide good performance in all environmental conditions.
Integration to Payroll Management Systems
The data provided by a biometric time tracker is important for improving the payroll system’s efficiency. Accurate employee attendance details enable quick computation of salaries.
It is easy to install and use a biometric attendance management system. However, assistance from an expert will be required when problems arise. It is, therefore, important to buy the device from a company that offers web assistance as well as in-place service support.
In conclusion, these are the most essential features to look for when buying a biometric attendance system.
A leading software development company, one of their prominent products is a biometric fingerprint software and time attendance tracking package. They offer a range of development services in this genre. Mobile biometric substantiation for matching and detecting frauds is created using face and voice recognition features.
Biometric identification products together with extensive reporting facilities use iris, face, and fingerprint recognition systems. Also on offer are SDK-based and cloud-based biometric identification for seamless connections and identification. QSS Technosoft creates varied state-of-the-art applications in the form of biometric finger attendance systems for different industry verticals to manage their attendance and identification problems.
With biometrics having emerged as the gold standard for confirming identities use to track time and attendance of employees, detecting frauds, and visitor management, Aware is a software development company that has many solutions that help to guard on-site security for different start-ups, SMBs, and enterprise-level organizations.
From fingerprints to retina scans, face and voice recognition systems, they build their best biometric attendance systems in a modular style which helps them to adapt their solutions to any setting in the least amount of time. They serve a variety of enterprises with their products: healthcare, law enforcement and finance.
Marketing their products since 2002, Cognitec lays proud claim on the successful installation of thousands of identification systems across the world. Their main line of products includes easy-to-use, customizable and easily scalable face recognition software that can be quickly integrated through open system design and architecture.
Whereas the main markets for face recognition technology comprise physical security and identity management, we also provide commercial/service-based applications for commercial business operations and personal use.
Incorporating state-of-the-art technologies, Cognitec’s products are constructed work with facial images together with computer vision, deep learning, and pattern recognition. Our algorithmic optimization techniques since 1995 have resulted in superior products independent of variances such as different hairstyles, pose, glasses or lighting changes.
Their line of products includes smartcard solutions, fingerprint modules, fingerprint readers, Aadhar card products and fingerprint SDKs. With the aid of high-performance fingerprint technology, the company has produced and shipped 6 million sensors worldwide.
The access control devices manufactured by them are resilient and robust and support form-factor independent access control. Ready-to-deploy aadhar readers and modules are created to pass strict governmental rules and the small fingerprint modules can be integrated into any device without compromising on the design.
Using their thermal sensing technology (NEXT Active Thermal), the fingerprint images created are high-contrast and sharp. This in turn translates to low biometric error rates. Accurate fingerprints can be got using this technology under different environmental conditions, including places that are rainy and are subject to highly humid conditions.
Adonai is a leading biometric software developer in India and has been involved in developing biometric systems for security applications for about 15 years now. They make a variety of applications based on fingerprint authentication, voice and face recognition systems and identification based on blood vessel pattern in the eyes.
Adonai provides cost-effective biometric software solutions for security purposes according to the needs of their client. Adonai has also successfully incorporated biometric and smart card solutions to all of their different application domains.
Located at Surat in India, their iris recognition systems are developed here for the local and global markets. They provide customized solutions to their clients that are incorporated with their patented hardware and copyrighted Iris Recognition Software. Their compact iris scanner hardware and iris recognition SDK are much in demand in the markets worldwide.
The company’s clientele includes many government departments, large businesses and industries. Biomatiques products ensure a high level of security and access control. Their areas where Biomatiques’ products can be used include access control mechanisms in large apartments and factories, immigration, tracking employee through biometric time and attendance systems, and law enforcement.
Fusion Biometrics and Software Solutions
Fusion Biometrics has several qualified and experienced professionals working together to provide quality conscious customers with innovative end-to-end biometric solutions that cater to different industries and a variety of organizations.
Their products include BioAuthorize ET and BioAuthorize PDA, are both time and attendance monitoring systems, based on fingerprint recognition technology. FS20 is an access control system combined with an attendance monitoring system.
Their technology partner is Futronic, a global provider of high-quality fingerprint recognition software and hardware. Fusion is the development partner for Futronic Technology Co. Ltd. and offers solutions according to specific customer needs.
The company is a leading provider of biometric technologies that are used for improving the operational efficiency of various organizations, improving security and enhancing identity management. Fulcrum’s biometric solutions are being used by a variety of organizations such as non-profit organizations, military customers and both local and national governments.
Fulcrum’s products rapid enablement tools for biometric software, mobile biometric systems, biometric sensors and fingerprint scanners, and other solutions. Fulcrum has also successfully incorporated its biometric solutions in all of their different application domains. The company also offers hosted and cloud-based biometric solutions for its customers.
The company offers reliable and lightweight FBI-certified fingerprint sensors for customers across the world. The LES technology that they use in the biometric products meets the performance requirements even in the most demanding environments.
Five-O, Sherlock, and Kojak roll scanners, Danno and Columbo single-finger scanners, Watson Mini two-finger roll scanner, etc., are some of the products Integrated Biometrics has on offer.
The patented LES film technology used by the company ensures that the fingerprint solutions work under direct sunlight, work on both dry and moist fingers and also resist abrasion.
Working towards a world without passwords, Biocryptology fashions unique solutions based on biometric details stored on any hardware token or even a mobile phone.
The solutions on offer by Biocryptology include integrated access control and identification, time and attendance control systems, integration with secure payment gateways and card tokenization services, and digital signature services, among others.
Their app is a disruptive solution that helps users to do away with storing and using passwords. It uses on-device storage to collect biometric information used for identification and authentication purposes.
Biometric Attendance System Problems – Challenges In School Scenario
Student attendancef is the most important aspect that schools monitor as there is a direct link between academic achievement and attending classes regularly. A biometric attendance management system is helpful in many ways but it poses a few challenges as follows:
Fingerprints may not be well-formed for children
This is by far the major challenge that has discouraged schools from extending the use of biometric attendance systems for monitoring the attendance of students.
Fingerprints are formed over the years and this often leads to errors in detection by the device.
Spread of flu/cold due to touch
School children frequently get bouts of cold and flu and they spread very fast as they may not observe safety measures to the required extent. It is enough if one staff member or student suffering from an infection touches the biometric attendance system. Several students might get infected in no time. In pandemic situations, like the current Coronavirus pandemic, it can cause the virus to spread much faster.
Biometric modalities make use of physical traits like fingerprints to identify individuals. It is possible to reset passwords but not fingerprints. Therefore, a high level of security is essential for protecting the fingerprint details of students. If hackers steal data from the server, it can cause a lot of problems for students.
In conclusion, these are the main challenges that have to be overcome if biometric attendance systems are installed for student attendance monitoring in schools.
A radio frequency identification (RFID) tag comes with a unique identification code. This plus a scanning device may be used as a system in schools for monitoring the attendance of students. There are no line-of-sight problems in the case of an RFID reader and it picks up tag IDs automatically from a distance, even if there are obstacles between the reader and the tag. Though there are several benefits to using active RFID technology, it does have some limitations.
Although RFID readers are capable of scanning through non-metallic materials, they are not so effective in scanning through metal and wet surfaces. Further, the fact that it can scan through multiple objects within a range is really beneficial, but the chances of malfunctioning are also equally higher. Tag collision often occurs when an RFID reader picks up signals from a number of tags at once. This is to say that the reader can fail to detect when several students of the school walk past it as a group.