What are biometrics?
Biometric readers are designed to be able to use some biological method of identification to uniquely identify an individual. Usually biometrics are put forth as a way to reliably grant, or restrict, access. Biometrics have been used for years as a way to grant access to buildings, computers or other sensitive areas or materials.
One of the most common types of biometric electronics are fingerprint readers. From person to person fingerprints are fairly unique and can be generally used to identify an individual. Electronic Fingerprint readers usually come in two types :
- Swipe fingerprint readers
- Touch fingerprint readers
Touch fingerprint readers are more intuitive to use while swipe fingerprint readers usually require several swipes to program and may require more than one swipe to get an accurate read. Several technologies exist to try and determine the ridges and valleys of a fingerprint including capacitive, thermal, ultrasound and optical. Optical readers are the most common. Most fingerprint readers are essentially a small, general-purpose digital camera that takes a picture of your fingerprint and then through image processing tries to match the key features of that image with similar key features that are already stored in the fingerprint reader’s memory.
The accuracy of fingerprint readers are characterized by FAR (False Acceptance Rate) and FRR (False Rejection Rate). False acceptance happens when the fingerprint reader allows access to an unauthorized individual because the scan was close enough for the algorithm to determine that a match had occurred. Generally when a false positive occurs a second scan will not result in the false positive being duplicated. False Rejection Rates are more difficult to determine and vary with individuals. It is estimated that 5- 10% of the population may have difficulty having an electronic fingerprint reader identify them. As a group, the Elderly have a more difficult time with fingerprint readers. As we age our skin begins to lose elasticity which can affect how well a fingerprint image scanner works. Other groups that may have a tougher time include people that work a lot with their hands or that have especially dry or oily skin. Each manufacturer can publish the FAR of their fingerprint readers. Readers are tuned to try and achieve a balance between quick access with a minimum number of false positives. If the reader is tuned to be really sensitive, the FAR will decrease, but the FRR will increase and it may take several scans before a print is properly identified. The reverse is also true. If the reader is set to the fastest mode, there will be more false positives.
Fingerprint Readers on the Gunbox
The Gunbox was designed to allow safe storage and quick access for firearms. The Gunbox uses one of the best designed fingerprint readers on the market. The fingerprint reader itself can store up to several hundred unique images and has a FAR of 1 in 100,000 scans. For added security, every Gunbox also is equipped with an RFID reader. If false positive biometric readings are a concern, the Gunbox can be set up to only open with a valid RFID signature.
Because safe storage is a primary concern, every Gunbox, regardless of the model, comes with a motion sensor and alarm to detect movement of the Gunbox. If the box is being moved at all or while an unauthorized person is trying to gain access, the motion alarm will trip creating a loud audible alarm.