Part 2 of 5
Part 1: Why Biometric?
Part 2: Why Vein Scanning?
Part 3: Installing M2sys Vein Scan Server & Configuring the Database
In the past year we have learned a lot about biometrics and our check-in system and I have had people ask me multiple times a great question, “Would you do it again?”. They are really asking would we use finger print scanners as an key component of our check-in system, and I would reply, Yes. The finger print scanning has been successful to accomplish the two areas we saw concern in the other flavors (bar code, key fob, number/name lookup) of check-in: Security and Speed. The finger scanning has allowed us to have check-in remain secure, limiting the use to families who had followed the registration process and allow them to do it in a process that takes less than 15 seconds per family. A major positive of the finger scanning over other scanning solutions, the speed isn’t dependant upon the end user remembering to bring a key tag or key fob with them to church.
Even saying Yes to that question wouldn’t mean we haven’t learned things over the past year and we haven’t modified the configuration. We have learned that finger print scanning is dependant upon indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity, dry skin, etc. The quality of the scan is affected by more environmental variables than we expected. A second learning point was paying attention to the scans captured at pre-registration. This process is much more important than we originally thought. If attention to detail was paid at the pre-registration process then the success rate increased exponentially. And finally, we were affirmed in our thought that there would be some people not able to use the biometric system because they just didn’t have “good” fingerprints. So with the environmental variables and the fact that some people couldn’t use the biometrics we had to identify a workaround, which was allowing people to check-in by pager number. This is not the security number printed on the child’s tag but rather the number that is used to alert families the DLand staff need them to come get their child. Allowing check-in via pager this did have negative impact on speed and people do forget their number.
So when it was time to start planning our rollout of Jr. High and Sr. High check-in we decided to put all options back on the table. Our team came to the conclusion that if we could make finger scanning more reliable it was still the best option. This planning was happening concurrently to the release of a new product by M2Sys called Vein Scanning.
Vein Scanning works under the principal that your vein alignment in your fingers is as unique as your finger prints. Allowing you to be identified in a system without the environmental and “good” print concerns noted above. The Scanner uses infrared to ‘see’ your vein alignment in your finger and allows the software to translate that alignment into a string of numbers that can be called back to identify you after you have pre-registered.
The solution sounded good but needed to be tested. We contacted ACS and asked if we could put the scanner thru some testing and they provided a demo for us. Our testing showed the Vein scanners to be much higher in accuracy no matter the variables.
So why not vein scanning in the first launch a year ago? The products weren’t available a year ago in the capacity they are now.
Will you be migrating your finger print users to vein scan users? Not at this time, currently the two technologies are not able to be used concurrently on the same workstation and would require a mass re-registration process for over 1250 individuals.
Will you possibly migrate everyone to vein scanning? Once the converged product allowing both types of scanning at one workstation (12 weeks) we might explore this option.