Biometric Access Control FAQs


Why use a biometric solution for access control?

Unlike cards or keys, an individual’s fingerprint cannot be lost or stolen.  The biometric access control system is much more secure than others because it works based upon your identity, rather than something that you have (such as keys) or something that you know (such as a PIN number).  Fingerprint-based access control solutions are also fast, convenient, and surprisingly affordable.   

How does the system work?

In a typical installation, an individual is enrolled on a  fingerprint reader, and his / her access control privileges (where he / she can enter and when) are set up in the Fingerlan application by an administrator.  When the individual later returns to enter a door or pass through a turnstile, he / she places a finger on the  reader and is subsequently granted or denied entry based upon his / her unique fingerprint.   access control systems can be combined with card solutions and our fingerprint readers are easily integrated with existing alarm systems and door strikes.   

Can the solution be combined with cards?

 readers can perform verifications by fingerprint only, card + fingerprint, or PIN + fingerprint.  Our fingerprint readers are compatible with HID iCLASS and Mifare cards and we offer optional integrated card readers in our products. 

Do I need a server?

When the fingerprint readers are used in networked mode, the Fingerlan application is installed on a PC or server.  Fingerlan manages user profiles, access control settings and more.  The application can easily run on a standard Windows PC; many customers with large installations prefer to run the application on an existing server. 

What happens in case of a power outage?

Power is required in order for the V70i to operate a door strike for access control, so readers are sometimes installed with a power backup.  Safety is not compromised because fingerprint readers are typically used to control entry into a particular area, but not out of it.  In a power failure, users would be able to exit controlled areas but would not be able to enter them again until power was restored (or unless the readers and door strikes were operating with a power backup). In terms of auditing, each V70i fingerprint reader stores up to 32,000 user templates and 60,000 in / out transactions by default (the memory is expandable).  In case of a power outage, all transactions are automatically retrieved by the Fingerlan application when power is restored. 

How many doors can be operated by each fingerprint reader?

Each V70i fingerprint reader will control up to 4 doors with its optional integrated 24-way IO board.  Doors are typically controlled via Wiegand interface or relay; the V70i can also be connected directly to a door strike. 

Can the fingerprint readers be mounted outdoors?

The current V70i fingerprint reader is water resistant but should not be mounted anyplace where direct rain or other liquids can interfere with the operation of the unit.  Future readers will have full IP65 ratings that will allow for more flexibility in harsh outdoor environments.  

Can the fingerprint readers be integrated with my existing alarm system?

Certainly. The V70i and future fingerprint readers can easily be connected with existing alarm systems via Wiegand interfaces or relays.  is also working with prominent enterprise access control companies around the globe in order to offer plug and play biometric solutions for companies with existing card-based systems.  Please contact us for more details on how access control systems integrate with your existing building security systems.



Access Control FAQ

What is Access Control?

When combined with a barcode reader and Electronic Door Controller, Gym Assistant can provide access control for your facility entrance doors. 

For access control at the front desk, you may want to install a turnstile or gate.  Members swipe a card and then pass through a turnstile, swing gate or half-height door. 

Install an electronically-controlled door lock on the outside entrance for 24-hour access.

Most turnstiles, gates and electronically controlled locks require the same type of input to trigger; they all work by momentarily closing a circuit.  Think of a doorbell where you press a button to trigger the doorbell chime.

How does Access Control work with Gym Assistant?

Gate Keeper is a small program that comes bundled with Gym Assistant.  Gate Keeper is basically the brains behind member check-ins -- it receives the card scan data, looks up the member record, records the visit and controls a door entrance.

Access Control with Gym Assistant works as follows:

·         The member swipes a card or keytag through the reader. 

·         GateKeeper receives the card data from the reader and checks the member’s status.

·         If the member is up-to-date, GateKeeper sends a signal to the Door Controller to open the door.

·         The Door Controller closes a circuit to open the door latch or turnstile.

Can I control who gets into the facility and when?

Yes. You can specify which members are allowed access in various ways. For example you might allow access for only certain membership types or only those members who pay an extra fee each month for after-hours access.

You can also determine the hours during which the entrance is active, for example you might allow access only between the hours of 5am-8am and then 8pm-11pm on weekdays but 24 hrs/day during the weekend.

Can I control access into special areas of my gym, like tanning?

Yes. For some examples:

·         Control access into men's and women's locker rooms, limited by gender.

·         Control access into a pool area or cardio area separate from the main facility.

·         Control access into a tanning room for only those who have purchased monthly tanning.

How many entrances can I control?

We offer systems to control up to 8 independent entrances.

What is the difference between Barcodes and Proximity Cards?

A barcode is basically a series of black and white bars (zebra stripes) in a pattern that can be read by an optical reader. You will find barcodes on almost any retail product, on gym keytags and in many other places. Barcodes are inexpensive to produce (you can use any printer with special software), and they are easily reproducible. Gym Assistant barcode keytags are laminated to increase durability. To read a barcode the use usually slides the barcode through a slot reader mounted to the wall.

A proximity card is a plastic card (or key fob) that contains a proprietary integrated circuit. To read a proximity card the user simply places the card within 3-6 inches of the reader (a small plate) mounted to the wall. Proximity cards are also sometimes called "contactless" cards.

Pros-and-Cons of Barcodes vs. Proximity cards

Availability

Barcodes are readily-available and non-proprietary. Proximity number range is limited to 65K.

Security

Barcodes can be duplicated, proximity cards can not be duplicated.

Setup Difficulty

Proximity setup is slightly more complex

What type of lock should I purchase?

You can use any time of lock that works for your physical layout, but the most common types are electric door strikes and magnetic locks. 

An electric door strike is installed in the frame of the door -- when power is applied the strike releases and the door can be pulled open. To exit the door you simply turn the knob as you would normally. An electric strike works well on a single door with a self-locking latch, that is the door will lock itself when it is closed. A deadbolt lock will not work with an electric strike.

A magnetic lock (or "magnetic lock") consists of a very strong electromagnet attached to the door frame and a steel plate mounted to the door -- when current is applied to the magnet the door is locked, and when the current is stopped the door can be pulled open. If your door has only a deadbolt lock (like many aluminum frame glass storefront doors) or if you have a set of double doors then a magnetic lock may be the best solution.

The only requirement for Gym Assistant is that the mechanism must be controlled with a dry contact (like a doorbell button).  The dry contact can be either normally-opened (for an electric strike) or normally-closed (for a magnetic lock).

Wikipedia has some good general information about electric door strikes and magnetic locks.

If you have any questions, just call us for a free consultation.



 

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