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connect a USB biometric device
Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated Dec 15, 2022

What Is a Biometric Access Control System and How Does It Work?

Biometrics involves the analysis and measurement of biological data using technology. This biological data includes unique physical traits that can be used to identify people. A biometric access control system uses this biometric data to grant or deny individuals access to a building or specific areas.

Biometric Access Control System Explained

There are a lot of physical and biological data these access control systems use to determine an individual’s identity. Some of these traits include voice patterns, DNA information, fingerprints, heart rate, hand geometrics, retina scans, and/or facial recognition. To understand how access control biometric tech uses these data, we need to dig deeper into the system’s inner workings.

biometric access control system

A biometric access control system is a recognition tech that largely operates in three simple steps:

  1. The device collates a unique type of biometric data from the individual
  2. Once this data has been collected, it focuses on a specific feature within dataset
  3. The system then compares that feature to a database of preset attributes and performs an action based on the accuracy of that comparison

How Biometric Access Control Systems Works

In this section of the article, we take a deep dive into the relationship that exists between the four main components of a typical biometric access control system.

Sensor Device

A sensor device, also called a biometric reader or scanning device, collates verification data from the individual. After collecting data, the device becomes the key interface between the individual and the control system. The usefulness of the control system depends on the quality of data the sensor captures, particularly because many biometrics are composed of images and sound.

Quality Assessment Unit

Once the sensor collects biometric data, many access systems have an algorithm designed to process, evaluate, and improve the quality of data collected. The quality assessment unit creates a biometric template that records selected features from the dataset and stores them in the system’s database.

Feature Comparison and Matching Unit

This unit compares the newly extracted data to an already existing template within the system, matching it to any identical points. After comparison, the system creates a match score by calculating the number of matched points between the template and the new input.

The entire system is equipped with a decision-making device that uses the match score to confirm or deny a person’s identity.


The database records and stores all the biometric data the system needs to process. To improve security levels, this database unit uses a featured template in the system to develop access control parameters and establish a secure connection with the comparison unit.

How Does FlexiHub Help in Biometric Access Control Methods and Technologies?

The FlexiHub software allows you to remotely control biometric devices regardless of their location. With FlexiHub, you can easily access and exercise remote control over the biometric devices to perform routine checks, minimize downtime, and facilitate optimal performance.

Customers can use FlexiHub to control biometric access systems over the internet from a mobile device or computer. This cross-platform solution is also compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android systems.

control biometric access systems

One example of FlexiHub in action is using the software to read data generated from a fingerprint access system.

Control Your Biometric Devices With Flexihub In Five Steps

Set up your FlexiHub remote control by following these steps.

  • 1.
    Sign up to create your account.
    create your account
  • 2.
    Choose a subscription that matches your requirements. If you plan to implement a biometric access control system, you should consider obtaining a Business or Team subscription. blank
  • 3.
    Once you access your dashboard, you’ll be able to see a list of all the devices connected to your host computer
    find the usb fingerprint scanner and click connect
  • 4.
    Click the connect button in front of a device name from your FlexiHub account. You can easily invite other users to connect to the devices on your FlexiHub account. blank

Depending on your subscription plan, you can monitor and control biometric access control devices without limitations. You are also able to implement remote control and access technology into your cloud biometric attendance system. If you want to integrate FlexiHub’s connectivity feature into your system, contact our sales team and we’ll be happy to help.

          Video Guide to redirect biometric data with FlexiHub

Redirect biometric data with FlexiHub

Types of Biometric Access Control Systems

Biometric control systems generally use three types of identification models to perform:

1. Object-based identification: This type of identification model requires that the software grant or deny access based on what the individual possesses. For example, it may be a card, key, or keyholder with a chip implant.

2. Information-based identification: These biometric devices identify users based o the information they know. For example, the device may require a pin or password that corresponds to data saved within the system. The system doesn’t grant the individual access if this input is incorrect.

3. Biometric-based identification: These devices use biometric data to identify individuals and grant access. Some of these data include fingerprint, iris composition, or voice pattern.

What Are The Pros and Cons Of Biometric Access Control?

With biometric access control devices, you can take your security system to a new level of sophistication by integrating an additional layer of safety into your space.

Benefits Of Biometric Access Control Systems

  • The limitation of traditional access control methods- keypads and passwords- is that they are relatively easy to hack or steal. For example, when you frequently use the numbers on a keypad, the keypads start to fade, giving away which numbers and letters make up the password. This breach makes it possible for someone without the code to access the facility easily.
  • Biometric screening makes it harder for unauthorized persons. The only way an individual can access the space is to possess a replica of the biometric data stored in the system. It is often impossible for you to mimic biological data hence the reason why biometric access control is much harder for someone to break into.
  • Compared to other traditional systems, this access control requires low maintenance costs once the installation is complete.

Disadvantages of Biometric Access Control Systems

Although biometric control systems provide great security, they do have some limitations, as we’ll explore below.

1. Physical changes can interfere with the accuracy

Although a person’s biometric data never changes, their physical attributes can change over time, which is why biometrics are not infallible.

According to a recent report by Antill, “The authentication system only identifies traits that were registered and fails to identify the user if their physical traits change in even the most insignificant way. In such circumstances, the system needs to be altered to grant access to the allowed user, which can be inconvenient.”

Examples of scenarios where traits may change include damaged or burnt fingertips, retina transplants or infection, the addition/elimination of glasses, or new tattoos on the individual’s hands.

2. Not all biometric systems suit every application

Different circumstances, like environmental factors, can determine how efficiently a biometric system works for your business. Sometimes, facial recognition may not suit your business if you operate in an industry where employees must wear masks all day. Fingerprint technology might not be a great fit if your business requires your employees to carry items frequently.

While many biometric systems are fairly accurate, you need to take extra care to ensure you settle for a system that is most suitable to your business.

3. Resetting biometric systems can be problematic

It is usually difficult to collate and replace biometric data within the system. A recent statement by Julien Raby, CEO and founder of Thermo Gears sums it best: “One of the biggest disadvantages of biometrics is that biometric data cannot be changed or reset.

If a password is stolen from a database, a new password can be created. But if a biometric characteristic is stolen from a database, a new biometric characteristic cannot be easily issued.”

4. Initial investment may be too expensive

The initial investment in a biometric access control system may be too expensive for small businesses to handle. While saving cost is a potential advantage, the hardware setup and integration require a significant investment that may be difficult for small businesses to bear.

Before setting up a biometric control system, small and mid-size businesses have a lot to consider before integrating one into their business. Regardless of the drawbacks, you have access to a wide base of knowledge about which technology can guarantee consistent ROI in the long term.

What Industries Can Benefit from Remote Access Biometric Systems?

In this section of the article, we look at how different industries can benefit from the use of biometric access control systems.

1. Public Sector

Government buildings contain a lot of private information that requires different access levels. Because they often have many people moving around, limiting which individuals have access to certain levels becomes important.

This categorization with a biometric system allows the organization to protect its privacy and prevent people from stumbling/accessing sensitive information.

protect privacy

2. Healthcare

The healthcare industry generates tons of private data on a daily basis. Biometric scanning can be very useful here as it allows the hospital to restrict access to filing rooms and data servers.

By integrating a biometric control system, patients can rest assured that their privacy is protected at all times and only authorized personnel can access their data. Hospitals may also use the control system to regulate more confined areas within the hospital- like wards with contagious patients.

3. General Businesses

Across the general business space, biometric control devices are used to secure offices and monitor employee attendance. In this scenario, only employees who have been documented can access your office space. This control system can also help businesses protect sensitive information by sealing off private areas like the file room.

general business

4. Law Enforcement

Law enforcement agencies like police stations, detention centers, and pistons benefit greatly from biometric systems. Because these institutions are responsible for public safety, they pay critical attention to the people who have access to these facilities.

To keep the institution safe, enforcement agencies use biometric access control devices to ensure only a select number of people are granted access to specific areas.

Control biometric devices remotely
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