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Yves Portalier, EVP – Biometric Devices & Automotive Business Unit at IDEMIA explains why biometrics are in such high demand.

Have you seen a rise in demand for contactless biometrics since the beginning of the pandemic?

Yes, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen demand soaring from all types of companies to use contactless devices for access control.

Companies are on the frontline in this health, economic and social crisis. Executives have a dual role—they have to ensure their staff can go safely to the office and safeguard their company’s long-term viability.

Many owners of enterprise-level buildings that must remain open during the pandemic are going to consider upgrading their existing biometric equipment to frictionless alternatives.

Why is this sort of technology so important in the current environment?

These technologies are convenient, fast, very accurate and most importantly, hygienicand thus compliant with the new sanitary procedures that now form a part of our everyday life.

IDEMIA offers two contactless solutions for access control—VisionPass, a facial recognition device launched in March 2020 and MorphoWave, a fingerprint recognition device which is unique in the market and field-proven with more than 10,000 terminals deployed worldwide. These solutions are user-friendly and easy to manage and administer.

How is the accuracy of your VisionPass device affected by people wearing face masks?

VisionPass can perform facial recognition of people wearing a sanitary mask, thus enabling a fully frictionless and healthier experience as users won’t have to stop and touch their mask to lower it to enable facial recognition.

If required by the security guidelines of a specific area, the device can also detect if the person is wearing a mask. If not, access is denied with a message displayed reminding the user to put it on.

Both of these new functionalities confirm the technical leadership of VisionPass, which has already received several awards and nominations since its launch.

Also, we are very proud of our latest achievements at the DHS (Department for Homeland Security) 2020 Biometric Technology Rally. IDEMIA’s algorithm achieved over 99.5% True Identification Rate (TIR) without a mask. IDEMIA’s acquisition technology displayed over 95% accuracy with a mask. The results prove that IDEMIA’s facial recognition technology can accurately identify people wearing masks.

Where do you see the future of the biometric technology market heading?

Biometric technologies are becoming more and more popular. One huge reason is because we’ve collectively become comfortable with using biometrics on our smartphones: we rely on our fingerprints or faces to unlock our phones every day. Additionally, biometrics are much more dependable than physical credentials. As a whole, thousands of physical credentials—ID cards and badges—are misplaced every day. ID cards may also be stolen or duplicated by fraudsters. But we can’t misplace our own bodies and our personal biometric identifiers are totally distinct from anyone else’s.

At IDEMIA, we have been investing in contactless biometrics solutions for more than eight years. We believe they are the best way to answer the most essential customer expectations in access control as they are accurate, secure and fast to enable smooth access to authorised people into buildings.

We see a strong demand for top-of-the-line products for Class A buildings in all regions. A smart biometric device at the entrance is definitely an asset for modern and smart buildings. A good example of that is our cooperation with Dexus in Australia where new office towers in Sydney are equipped with frictionless products.

What are the aims and objectives of your recently announced partnership with Honeywell?

Honeywell and IDEMIA announced a strategic partnership in order to propose an intelligent building ecosystem with products and solutions for an enhanced experience for building operators and occupants.

The partnership will integrate Honeywell’s security and building management systems with IDEMIA’s biometric-based access control systems (hardware and software) to propose a seamless integration for easy deployment offering frictionless end user experience for safer and smart buildings.

Honeywell proposes security and building management systems, including Pro-Watch Integrated Security Suite, MAXPRO Cloud and Enterprise Buildings Integrator. IDEMIA proposes biometric access control solutions such as MorphoWave, VisionPass and Augmented Vision.

What are the security advantages of intelligent buildings?

Healthy buildings solutions help building owners improve building environments, operate more cleanly and safely and encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations and a company’s risk management policies.

In buildings with high throughput of employees entering at peak times, our access control solutions allow a safe and secure environment.

In the present challenging circumstances, there are even more security and safety risks to handle. Anyone can take advantage of the relative chaos to bypass access control and enter the building.

The benefit of biometrics is that only authorised users can be granted access. Biometrics increase security by adding “something you are” to “something you know” (PIN) with “something you have” (access card) security practices. The integration of our biometric solutions with existing turnstiles and gates provide a higher level of security in an ‘open environment’ as directed by consultants and architects.

Could you tell us a little more about your video analytics solution please?

Augmented Vision is a video analytics platform that helps protect buildings while ensuring people’s privacy with the highest level of data protection. The solution allows secure and frictionless access to authorised personnel by detecting and identifying multiple persons approaching an access point, bringing a powerful layer on top of existing CCTV infrastructures.

The solution is also efficient with sanitary masks, with the same features and performances as VisionPass.

What’s the plan for IDEMIA Biometric Devices over the next 12 months?

Our priority is to take care of our clientsand we’ll be pretty busy serving all the requests we have with our contactless healthier solutions—MorphoWave and VisionPass. We should also complete many deployments of our Augmented Vision video analytics solution too, which is also quite successful.  

Secondly, we will continue to promote our current solutionsin different regions, especially through webinars with each one of our partners and clients to explain the benefits of biometrics and our products. We just hired a new salesperson to develop our business in Eastern Europe, focusing on the DACH region.

And last but not least, we plan to launch new products. So stay tuned because, despite an economic situation that is still quite challenging, our staff are all hands on deck!

To find out more information, visit: https://www.idemia.com/

This article was published in the April 2021 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital copy here.

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