New palm reader marks next step in the evolution of contactless biometric technology

The Rimax Staff On Time Palm Scan is being unveiled today, marking an industry first in biometric technology.

Palm Scan is the first palm reader of its kind which identifies users by their palm print. Launched in the UK by exclusive distributor Databac Group, Palm Scan offers a state-of-the-art contactless solution for access control and time and attendance, for up to 2,100 users. Palm Scan is ultra-reliable, highly secure, easy to operate and very user-friendly.

Boasting a false negative ratio of less than 0.1 per cent, Palm Scan is exceptionally efficient. Contactless operation means it can be mounted in a hermetic terminal (in the case of Palm Scan Outdoor) for a solution that is vandal-proof, weather-proof and totally hygienic - an important consideration in crisis situations like the SARS outbreak. Operation is as simple as holding the palm up to the reader, with no user training required, and importantly offering a user-friendly alternative to more intrusive biometric technologies like iris or facial recognition.

Unlike other hand-based technologies, Palm Scan reads the lines, scars, wrinkles and folds on the surface of the palm and uses them to build a map unique to the user. Three versions are available: Palm Scan Window, Palm Scan Indoor and Palm Scan Outdoor. The Window version features 10 ultrasound (contactless) keys, which can be programmed to identify activities like lunch breaks in time and attendance applications or to add pin codes for access control. Palm Scan Indoor is the same but has standard keys which need to be pressed. Palm Scan Outdoor features the reader only.

With prices starting from around 1,000, Palm Scan offers an affordable solution at the high end of the biometric scale and comes in at three times cheaper than iris technology.

"Palm Scan is the most comfortable, user-friendly biometric solution on the market," said Databac managing director Charles Balcomb. "It has none of the psychological barriers of other biometric systems. Being contactless, there are no greasy finger marks to put users off scanning their palm. It's glamorous. And, most important of all, it's extremely secure and reliable. When used with a password, possibility of a false positive is virtually nil. When used with a smart card, the possibility simply does not exist."

Biometric templates can be captured and encoded onto smart cards, using a card printer and Databac's Dataimage ID software. Palm prints are then checked against the template held on the card, for instant verification and an additional layer of security.

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