As prices drop, interest grows for biometrics

It's a pretty strong sign that biometrics technology is ripe for adoption when a CCTV products importer and distributor starts adding biometric components to their product line. That's just what has happened this month, with Louisiana-based CCTV Imports initiating its "Cinturon" line of biometric components, including time-and-attendance units and fingerprint recognition devices for physical access control.

According to Kevin Lazaroe, the president and CEO of CCTV Imports, the company was experiencing an increase in requests from its clients for some essential biometrics products, so in the winter of 2008, he met with Asian technology manufacturers and their engineers to find products that would meet a cost-sensitive price point, and which could be tied into systems that security installing dealers already were familiar with. caught up with Lazaroe this week to talk about how dealers can add biometrics to their skill set, how price-points affect the market and what's driving this technology adoption trend.

SecurityInfoWatch: In which market sectors are you seeing strongest adoption of biometric technologies for security?

Kevin/CCTV Imports: Our biggest biometric customers today are the same customers that have been our biggest CCTV customers for years. What these customers are telling us is that the CCTV market is so competitive in today's world that they needed a more niche product line to compliment the CCTV end.

How are more most of your customers using biometrics when they're installing and integrating security systems?

Most of our customers who integrate our biometric products with their security systems are using the biometrics in conjunction with their alarm systems. For instance, our product L2000, a fingerprint door lock, will trigger the business's alarm system if there is an unauthorized entry. Our time and attendance biometric products can also trigger alarms for programmable parameters set by the user.

Biometrics has long been thought of as something that companies would only add for their most secure areas, such as biological labs, secure airport areas, high-importance data centers, select banking financial areas. From what you're hearing, is that changing?

The company types you mention are still dominating the demand for biometric products; however, there has been a surge in the demand for biometrics from many other types of companies as well, mainly with time and attendance management. With the improvements in biometric technology, prices are dropping, and more small- to mid-size companies are finding out how the biometric technology can not only improve their security, but also simplify their payroll systems. They are also discovering how biometrics will save them money by better securing unauthorized door entries and eliminating time card fraud.

It sounds like the end-user businesses that your resellers work with are more interested in biometrics as a way to manage time and attendance, as opposed to increasing their physical/door security.

Yes, that is correct. The majority of our current biometric sales are for time and attendance management, because businesses see the importance of eliminating time card punch employee fraud. Our biometric time and attendance systems do just that by using fingerprints as an identification mark for employees. When they come into the office or leave the office, the biometric time clock device scans their fingerprint and converts the information into a digital database that can be used with payroll software. With the help of fingerprint recognition attendance, it is easy to solve all the problems like buddy punching, stolen or lost cards and forgotten passwords.

Do you expect fingerprint recognition to continue to dominate the biometrics landscape?

Yes, I most definitely do. Fingerprint technology seems to be the most fail safe and least intrusive of the biometrics available today. We are also seeing a vast improvement in facial recognition technology, which is easier to integrate into future DVR technologies that we are currently developing.

What's happening with the prices of biometric technology such as time and attendance units and physical access control fingerprint readers? Are prices dropping, and are prices affecting adoption of biometrics?

Prices have dropped dramatically. In fact, our biometric time attendance products are now lower in price than most traditional time clocks.