CCTV and Access Control: The Big Picture

Due to advanced technology and an increased knowledge of systems and applications, integration between systems has become easier.

A video image of the iris of the eye is needed to produce a digitized 512-byte record. The image can be taken from between three and 21 inches away; therefore, no physical contact is required. Once an individual is entered into the database or inputted to a smart card, recognition can be confirmed in just seconds. This technology examines more than 240 degrees of freedom in the human iris to create a record, a 512-byte data template used to identify individuals to allow access. As for security, the iris is the most individually distinctive feature of the human body. In fact, it is more accurate than DNA. No two irises are alike, not even an individual's left and right iris. Because of this, iris recognition is the highest form of identification that can be incorporated into a system.

Biometrics in turn has lead to the increased use of smart cards, which are gathering strength throughout the United States. Tim Schroeder, product manger of emerging technology for IDenticard, said, ”With smart card technology all personal information can be stored and then compared and verified by smart card readers. This matching of information will eliminate the possibility of identification theft and create a more secure environment.”

With significant increases in the processing speeds, memory, and storage capacity, smart cards can now be used for security applications. As an example, Phillips Electronics has made available powerful 16-bit and 32-bit smart cards adding to a more secure identification method. A smart card is a technology that that has the ability to read and write information. It is basically a memory card, and the MIFARE technology created by Phillips Electronics has increased the speed and storage of these devices.

In closing, surveillance programs and large system integration can provide customers a high degree of security. However, as with everything, this scale of integration comes at an extremely high price. The application and desired security level should be taken into account before integration should be considered.

Robert (BOB) Wimmer, president of Video Security Consultants, has more than three decades of experience in the video security market. He can be contacted via e-mail at