Fingerprint Attendance Fading As IT Firms, Startups Use Facial Recognition, Contact-Less Cards For Attendance
Covid-19 has brought about a lot of changes and these changes are turning out more and more difficult to adapt to.
There is another such problem originating now, concerning organisations, now that lockdown has been lifted in the 1st phase and companies are starting to resume.
While workplaces are resuming , new problems engulfing the attendance systems, which vividly use fingerprint-based biometric attendance are coming into picture, as people are looking towards contactless system alternatives.
Fingerprint Based Biometric Attendance Systems
With offices and workplaces looking to commence their full fledged working soon, organisations and companies have realised that they will have to do away with the current fingerprint-based biometric attendance systems.
In attempts to make the workplace a safer place for employees to work in, these organisations are now looking for different contactless attendance systems, like facial recognition.
Fingerprint-based system was adopted by majority of offices across the country. This being said, it will create a hurdle for proper registration and handling of attendance for companies who will make this contactless shift.
Not just to the workplaces using such systems, this shift will pose the heaviest blows to the companies who are into the manufacturing sides of such biometric attendance systems.
As per the founder and director of eSSL, a company that makes biometric attendance system, Bharat Kumar, the business had come into nothing short of a standstill, as customers are now turning towards replacements like facial recognition.
Why are Workplace Turning their Backs on Fingerprint Systems?
Covid-19 has taught the world today, the importance and the absolute necessity of sanitisation and to not come in contact with anything foreign to your body.
A fingerprint based biometric attendance scanner contradicts this very factor of personal safety amidst post lockdown.
It has been suggested that using such systems (fingerprint) until a vaccine is available, shall not be promoted. The reason being, it is not possible to sanitise such systems after every entry.
Facial Recognition System, an Alternative?
According to eSSL, the company’s majority clients use fingerprint bases system.
However, with awareness and safety factors kicking in, the company is receiving a high demand for facial recognition devices.
Providing you with an estimate, eSSL holds about 60-70% market share in the attendance market and has recorded sales of 1.5 million devices across different sectors.
Out of these sales, about 80-85% of them accounted for fingerprint systems, while only 10% for facial recognition.
Kumar, the founder and CEO, had invested nearly Rs 3-4 crore into fingerprint devices before lockdown, as they had commissioned large volumes of it, which are unlikely to be sold now, as customers have now withdrawn the orders.
However, with offices opening now, the company is now getting demands of alternatives with demand recovery of about 10-15%.
Their customers want to replace fingerprint with facial recognition and they’ve got order for 3,000 devices, according to Kumar.
Why is Facial Recognition Challenging?
The procurement of such systems is highly challenging. This is because while eSSL designs the software, the hardware comes from Taiwan.
Also, facial recognition devices are expensive. While fingerprint costs Rs 15,000 per device, facial system costs about Rs 30,000.
Obviously, other than some firms whose business hasn’t been affected much due to the Covid outbreak, rest all the firms will want to save money at such times.
They could apparently not invest on something this expensive, rather go for manual attendance or access cards that are cheaper.
Aside from that, the facial recognition technology is also not 100% reliable and secure. There have been cases where the technology has made inaccurate identification when it comes to people of colour, especially transgender and ethnic minorities.
Alternatives of Facial Recognition
Some firms like Incubsence are into app-based attendance devices. Such devices are seeing surge in demand.
They include devices, together with mobile apps, while all information is stored in cloud. The attendance is recorded by scanning the QR code generated in the app or by tapping the device.