Biometric ID Software and Scanners

We have received the biometric fingerprint scanners and software that we want to try. We have loaded the trial version of the software and plugged a scanner into one of our circulation desk computers.

You have to enroll people into the identification software, then you get their fingerprint scans to match up with their record, which includes their library card number. You leave the ID software running and minimized, and then you run your main application. In this case the main app would be the Evergreen staff client or PC Reservation. Then, when you're using those applications that require the card number and the cursor is in the field waiting for the number, placing a finger on the fingerprint scanner causes the card number to pop up in that field.

In Evergreen it's just as if you took their card and scanned it with the barcode scanners, only better because you know for certain it is the person and not just some card the person gave you. In PC Reservation it requires that the reservation be made at the Management Console rather than at the individual computers.

Anyway, it seems to work fine. We will only be testing this with a few people during the trial, and maybe not too many people afterward. In other words, I'm still thinking of having this as an exception rather than the rule. You can do a report in PINES that would give you a database of patrons to import to the fingerprint ID software--it would include last name, first name, middle, and a possibility of two categories--but really the only things that are important in that software are the fingerprint images and the card numbers, so importing a big enrollment database doesn't seem necessary to me at this point.

We are still requiring a PINES card for all transactions at RML, and if this method becomes an approved alternative, we would still require a card for the fingerprint enrollment that could then be used instead of a card.


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Biometrics, Day 2

It seems the scanner isn't being recognized by the software today. That certainly happened swiftly after it was up and running--not what I'd call reliable at this point. I hope it can be solved, and we can use this system with confidence, because when it's working it is really great.


Biometrics, Day 3

Revived the scanner interaction today. Don't know if it was a memory problem in that computer on Friday or an actual failure of the device or software, but now it's working. The vendor rep sent me an edited .cfg file that had the parameters for acceptance loosened up slightly, and he said that might help. Anyway, I'm happy again and feel confident that I can demonstrate it to anyone who comes in and is interested.