FingerTec 101

Wednesday 29 July 2009 0 Comments

I was surprised to be informed that the failure rate of FingerTec products is almost 50% at one of our customer’s site, which was a very rare complaint. Sensing that something might have gone wrong, we planned a visit only to find out that most of the failed users were so afraid to place their fingers on the machine until they trembled. And some did not place the fingers properly and some placed their fingers very briefly until the system couldn’t response in time.
Placing a finger on a scanner sounds so simple; a no brainer could do it, argue many. Dealers always focus on installation, integration, training and commissioning on the administration side of the system; often times do not pay enough attention on users of the system. As long as the system is up and running, the users have no choice but to use it. Correct?
Not necessarily.

What? Now they wanna use fingerprint system in zoos?

Biometrics, though becoming popular in the industry, is still an alien to many. Biometrics doesn’t make sense to regular people, to Joe and Jane, unless they have done a bit of research or they have the need to get to know biometrics. Unlike punch card, biometrics is a novelty subject. This subject requires explanation to the general public. Some thought that this product is a mobile phone and I’m not making this up!
What goes through users’ minds when it comes to putting their fingers on the scanner? Human mind is uniquely powerful; human emotions could vary from one extreme to another. Could the machine burn my finger? Of course it could not or it wouldn’t pass any safety tests. But, in my opinion, the question is relevant. Not everyone is having an IQ of 100 and more; a bigger portion of the population has an IQ of less than that, which makes the question a valid one.
Trying a new gadget or a machine prompts excitement, apprehension and inquisition. All sorts of questions pop out. Could the system save my fingerprint details and use it for other things? Though FingerTec’s system is using algorithm to translate the fingerprint minutiae into strings of code, which ONLY can be used for the purpose it is intended to, the question is a definitely not wrong. Particularly when it involves foreign workers, like the one at the site, which we visited. It might seem ridiculous but they have reasons to feel what they felt. Would they use my fingerprint for harmful purpose? What if I’m late 10 minutes, would they accumulate the short time and cut my salary? All these are valid questions and need to be clarified.

New thing requires an introduction. And the same goes to the introduction of FingerTec to new users. Apart from performing the most effective enrollments to ensure successful verification, administration needs to EDUCATE users on how to use fingerprint machines, the facts and the fictions. Knowledge makes acceptance quicker and easier, and it also makes operation smoother. When people are in the know, everything becomes easier.
Hi-Tech Human Touch.

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ

I was surprised to be informed that the failure rate of FingerTec products is almost 50% at one of our customer’s site, which was a very rar...


Beauty and the Beast

Customers are often impressed by FingerTec products and marketing materials; so much better than the rivals, they say. And I heard some colleagues label me as a perfectionist.

But I know FingerTec is still far from being perfect, and me from being a perfectionist.

When I read the book “Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs” by Daniel Lyons, I think in terms of beauty standard, I am no match to him even in comparison to the fake Steve in the book.

Steve Jobs
Let’s see how the fake Steve amused us from the below excerpt:

It is Tuesday afternoon. I am barefoot, sitting on a cushion in the lotus position, gazing at a circuit board. This board, no bigger than a playing card, has taken years to create. It is the heart of iPhone, the most important object my engineers have ever assembled. And it is wrong, I do not know why, exactly. But it is wrong. By this I do not mean that the board does not function correctly. It functions perfectly. But it lacks beauty. My engineers argue that a circuit board need not be beautiful, since no one will ever see it.

“Yes,” I say, “but I will know it is there. And I will know that is not beautiful.”

For ordinary or non-artistic people, his reaction might seem funny, irrational, or even bizarre. But as an eccentric artist, the tolerant level is none, zero, nada. As an artist, it doesn’t matter whether his audiences notice the imperfection or not, if he detected it, he has to make it ‘right’. This explains why some of the ‘perfect’ paintings as perceived by ordinary eyes, were destroyed by the artists themselves, without hesitation.

Besides all the technologies that make it a superb smartphone, Apple’s iPhone is a piece of art by itself. I was admirably impressed when I received my iPhone: a beautiful glossy black box; inside, cushioned in black velvet, is the rounded edges, sleek, thin and light object, like a piece of crafted jewelry. Solid. And perfect.

What else, if not iPhone?

Can FingerTec deliver a product such as iPhone that is appraised by many for its artistic craftsmanship?

As an industrial product, we have to prioritize reliability, robustness and cost-effectiveness; beautiful exterior has to come next.

But as an art lover, I would never let something ugly slipping into our production line, or printed matters that convey only messages without being complemented with beauty. I strongly believe that artistic value enhances desire to purchase. That’s what makes iPod and iPhone successful products.

Nowadays when customers are spoilt for choices, between Beauty and the Beast, what’s your pick?

Our magazine ads

No matter how scarce our resources are in comparison to Apple, most of the tasks related to FingerTec involve skilled designers.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

Customers are often impressed by FingerTec products and marketing materials; so much better than the rivals, they say. And I heard some co...


Face Recognition, The Next Big Thing

"The thicker face the face, the harder the verification”

“Sorry…the machine doesn’t recognize ugly people.”

“A little make-up would help the machine.”

“You’re possibly not a human, access denied!”

“Sometimes it does matter if you’re black or white! Auwww!!” – MJ style certainly.
The R&D guys joked when the prototype failed to recognize faces back then. Some of them even suggested having these kinds of greetings in the machine, which obviously was shot down immediately by the more sane ones.

2 + 3D Face Recognition Algorithm

Recognize this face?

Having our past experiences in the biometrics industry, gradually we had to diversify our research and development into other areas, and we choose to develop face recognition. The road to commercialization stumbled upon engineering and re-engineering of the 2+3D face recognition algorithm. After myriads of denials from the marketing department over time, the overall outcome now is positive.

So, another market revolution can be expected, this time, led by face recognition.

According to a research report, face recognition would keep its status quo in between 16-18% for another 6 years, whereas fingerprint technology will slowly lost its momentum, from current market share of 55%, gradually declined to 31% in 2015 for a combination of private and public sector.

Ready For The Change
Of course, the market development might not always follow the forecast. Especially for high-tech products, if the time is ripe and the product is right, you have higher opportunity to change the world, or to prove expert’s projection is rather conservative or wrong.

This time, we are more than ready when come to term with the new biometric technology and market. We understand the customers better, more aware of their requirements, and the market acceptance would be easier, we reckon.

For instance, facial recognition is truly contactless when embed with one-to-many verification technology. Every time you want to gain an access, or to check in for attendance, what you need to do is just to stand before the reader, it will scan and verify; or flash an RFID card prior to the process if the reader is incorporated with RFID functionality.

Our Face Recognition Roadmap

FingerTec FaceID 2 (artist's impression)
FingerTec FaceID 2E (artist's impression)

We will introduce two new products simultaneously into the market before year end with a codename FaceID 2 and FaceID 2E respectively. The first, FaceID 2 would be a combination of fingerprint and face recognition technology, providing options for users either to use single method, or a combination depending on their security needs.

The latter, FaceID 2E, would be an external face recognition reader which can be plugged into FingerTec existing fingerprint reader models through USB port. (Note: Only apply to future batch of FingerTec reader models with USB port)

Standalone face recognition reader only without any fingerprint module, is also in our pipeline, schedule to be launched by 2010.

For our existing partners, prepare yourself for a shake-up in biometrics market. Please bear in mind that when opportunity knocks, you can either open your door or you can let it pass.

FingerTec once again will abide by our philosophy, to lowering the entry barrier and making high-tech products mass; and most importantly, our brand is tagged with an affordable price.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

"The thicker face the face, the harder the verification” “Sorry…the machine doesn’t recognize ugly people.” “A little make-up ...