One of the biggest technological innovations of 2013 came in Q4 with the news that Fingerprint Cards AB (FPC) had made world history: announcing that its biometric sensor technology was part of the very first smart card featuring built-in fingerprint authentication capabilities. Soon afterwards, FPC announced that this was only the beginning, and in early December the manufacturer revealed its technology to be a part of a new kind of next generation ID card from Zwipe.
The Zwipe biometric card is set to become a major innovation in biometric access control, and today the company announced that the contactless smart card will be officially introduced this coming April at the ISC West Exhibition in Las Vegas.
The fingerprint protected smart card will do away with pins and standard proximity FOBs in favor of multi factor authentication. Whereas standard non biometric solutions generally require only the card to be present for use, regardless of the user, the Zwipe biometric card goes a step further than even biometric access terminals by requiring on-card authentication prior to allowing for proximity-based unlock for physical access. This method effectively marries the two principles of “who I am” and “what I have” in a very efficient way.
This being said, Zwipe CEO Kim Humborstad is modest about the innovation, calling it a result of natural evolution.
”ID cards have evolved from the barcode to magnetic stripe to proximity to smart and, now, to biometrics on the card,” expands Humborstad. “No longer do organizations need to worry if someone not authorized to enter is using another person’s ID card. With the biometric directly on the card, they can be assured that the only people getting in are those authorized to do so.”
The Zwipe biometric card has universal compatibility with all ISO 14443 readers. This means that it also breaks down a major barrier in next generation physical access control systems, namely: cost. Because the contactless access card handles all of the biometric operations – from enrollment to authentication – on the unit itself, the cost of deployment and maintenance is greatly reduced. This is a pragmatic attitude when it comes to providing a biometric security upgrade to enterprise customers, and one that is shared by other players in the arena.