written by: Shanna James•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/19/2011
The scanning of fingerprints is not a new concept because it has been used in the field of security for ages. There have however been developments in the various fingerprint scanning devices and this article will take a look at some of those new developments.
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Various Fingerprint Scanning Devices
At one point fingerprint scanners were only seen in science fiction movies and spy thrillers. In the past few years, fingerprint scanners have been the most sought out technological advancement and have slowly become the new age development of the present. Fingerprint scanning devices are used everywhere: high security building, police stations and fitted even into PC keyboards. As a result, there are varying types of fingerprint devices on the market today. Some of which will be highlighted below, along with their various uses and the people who normally use them.
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USB Fingerprint Device
This is the most common type of fingerprint scanner. They retail under $100 and can be used to make the simplest PC into a high tech vault. Users have the option to opt for a distinctive fingerprint password instead of the conventional text passcodes.
USB fingerprint scanning devices are powered by Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor technologyand are one of the best optical systems amongst its peers. This type of fingerprint device is used by many but has begun to sprout up in commercial applications, like those who are in need of fingerprint access controls and recording. Many employers use USB fingerprint devices to account for attendance times of their employees. It is also used in finance and licensing companies as it produces a high quality fingerprint image. The fact is that with the use of these small fingerprint scanners, security measures are becoming easier to implement and monitor.
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Keyboard Fingerprint Device
PC users have begun to purchase fingerprint scanning devices embedded in their keyboards as a means to better secure their computers and data. This is far better than a conventional typed password as a lot of them can be hacked or reset by hackers or computer technicians. A fingerprint is purely unique which means no two persons share a print. In this way, one can ensure that a fingerprint password will only open for them and is at a lower risk of being bypassed.
Keyboard fingerprint scanners work by passing a laser across the pad of the finger and relaying that unique pattern to the machine which in turn confirms or denies its match with the one in its system. This type of fingerprint scanning device is used mainly by PC users who are looking for a better, quicker and more secure way to keep their information to themselves. The forefinger is generally used and there is always a dedicated section on the keyboard for the user to place that finger in order for the scan to take place.
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Fingerprint Scanner and Card Reader
These types of fingerprint scanning devices combine a USB scanner and card reader into one device. This is a type of two-factor authentications for those looking for a higher level of security. A registered print is stored on a personalized smart card and when the user wishes to access the PC, a new print is scanned and a check is done to see if it matches with the one previously registered and stored. Users will often need both to gain any access depending on the settings that were initially programmed. However, these devices can often be programmed to stand alone; meaning, it can be programmed to be a fingerprint scanner only or solely a card reader. This is left to the owners discretion and the level of security that he or she wants to endorse at any point in time.
This type of scanner has been utilized mostly in commercial applications as it is a derivative of the USB scanner. Large conglomerates, networks and enterprises use this method of encryption to ensure the security of their files and records. Some electronic transactions and even point-of-sale machines require both fingerprint and card authentication.
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Car Fingerprint Scanners
It’s becoming common place to see fingerprint scanners included in various devices and the recent addition of them in automobiles comes as no surprise. These scanners in cars are added as safety features, where the car owner does not need the car keys to open the doors or start the engine. This is made to be an auto theft deterrent as the thief would not be able to start the vehicle without taking the time to hotwire the car and that would be time consuming. Car fingerprint scanners are used in two different ways, one in which the scanner is embedded inside the dashboard and the other is done remotely, where the owner will have a wireless scanning device that they can use to remotely start the engine before they get inside the car.
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There are many different types of fingerprint scanning devices. Each can be utilized by many different groups of persons, whether it be for home or business security. Utilizing each person’s unique fingerprint signature has been one of the most innovative security applications ever invented. A fingerprint is really the only unique characteristic that separates human beings from each other and as such it is not surprising that it is now being used as a main source of identification and passcode.