Biometric Door Locks Security

by : Michael Primero

Simply put, the biometric lock provides a new level of ease and security for anyone who uses a door. With the mere scan of a finger, the pre-authorised individual has instant access to a property. A biometric electronic access control doorlock removes the necessity to carry cumbersome keys, and alleviates door users from the various problems associated with standard key, PIN, RFID and magnetic-stripe card access systems, whilst providing a new level of operating ease.

For too long the biometric access device has traditionally been plagued by two flaws that have been quite insurmountable. One has been the high level of cost in order to attain an accurate performance, putting the technology well out of the league of the consumer marketplace (or alternatively, giving an inferior level of accuracy and usability within an affordable price range); the second common flaw is the visual design characteristics of such devices, that have regrettably made the term "biometric" somewhat synonymous with the word "ugly". Nordic Biometric consigns both of these problems to history with the inception of its new biometric products.

Mermaid by Nordic Biometric

The Nordic Biometric Mermaid is a beautiful, rugged, highly secure and easy to use biometric door lock device, with the highest complement of features in its class. Available in both Network controllable (TCP/IP) and standalone models, please consider the features that make the Mermaid the outstanding biometric access control system:

The Mermaid has a capacity of 900 fingerprints and 300 users that can be programmed into the lock at three different user levels depending upon the control that you want to give the user. An inbuilt clock allows you to set guest entries for a very specific time, with an instant deletion of the guest data after that programmed time period has elapsed. Standard users can be configured so that they may or may not be permitted to allow access to guests.

The Mermaid maintains an audit trail of all entries for up to 30,000 records, and the audit trail is easily searchable. Records are easily accessed via a number of different search methods, such as time, guest name or consecutive search. Guests cannot access the audit trails, and audit records are "black-boxed" for security.

In terms of access versatility, the Mermaid can also be optionally programmed to utilise a PIN for entry on the standard 12 key numeric keypad provided. An emergency key system that works with a standard DIN eurocylinder is another means of access, and The Mermaid is provided with a high security cylinder. For multifactor security protection, the lock can be programmed so that a user first has to enter a "wake-up" PIN before being able to scan his or her finger, in order to gain access.

The biometric fingerprint scanning part of the Mermaid is highly accurate, with a statistical false rejection rate of 0.01% and a false acceptance rate of 0.00001%. In practice this translates to a lock that is very unlikely to reject an authorised user, or allow the passage of an unauthorised person--or a fraudulent attempt at entry. The biometric module research, development and manufacture has been accomplished by a multiple award-winning venture capital and technology partner of high-tech giant Intel, Inc. with the resources of up to 50 million unique fingerprints at hand for research and development purposes. These aspects of the Mermaid ensures it's high accuracy of performance. Minutiae point encrypted storage of fingerprint data within the lock also ensures a high level of user privacy.

All of this control is provided via a very easy to use interface, which has a familiar four-way navigation keypad and two soft keys that control a large intuitive menu system, made visible via a pleasant blue backlit LCD screen and accompanying contextual audio prompting.

The body of the Mermaid is extremely sturdy, being a heavy cast zinc alloy which is thicker than many comparable products at 2.5mm wall thickness. Also providing good security is the full mortise with stainless steel deadbolt and auxiliary deadbolt. There are no structural plastic parts in the lock, and the liberal use of steel and zinc alloy weighs the lock in at over four kilograms. A variety of beautiful, scratch resistant "nanotech" finishes complement the Mermaid's design beauty, and an elegant sliding front cover protects the scanner window and keypad from the ingress of the elements.

Power options are versatile, and frugal consumption can see the standalone Mermaid operate for approximately a year on 4xAA batteries (under average use: approximately 3500 entries per battery-set estimated; newly designed high capacity "instant" rechargeable batteries may provide even more longevity of operation between recharges). The lock also accepts constant 6 Volt DC input for continuous power: a necessity on the network model when it is connected to a TCP/IP network. A "jump-start" feature provides the power to the unit if the multiple modes of battery low warnings are ignored for too long, and this power feature does not compromise the security of the device.

On the network model Mermaid, the lock is fully controllable and entry records are auditable via the network. In a situation such as a hotel, corporate or government/military environment, users, guests or administrators can all be "checked-in" at a lobby's PC server, with a simple USB fingerprint scanner attached to the PC. The user then has direct access to the lock at the IP which was sent the access information. User details within the lock can be remotely modified at any time, as can the actual security setting of the lock (normally open or normally closed). SDK documentation can also be provided to system integrators for maximum versatility with unique systems, making this the perfect access control for high security installations.

Overall, it is difficult to go past the Mermaid as the perfect all-rounder in a biometric access control device, with its rich array of features, its robust physical characteristics and its ease of operation. It is equally at home in the domestic, corporate, commercial, hospitality and government environments.

Please see our website at for more information.

(Nordic Biometric also provides an entry level access control locking system that provides a similar accuracy biometric function for users that do not need the high level of features provided by the Mermaid. Please see the website for more details.)

All text copyright Nordic Biometric Pty Ltd (Australia) 2008.