Biometric time clocks are man’s latest effort in the struggle to tell time struggle man has been engaged in since the Middle Ages when sundials were used. Biometric time clocks use employees biological characteristics for identification. The most common examples of this type of clock are the fingerprint clock, hand-prints and retina scanning clocks.
Biometric time clocks and systems are designed to limit access to restricted areas, but also to permit employers to gain control of their biggest expense labor costs. The fingerprint biometric time clocks do not use the same technology as the FBIs AFIS system that stores the actual fingerprint in its databases. Using more modern technology, fingerprint biometric time clocks store binary data representing the ridges and swirls of a fingerprint. The unique size and shapes of individual hands are captured in a three-dimensional geometric image of the hand each time the employee punches in or out of an area. Retina scanning works on the unique characteristics of the individuals retina. Since the employees fingerprints or palm prints are not stored in the system, but biometrics used, the employees privacy is preserved.
Biometric time clocks control security access to restricted areas and are used in the most rugged industrial or outdoor environments as well as sterile medical and hospital floors. Employees must be present personally to open the doors, and their access can be restricted at times not specified in their working schedules.
However, security is not the only reason for using biometric systems. The biometric time clock provides an employer with unparalleled payroll information and control. Biometric time clocks virtually eliminate employee dishonesty through buddy punching. The user-friendly terminals are connected to computer systems using programs that automatically calculate the payroll including overtime, time off, lunch breaks, reasons for leaving early, or any other type of information an employer requires.
Biometric time clocks come with so many options that they are rapidly replacing the standard mechanical clock simply because of their versatility. Certain systems come with remote access so that employees in remote locations or on the road can upload their information to a central system. Other systems permit the tracking of visitors. Still other units permit messages to be passed along to employees as they punch in. Systems may be set up with photo IDs which allow supervisors to have an instant picture of who is present; these pictures may even be grouped into categories for easier usage.
The good news is that biometric time systems are comparatively inexpensive even for small businesses. The small business may begin with a system that recognizes 50 employees and upgrade the memory to 100 or even 512 users. The terminals can be upgraded on-site and with minimum hassle.