New startup and product investments seek to capitalize on biometric access control successes
From dasGate registering soccer spectators in Spain to a South African solution performing employee sobriety checks, a new product debut from Spectra Technovision and over $1 million in funding raised for startup Nine Engineering, access control biometrics continue to make strides in the market.
Belgian access control startup raises over $1 million
Nine Engineering, a Ghent, Belgium-based access management and SaaS company that incorporates biometrics into its products has raised €1.1 million (approximately US$1.16 million) to further refine its security and privacy offerings, according to an accouchement.
The startup’s line of products includes the NineGuard, a biometric access control solution with onboarding, facial recognition and smartphone scans to grant access to security points, and monitoring of people on site; and NineID, a contractor management SaaS platform for documentation centralization.
With its products, Nine Engineering says it is filling a security gap between the physical and digital world. Roy Jeunen, the co-founder of Nine Engineering, says the current access control technology is outdated, not privacy-compliant, offers limited security and safety, and are often not user-friendly. As a result, Frederik Keysers, another co-founder of Nine Engineering, points to demand from “big industrial players” seeking an integrated software package that centralizes and automates identity and access management, which they offer.
The company’s solutions are said to be scalable for use in production sites, airports, and ports, and also applicable for fraudulent shift time recording by employees.
Nine Engineering is supported by investors Pitchdrive and Noël Keysers, with loans from BNP Paribas and PMV. Jeunen says the company is ready to take its business international in 2023, with plans to expand beyond the Benelux region into the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, and potentially the U.S.
While biometric access control solutions exploded in popularity during COVID-19, a report from IPVM sees a decline in its popularity with the waning of the pandemic, with the exception of high-security environments, including data centers and server rooms.
ERSBio partners on workplace sobriety check
ERSBio, a South African biometric access control and time attendance company partnered with fellow South African alcohol breath detector company ALCO-Safe to incorporate its technology into workplace sobriety checks in industrial settings.
According to Engineering News, the two companies collaborated on an integrated breathalyzer solution named the ‘Lion Alcontrol.’ The solution requires the employee to input a fingerprint biometric to confirm their identity as a registered employee, which activates an unmanned breathalyzer which needs a negative result to access the workplace. The Lion Alcontrol can be fitted on a wall as a voluntary device or affixed on a turnstile as an access control system with a siren that alerts others when a positive alcohol sample is detected. It can also be equipped with face biometrics technology to prevent ‘buddy clocking.’
Zander Els, special projects consultant at ERSBio, says the Lion Alcontrol links to software that captures precise data on number of tests, clock-in times, and the number of employees who tested positive for intoxication, which can be reported to the company to detect trends and find repeat offenders.
“Our partnership is mutually beneficial, as we are able to offer the customised products ERSBio needs, while leveraging their established customer base and market expertise to tap new markets. We look forward to a longstanding relationship with ERSBio’s tailored solutions to meet the specific needs of the South African market,” says Rhys Evans, managing director at ALCO-Safe.
Biometrics and alcohol detectors have found a combined use previously with places like Thief River Falls, Minnesota, using the technology to reduce the time spent on low-level offenders.
dasGate face biometrics testing for stadium entry expands
Spanish soccer team Osasuna used facial recognition from Spanish company dasGate, which uses Veridas face biometrics, as an expedited entry option for its El Sadar stadium, which dasGate says was a success, processing 20 fans a minute.
The biometric security gate is a facial recognition system that allows spectators to enter the stadium without lining up and without carrying the season ticket. Registering for the gate is said to take less than a minute, with the individual using their smartphone to scan an ID card, the QR of your season ticket, and a selfie image. Once registered, they can enter with just their face biometrics by standing in front of a kiosk.
The biometric access control system trials at El Sadar Stadium were announced in 2021.
First tested in one security gate for Osasuna’s match against Alavés, the promising results meant it was expanded to eight gates for the match against Real Madrid. With the second time, it resulted in five times the number of people who entered through the facial recognition turnstiles compared to the first use. The company says 20 people per minute entered through the biometric gates, which it calls “an unprecedented figure in the flow of fans entering a stadium.”
DasGate notes that there are two league matches left in the El Sadar Stadium, and eight gates will remain available with its biometric entry option.
Spanish facial recognition companies have built applications for their local soccer teams and their stadiums before. FacePhi’s face biometric technology is used in the Valencia CF stadium.
Spectra develops biometric access control device for Indian SMEs
Spectra Technovision launched an IoT-based biometric attendance and access control system in conjunction with a mobile app to meet the needs of Indian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The device, named the Biot, is said to feature a 2.8 inch thin-film transistor display, an anti-scratch fingerprint sensor of 500 dpi, an ARM Cortex 32-bit processor, built-in Wi-Fi, and 128 MB data flash memory that can store up to 48,000 transactions.
The Biot Mobile App is described as a user-friendly app to allow access control of a user’s office.
“We have studied the SME market quite intensively and ensured that Biot fixes all those pain points like keeping a track of on-field employees, securing the owner’s cabin if they’re not present, and generating relevant reports that help calculate payroll quickly. Besides all this, Biot’s stylish look is something that no one else can top. It’s all about moving easily in stride with technology,” says Deepak Gulgulia, co-founder and CEO of Spectra.