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Old 24.04.2013, 11:52
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Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

We need to replace our front door. We're not too keen on the Swiss Kaba system; so often our door is left unlocked all night as we forget to lock it. Advantage is that you can't lock yourself out, but you need a normal door handle to open the door. The alternative system (common in Germany) is to use a key to unlatch the door (so if it's closed, it's locked), but with the disadvantage that you can so easily lock yourself out - walk out of the door, forget, 'click', shit.

As such, we have started thinking about the fingerprint scanner, in addition to the normal, German-style lock (sorry, Kaba).

It's essentially a finger scanner that is installed outside, which controls the door strike.

Has anyone installed such a system? And what are your opinions?

So far we have plus points:
  • Kids (they don't exist yet) won't need a key, so no worries about lost keys; they won't forget their fingers.
  • Makes life a bit easier, rather than having to put the shopping down, fiddle for keys, drop keys, unlock the door, turn handle, open door, drop keys again, or forget and leave them in the lock.
  • Once I came home late (2am) and my girlfriend had locked the door from inside, but left the key in the door. Had to wake her up.
  • Another time, I had lost my key (got it back the day after). Had to wake up my girlfriend at 2am...
  • Looks cool.
And minus points:
  • Additional electrical installation required (but this is not so difficult)
  • Difficulty in fingerprint recognition with dirty fingers.
  • Power failure? But this can be addressed with a small UPS (uninterupptable power supply) with the control box in the cellar.
  • Technology goes out of date.
  • It's just an unnecessary gimmick.
  • Still need to carry a key, just in case.
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Old 24.04.2013, 12:02
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

I have a friend who uses electronic keys - the biometrics might annoy you due to the crossover rate.

Electronic keys that don't have to be inserted into your lock. Like these: http://www.kaba.ch/en/Solutions/4852...-key-fobs.html
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Old 24.04.2013, 12:11
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

http://digital.yale.co.uk/door-locks...s-digital-lock

How about a keypad door entry system. Not as easy as the finger print thing but probably more reliable.
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Old 24.04.2013, 12:25
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

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We need to replace our front door. We're not too keen on the Swiss Kaba system; so often our door is left unlocked all night as we forget to lock it. Advantage is that you can't lock yourself out, but you need a normal door handle to open the door. The alternative system (common in Germany) is to use a key to unlatch the door (so if it's closed, it's locked), but with the disadvantage that you can so easily lock yourself out - walk out of the door, forget, 'click', shit.

As such, we have started thinking about the fingerprint scanner, in addition to the normal, German-style lock (sorry, Kaba)
Dead bolt or spring bolt has nothing to do with the type and make of the cylinder lock. They are two separate parts of the whole door lock which can be chosen individually.

What you call German-style is not uncommon in this country. Most apartment building front doors are like this. Also many single family home have it. When I was six I had to "break" into my neighbors house because she left the key inside and I was small enough to sneak through a partially open window.
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Old 24.04.2013, 12:30
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

Both viable alternatives (and likely more reliable), but with the keyfob system, you'd need to carry this around, along with the key, buy extra ones if another person needs access and not sure what happens if you lose one; I guess they're coded and you can block the one that was lost.

Keypad avoids this, but people need to remember the number, including Mrs. Putzfrau, who pops 'n' mops around every two weeks.

There's also the RFID card-system but, as this seems to be more focused on commercial properties, it may be pricey.

Anyway, research continues !
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Last edited by chrisIDS; 24.04.2013 at 12:48.
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Old 24.04.2013, 12:35
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

the electronic keys are something you have and are hard to spoof. They can be revoked.

2500 was the price he stated IIRC.

For my home, I would not use biometrics nor a keypad unless I added a deterrent/detective control - a camera. You may also want to look performance issues with biometrics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biometrics#Performance
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Old 24.04.2013, 12:38
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

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What you call German-style is not uncommon in this country. Most apartment building front doors are like this.
Yes, you're right. Now I cast my mind back (I only lived in an apartment block once for a couple of years) I remember the main door being like this.

Anyway, we have (amongst others) AlpSteg coming around in a few days to enlighten us --- depsite the fact they compained and grumbled a lot about having to come around at 18:00, which has already put me off them a bit..
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Old 24.04.2013, 15:19
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

I read somewhere that in latin America they stopped using biometrics as too many finger were chopped off :-( and too many eyeballs taken out.

The next gen might be more difficult to fool as it tests for signs of a pulse...
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Old 24.04.2013, 15:26
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

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http://digital.yale.co.uk/door-locks...s-digital-lock

How about a keypad door entry system. Not as easy as the finger print thing but probably more reliable.
Except hidden camera have such a degree of miniaturization and remote recording that it's easy for a thief to set something up to record you entering the code and then following up at another time with a visit.

Or they could just spy on you with a pair of binoculars.
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Old 24.04.2013, 15:32
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

Fingerprint biometrics will end up frustrating the hell out of you. And as you stated, even small amounts of gunk on either your finger, or the scanner, can cause misreads or even false positives. When they work it is great, but I would always recommend a form of mechanical backup (as you have also mentioned).

Even though not all phones are equipped at this stage (you can buy an adapter for the iphone) the NFC style of entry is pretty cool. Might be a few years yet until the pricing and availability is good enough but the flexibility is great.

http://www.assaabloy.com/com/Product...mobile-acces1/

In terms of power failure - ask for a fail secure lock instead of fail safe. This means you give power to unlock, instead of removing the power.

You could always go for a palm vein reader....
http://www.m2sys.com/palm-vein-reader.htm
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Old 24.04.2013, 15:38
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

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http://digital.yale.co.uk/door-locks...s-digital-lock

How about a keypad door entry system. Not as easy as the finger print thing but probably more reliable.
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Fingerprint biometrics will end up frustrating the hell out of you. And as you stated, even small amounts of gunk on either your finger, or the scanner, can cause misreads or even false positives. When they work it is great, but I would always recommend a form of mechanical backup (as you have also mentioned).

Even though not all phones are equipped at this stage (you can buy an adapter for the iphone) the NFC style of entry is pretty cool. Might be a few years yet until the pricing and availability is good enough but the flexibility is great.

http://www.assaabloy.com/com/Product...mobile-acces1/

In terms of power failure - ask for a fail secure lock instead of fail safe. This means you give power to unlock, instead of removing the power.

You could always go for a palm vein reader....
http://www.m2sys.com/palm-vein-reader.htm
My friend was a fan of fingerprint locks, until I took his fingerprint and taped it to my finger and gained access to his house with no problems.

Now he has a system that's keyed to his cellphone. If he wants to give someone access, he just adds their cellphone to the approved list and they're in.
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Old 24.04.2013, 15:41
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

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Now he has a system that's keyed to his cellphone. If he wants to give someone access, he just adds their cellphone to the approved list and they're in.
Do you remember the brand at all?

Forgot to mention, another minus for the Bio style of entry is having to enrol everyone who needs access.
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Old 24.04.2013, 15:47
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

So when a thief has gained the mobile phone, he gets the house contents as well? (But the same applies to a key, of course).
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Old 24.04.2013, 15:51
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

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So when a thief has gained the mobile phone, he gets the house contents as well? (But the same applies to a key, of course).
There's nothing on the phone that indicates it is a house key, and my friend still has to unlock his phone to enter the house. The thief would need to know my friend's password for the phone to unlock the door. Also, if his phone is lost, he can call a number from any other phone and change the access privileges as well.
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Old 24.04.2013, 15:53
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

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So when a thief has gained your finger, he gets the house contents as well? (But the same applies to a key, of course).
Slight change for another 'con' to the finger print scanner.
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Old 24.04.2013, 17:59
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

Everybody that I know who has tried one hates it, but mostly the ones I've seen are on gun safes.

The feedback that I've gotten is that they are very sensitive to contaminants and don't work consistently.

Also, you couldn't just leave a key with the neighbor or whatever in case you had a workman coming by, right?
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Old 24.04.2013, 18:02
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

Whatever you get, I would run it by your insurance company first. Because if a thief waltzes into your home because he has a box of tricks that can fool your front door, you're not going to get much sympathy or payment from your insurers.
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Old 24.04.2013, 19:27
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

We Built our house nearly 2 years ago And have the Finger Print Scanner for our Front door i Love it i have 2 Kids they are in And Out all the time Never had a Problem ( only if they had wet Fingers ) we have 3 dead bolts on our door And it Makes a beeping Noise to let you know the door is Properly closed. I feel very Secure with our Front door Never have to forget about locking it, n Need to it locks itself i Would recommend having the Finger Print Scanner.
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Old 07.05.2013, 11:41
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

Hmm, well. After a plurality of discussions with a variety of house door suppliers, the advice, with respect to fingerscan door entry systems, received falls into two somewhat polarised categories - avoid at all costs or they are fine. The guy from Alpsteg was quite negative about them; basically that the 'entry-level' versions (about 1200CHF) are quite unreliable and they have a lot of call-outs in regard to them. The expensive ones (2400CHF) are a lot better, but this is half the cost of the door itself. He did advise us - if we want one - to buy one in the US or UK and avoid the astronomical markup; obviously warranty is an issue (but the more than likely reason is if we go this way and then have a problem, it's not Alpsteg's problem)

Would like to try one - just to see - with a variety of finger-conditions (oily finger, dirty finger, very soggy finger, frozen finger, muddy finger, sweaty finger, finger controlled by a drunken guidance system). Might skip the injured finger scenario.

In any case, when the door is installed, we will install the necessary conduits, so that we can install any type of system, if we want to.

He did also mention the mobile phone option - if you have it with you. Currently with online banking, I get an SMS code to log on - but I am now tired of doing this, and then realising that my damned phone is nearly always downstairs, for one reason or another. Can imagine a similar situation with a door lock!
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Old 07.05.2013, 11:59
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Re: Biometric door lock / Fingerprint scanner

did you price something like this? http://www.kaba.ch/en/Solutions/Elec...-elolegic.html
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