Recently, our lives have changed in ways that we could never have anticipated. It is prudent to expect the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will bring lasting changes to nearly every aspect of our lives, from how we shop, to how we work, and how we interact with others. Changes have happened, changes will continue to happen, and they most likely will be permanent in many ways. If there is one common thread seen in many of the changes to how we live and work, it is that they favor contactless solutions. The use of biometrics to authenticate employees and customer identification has grown over the last decade but is seeing the biggest spike ever in the wake of COVID.

Biometric technologies offer accurate solutions to identify individuals and check a range of biological factors such as facial recognition and personal temperature. Perhaps most importantly, they provide contactless methods of tracking persons of interest while reducing the chance of spreading COVID through common touch surfaces.  Employee identification, medical record reporting, business entry screening, contact tracing, and more can all be done quickly and safely with biometric devices.

What Are Biometric Scanners?

Biometrics can be defined simply as physical or behavioral human characteristics that are used to identify a person digitally. They are commonly used to grant access to a business’s systems, devices, or data and are generally applied to health and safety aspects of each individual scanned. The most common types of biometric scanners include the following:

  • Fingerprints: These biometric scanners are the leading type seen before the onslaught of COVID-19 and can be found on computers, phones, and door entry systems.
  • Visual: A device equipped with a camera can easily be used for facial recognition and retinal scans, which are also popular biometric scan examples.
  • Voice: Voice-based recognition systems are getting better every year and might soon be used to identify and also authenticate individuals at a distance.
  • Signature: Digital signature scanners have been used for decades at checkout kiosks and can also be used to offer another line of ID protection.
  • DNA: While this high-tech type of biometrics is used in medical and law enforcement today, it is not widespread yet, but that is starting to change.
  • Temperature: Possibly the most critical biometric scanning service in the wake of COVID-19, this feature allows contactless temperature checks before entering a business to ensure the health of your employees and visitors.

How Can Biometric Scanners Maintain Safe Working Environments?

The leading concern for managers and business owners today during this pandemic is ensuring their employees are not sick with COVID-19 and that customers coming into their business are not spreading the disease. The use of biometric scanners can help provide an additional layer of protection for staff and customers alike, while also giving some extra reassurance to owners and managers.

Potentially exposed employees who have symptoms are generally told that they should self-isolate and follow the CDC’s recommended steps. But what if they are not aware of the symptoms or are unwilling to self-isolate on their own? Using biometric scanners can help business owners ensure their employees are healthy and not likely to be carrying the illness when they come into work each day. These scanners are also beneficial in ensuring that customers have taken the necessary precautions. Someone may not realize they have a fever or may not be aware of how bad their ‘allergy’ cough has gotten. Scanning for temperature before entry or scanning to visually check that a mask is worn can help keep everyone safe during pandemics like the one we are in now.

If infected with COVID-19, sick employees need to follow both the CDC and their employer’s regulations and recommendations for isolation and recovery before returning to work. Employees should not return to work until they are symptom-free, meet the criteria for ending isolation as outlined by the CDC, and have been in touch with a health care provider and their employer. Implementing biometric scanners of some kind can help put everyone’s mind at ease when sick or potentially exposed workers are ready to return to work. These contactless scans are another layer of protection that give tangible and scientific data to help business owners make the right decisions for them and their business.

There are a few key reasons why biometrics can help us regain some semblance of normalcy in our lives as we try to get back to work, school, and socialization in the wake of COVID-19. Biometric scanners:

  1. Allow you to scan biometrics in mere seconds securely with advanced AI systems
  2. Can come with the added feature of live video checks for real-time entry approval
  3. Provide access control for automatic doors to provide added security
  4. Have the ability to scan for any number of biometrics depending on business needs

What Businesses Benefit From Biometric Scanners?

Biometric scanners are an excellent resource for businesses looking to get back to normal while still being smart about limiting the further spread of COVID-19. The benefits of biometric scanning during this pandemic can be seen in just about any niche market, including:

  • Stores: Employees can be checked quickly for any fever before entry and can also be scanned for ID checks to ensure accurate contact tracing and record keeping.
  • Restaurants: Anyone who enters the facility to be served can be checked easily beforehand, including staff and those who are coming in for pickup services.
  • Transportation: From taxi drivers to truckers, those traveling long distances or who deal with a lot of people every day could benefit from the added protection of these scans.
  • Venues: Any social gatherings, community events, parties, and crowded venues can help reduce the chance of transmission by implementing scans throughout the venue’s entrances.
  • Schools: With so much unknown surrounding how children react to this illness, scanning teachers, staff, and students will help to isolate infected individuals quickly and efficiently.
  • Government: Many local government leaders still need to do their jobs, and biometric scans can help ensure sick individuals work from home to prevent further exposure if required.

COVID-19 has forever changed the way we live and work, but the advancement in biometric scanning can help us return to some semblance of normalcy sooner, rather than later. To learn more or to acquire a biometric scanner for your Minneapolis business, contact Definitive Technology Solu