What’s next for biometric time and attendance in a post lockdown soft services world?

COVID-19 has caused us all to reconsider many things we have taken for granted for years and it seems that systems requiring employee contact such as touch screens or finger print readers are just one of many areas that need to be looked at.


These devices are already being seen at the very least as a high maintenance touch point requiring cleaning or at worse no longer viable in a post lockdown society. We have already seen officers in the field who were previously comfortable with this type of devices being resistive to the use of such technology because of the potential transmission of COVID-19 driving the need for alternative non-contact solutions. Many of us will have experienced (Near Field Communication - 'NFC') commonly used in access control systems which in some implementations will remain a viable solution however with improvements in the quality of AI enabled facial recognition tools it is now possible to construct cost effective contact free time and attendance recording devices using standard technology.

Here at SmartTask we’re implementing facial recognition login on smartphones and tablets to help protect our users. These devices can be quickly deployed as an alternative to finger print readers and with a simple registration process faces can be linked to user credentials and used to book staff on and off without the need to touch the device. But what about privacy I hear you cry? Well this type of solution is much less intrusive than CCTV merely using the persons face as a convenient identification key and systems can be constructed in such a way as to ensure the users personal data is used only for the agreed purpose of booking on and off. As the lockdown eases the issue of removing contact from time and attendance devices will become another challenge for managers trying to move to the new normal.