Biometrics is one of the fastest growing segments of technology and it affects a wide variety of industries. The name sounds complicated but the concept is pretty simple. Biometric technology refers to the analysis of unique attributes of an individual. These include fingerprints, voice authentication, iris scans, and even ear printing. In terms of safes, biometrics refers to using these unique attributes to allow entry instead of a code or key. While this might sound like something out of a sci-fi book, a report from Research and Markets found that biometrics will grow nearly 20 percent by 2020 to reach $30.1 billion globally. The market for safes, both personal and industrial, is one where the topic of biometrics is trending. Traditional combination dial or keypad safes are seeing some competition from biometrics-guided ones. But is the technology ready for mass adoption yet? Should you invest in a safe with biometric technology?

Fingerprint Safe Security

The most common implementation of biometrics when it comes to safes is fingerprint technology. You’re probably familiar with how to use your finger on a fingerprinting scanner but the actual science of it is more complicated. The job of a fingerprint scanner is twofold: capture an image of a particular fingerprint and determine if it matches the correct fingerprint in the database. The characteristics of the scanned fingerprint are encrypted and saved as a series of numbers—no fingerprint image is ever stored. In other words, no one will ever be able to retrieve a scanned image of your fingerprint and steal that identity. Using fingerprinting technology is a highly secure way to quickly validate a safe owner and it also makes it impossible for someone other than the rightful owner to access what is inside that safe.

Pros and Cons of Fingerprint Safe Technology

Using fingerprint technology seems like a no-brainer when it comes to buying a safe, but like the technology itself, there is more than meets the eye in this decision. A few of the positives and negatives to buying a safe that uses biometrics in the form of fingerprints include:
    • Pro: Without a keypad or combination dial, you get quick, easy access.
    • Pro: Simple imaging technology makes it easy to record your fingerprint and the fingerprints of other authorized users and store this data.
    • Con: If you’re after a cheaper model, you’re better off spending your money on a higher quality safe that doesn’t use biometrics. The technology is typically sub-par in the cheap models, but if you’re spending on a higher-end biometric safe, you can bet the technology is solid.
  • Con: Biology. The very science that makes biometrics possible can also be limiting. A finger that has a cut, blister or burn can present a false negative when access to the safe is attempted.
  The bottom line is that safes that use fingerprinting or other biometrics can certainly be secure—but they are not the only option. Putting more of your money into the actual durability and strength of the safe is a smarter way to invest than to spend a lot on the technology that opens the door.