South African Christian center goes biometric

A computerized biometric fingerprint recognition system has been installed for the Durban Christian Centre (DCC), Berea, aiming to secure access to some sections of the octagonal, dome-structured church, and at the same time provide a time and attendance register for staff.

Biometrics involves the scanning of a thumbprint or fingerprint and conversion of the scan into a unique digital algorithm. It is quick, highly secure and cost-effective, because it eliminates all the administrative support work demanded by conventional visitor identification, sign-in register or smartcard systems.

The aluminium roof of the building, known as the Jesus Dome, is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world. The sheer size of the building led management to examine options for secure entry and exit for staff, and for the control of entry into certain administrative sections of the building.

Square One Solutions group was approached to develop a solution for the DCC.

"After studying the needs of the DCC, we proposed a biometric access control system based upon three Dex optical biometric reader units, which control and secure access to the required areas, as well as provide a computerized time and attendance register for the staff complement of about 50 people," says Dean Johnstone, manager biometric solutions at Square One.

Two of the biometric readers were placed at the DCC's main entrance and exit, with the third located at the access point to the church's administrative center. They have rugged key pads, back-lit LCD displays and steel casings. Employees then had to enrol by presenting an index finger for scanning into the biometric management system.

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