The Lite side of access control

March 2016 Access Control & Identity Management

Morpho has long been a leader in biometric access technology so it is no surprise that the company recently launched the MorphoAccess SIGMA Lite range of biometric readers to the international and local market. Addressing a call from its customers for a compact biometric reader that incorporates the technology popularised in the MorphoAccess SIGMA range of products, the advent of the company’s SIGMA Lite series substantially ­narrows the price to technology ratio.

MA SIGMA Lite.
MA SIGMA Lite.

Guillaume Lefevre, vice president of sales and market development (access control and OEM) at Morpho, explains that the company has consistently invested capital and resources in developing technology that provides users with best practice in biometric efficiency. Leveraging the advances made in its pre­decessors, the SIGMA Lite comprises two distinct designs that clearly fill a perceived gap in the market.

“Morpho has a well-established range of very high-end biometric products and a range of what is deemed a more entry level reader. However, we recognised the need for a product range that would provide a middle ground for customers who demand full functionality, without the premium price tag. The SIGMA Lite+, with its touchscreen interface, provides customers with the best of both worlds,” says Lefevre.

Launched in the United States in September 2015 and in South Africa in early February 2016, the SIGMA Lite+ and its LED-driven counterpart are fast gaining recognition in the global arena. Designed to readily fit on narrow mounting surfaces such as glass/aluminium door mullions, turnstiles, or server rack doors, these terminals are sleek, strong, smart, slim and safe.

MA SIGMA Lite+.
MA SIGMA Lite+.

Able to provide 1:10 000 user identifications in only 1 second, the readers can cope with 30 000 templates and 250 000 IDs in an authorised user list and one million logs. The first design features a LED indicator to assist users in the access control process while the SIGMA Lite+ reader offers enhanced inter­activity with a colour touchscreen. Both designs offer multiple card reader options (Prox, iClass or MIFARE/DESFire contactless card reader) to address a wide range of both indoor and outdoor applications.

Housed in a waterproof IP65 and vandal-resistant (IK08) casing, the SIGMA Lite ­terminals are built with ruggedness and durability in mind, whilst retaining their ­aesthetic appeal for installation in a wide range of application environments. Lefevre says that the readers feature a number of anti-fraud features including fake finger detection, duress finger and timed anti-pass back, for increased peace of mind that only authorised users gain access to facilities.

Compatible with legacy Morpho systems, such as Morpho and Bioscrypt, the SIGMA Lite readers also contain an embedded web server that allows users of laptops, tablets or smartphones to connect, then trigger on-device enrolment, configure terminals or retrieve transaction logs. While the biometric function remains fundamentally within the reader, this feature also permits management enrolment via mobile devices in keeping with the trend towards cloud-based solutions.

Underpinning Morpho’s goal of providing the market with increasing levels of access control technology that requires minimal management, the launch of the SIGMA Lite series has been met with acclaim. “While the South African market has a loyalty towards the legacy Morpho products, the uptake of the new SIGMA Lite series in other African countries has been rapid. We do however anticipate that, as South African customers see the multiplicity of possible installation markets and the series’ inherent benefits, they will quickly adopt this compact technology,” Lefevre points out.

Besides the ongoing renewal of the range, the company’s vision of increasing contactless technology within its entire range, is exemplified by the MorphoWave. This, says Lefevre, is not only useful for high-volume areas such as airports and appealing to installations intended to impress, like the HQs of large corporations, but moreover in the manufacturing sector where businesses are seeking the processing of large numbers of employees in as short a time as possible. The use of contactless technology could see employee access control processing increase from 20 people per minute to 60 people per minute.

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