How does face attendance win over other biometric systems?

Traditionally companies have used the thumb-based attendance system, which served as a good substitute to card-based systems. Neither of them were perfect and faced many setbacks on reliability and security. Attendance with face recognition has gained attention in recent years. While large companies have been quick to upgrade to face recognition attendance systems, many mid-sized organizations are still working with older technologies. Is it worthwhile to upgrade to face id attendance systems? Let’s evaluate the biometric systems objectively.

How face recognition attendance system works?

The system stores a database of faces. A screen, usually a mobile or tablet in case of Truein, is placed at the entrance and employees have to simply walk towards it. A match is triggered with the database and attendance is captured within a second. Systems like Truein are benchmarked with the eye so no amount of change in facial features or fashion accessories affects its ability to return accurate results.

Why is face attendance better than thumb-based or fingerprint systems?

Practically 100% accuracy: Thumb-based attendance systems have often failed in situations where the fingerprint is faded. Workers who work in oiling systems can’t register their attendance with faded thumb prints. Similarly heena applications or cuts on fingers return errors. It is often frustrating to try attendance multiple times before simply writing down in a manual attendance register. That is not the case with face recognition attendance. It has been tried, tested and proven that it is practically 100% accurate. Employees simply walk towards it and attendance is captured. It works even when hairstyles change or employees age. Touchless safety: With covid-19, the world has become increasingly aware of the risks of contact-based attendance systems. There is no attendance system, other than face id attendance system which is absolutely touchfree. The user has to simply show his face. The system is triggered automatically. Even after the world is covid-free, people will be conscious of the touches they make and it will be good to provide a hygienic system. No complex hardware: Thumb based systems always require that you install a machine at the entrance. While the upfront costs are a barrier in itself, the machine requires maintenance too. When you choose a face attendance system like Truein, there is no complex machine. You simply install the application on any Android or iOS system and it works. Often, companies use just a tablet or mobile for Truein face attendance. Remote access: Not every staff member steps into the office every day. There are remote workers or on-the-go field staff who report directly to client offices, distributor’s godown or other places. If you have rigid systems that require machines or hardware, it won’t work out for remote workers. With Truein mobile-based face recognition systems it is possible to allow on-the-go workers to take attendance from their own phone, wherever they are. Companies can restrict the mobile-based attendance to specific geographies, geo-fencing it, making it more secure and controlled. Wow experience: With attendance time cut-down to a second and no action required from the user-end, face id attendance is by far the best biometric system. It wows employees who don’t require training and are happy to adopt immediately. When a face id system is based by a powerful application, it is even more welcome. Employees can track their records from the phone and managers can track everyone in real-time. Reliability: Face recognition attendance systems like Truein have spoof-proof mechanisms. Employees may be required to blink their eyes before capturing attendance. It ensures no photos are used in the attendance process to mark proxies.

Frequently asked questions:

Which biometric attendance system is more reliable and accurate?

Time and again it has been proven that fingerprint systems fail when fingers are dirty, oily, wet or bruised. Face attendance is practically 100% accurate.

Which biometric attendance system is more affordable?

Thumb based systems require sensor-based machine installation at every site, making it costly in the beginning and also at the time of maintenance. With face attendance, any Android or iOS based mobile may be sufficient. Even employees can track their face ID with their own phone. Even retail stores with multiple outlets or construction companies with multiple sites find face attendance more affordable.

Make an informed decision

There are many choices available today. Not every finger print system or every face attendance system is made equal. Evaluate the options between various vendors or brands and make an informed choice. Be sure to ask questions like:
  • Does the attendance system have geo-fencing?
  • Does the system require hardware installation and maintenance?
  • Does the system have mobile-based capabilities?
Asking the right questions will help you choose the most advanced biometric attendance system.
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Why you don’t need to install attendance machines?

When companies evolved from paper-based attendance to one that was technology enabled, they were asked to install machines for card swiping or thumb imprints. Once upon a time that felt like an obvious choice. Not anymore! If you are still installing bulky attendance systems, you are probably living in a cave.

There are choices. Go hardware-less!

Introducing hardware-less face recognition attendance

The charm of technology is not in its complexity, but in its practicality.

Consider Truein’s face attendance app – it can be installed on any tablet or mobile to get started in no time. A common tablet (any Android or iOS device) at the gate is all the infrastructure you need. Or better still – install nothing! 

Ask your employees to do a selfie-attendance from their very own phone. How do you ensure they are not marking attendance from home or a beach holiday? With Truein geo-fencing, of course. Our geofencing attendance feature lets employees mark selfie attendance only from geographical boundaries set by you. Define the radius from your office and you are set.

Why does hardware-based attendance increase liability?

Initial investment

If you have hundred construction sites or two hundred retail stores, would you invest a machine everywhere? The cost would multiply manifold. Besides, nothing lives forever. You are looking at a similar investment every few years. 

Recurring maintenance

Hardware that you or your IT does not understand will always have an external dependency. It will have its maintenance requirements. It means calling the technicians every time you hit a snag. It can also mean annual maintenance contracts and more cost. 

In comparison an Android or iOS based simple tablet or mobile needs little to no troubleshooting. And anyone can do it! 

Lack of portability

Typical hardware-based systems have heavy installations which act as permanent fixtures. They are immovable. They sit with your furniture. When you move somewhere, you need a technician again. 

Contrast that with a simple iOS or Android-based mobile attendance system with a temporary stand. Move it around as you please. Rainy days? Move it inside. No problem! 

Parallel systems

Whether it is card-based system or thumb-based system, you always hear complains about card not getting recognized or thumb not being accepted. An oily hand or scratches on card are common reasons for the system to not work. Result? The admin pulls out a manual entry register which is reconciled end of the month. 

We take attendance seriously. With Truein face attendance, you get practically hundred percent accuracy and reliability. No parallel systems, please!  

Limited use case

When you install a hardware, you are only thinking about your desk employees. What about your field workers or mobile workforce? Can a marketing manager mark attendance from agency’s office? Can a salesperson report from distributor’s office? Not if they need a large machine to mark attendance. 

Consider the Truein mobile-based selfie attendance. It works for very many use cases:

  • On field staff doesn’t have to come to office only to mark attendance 
  • In construction industry or similar industry where sites keep changing, there is no unnecessary infrastructure created. The security guard can take attendance of all contract workers from his device. 
  • Retail outlets which run in hundreds and thousands can just geo-fence their stores and let employees mark attendance from their phones. 

Onboarding pain

Every time a new employee joins in, there is a long process of thumb registration or card activation. How would you like to replace it with a face recognition system that lets new employees click a selfie and onboard themselves in no time? You will like it very much, especially when the organization grows. Think scale? Think ease of onboarding with face attendance. 

It becomes even more relevant when you are dealing with contract staff that changes on daily basis. The common bane in the construction industry! 

Step into the future

Don’t hold yourself in the past. In the 21st century, getting an attendance machine is like buying a keypad based mobile. It is like using pigeons when you can use emails. Embrace technology that is light, portable and practical. 

Go touchless, go hardware-less.

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How does Face Recognition Technology work?

How easy is it to identify a person you have met before? Usually, very easy! You may say it is because you remember him. Technically, your brain is matching it against a memory it has. Face recognition by machines work in a similar fascinating way. 

What is Face Recognition?

The Dictionary definition of face recognition is the ability of a computer to scan, store, and recognize human faces for use in identifying people. 

In 2020, this term is not very alien. Apple users use Face ID to unlock their phones. Airport security uses it to identify convicts. Workplace safety apps like Truein use it to mark attendance or authorize visitors. 

Steps for Face Recognition

There are many variations of this technology. We will look at the most common approach. Let’s break down the definition. 

Scan: A person walks by a machine that takes its picture and identifies its geometry. By geometry we mean distance of the nose from chin or location of eyes. There can be 60 to 80 such data points that make the complete face ID.  

Store: The face ID, a mathematical formula consisting of data points is stored in the database. The computer understands this as your signature – unique to you.  

Recognize: Next time you walk past the same machine, it can create a similar map and trace it against the database it has. Result? You are identified.  

Not all face recognition technology is created equal

Face recognition was first invented by Woodrow Wilson Bledsoe in 1960s. Back then the degree of errors was vast and the amount of time it took to return a result was huge. Part of it was due to computing power of machines back then. Besides, the number of facial markers used to create a Face ID were low. In 1970s there were 21 facial markers. Today, the sophisticated machines use as many as 80, increasing accuracy. 

Facial recognition gets seriously compromised if the machine is not geared to identify in low-light or with changing facial features. It will result in two things:

  • False negative: It won’t identify a person despite his ID being present in the database. It can be frustrating, but it is not dangerous. 
  • False positive: It will identify a person wrongly as another person. A false match is a bad sign, especially when law-enforcing agencies use it. 

It is therefore critical that you pick a face recognition technology that stands the test of time. A time-tested and proven technology by a trusted provider is the key to adopting this futuristic technology. 

What makes Truein’s face recognition technology unique?

We believe that accuracy has to be practically hundred percent. Any small error leads to manual work, beating the purpose of our technology. This hundred percent perfection has happened over many years through many iterations. Today, we are proud to meet those benchmarks.

  • Truein face recognition attendance is benchmarked with eyes. Result? No amount of facial changes can affect our performance. Ageing, hats, face masks – doesn’t matter. It works. We beat the odds.
  • Our face recognition technology has proved to work in low-light conditions as well. So common work conditions like night shift workers or outdoor construction sites don’t pose a challenge to our system. 
  • It works offline too. So, there are practically no barriers to primary enterprise activities – face attendance and visitor management. Distant sites or stores too can use it seamlessly. 
  • We have invested in the necessary infrastructure to make it super-fast. We surely don’t want people to wait in queues while the device scans and marks face attendance for each employee. It takes just three seconds, including changeover time. 

Why face recognition is the most futuristic ID system?

Biometric IDs are unique and beat the traditional paper-pen or card systems hands down. Cards can be swiped by proxies and attendance can be fudged. It is a common malpractice, often seen at plants within contract workers. 

The thumb IDs are biometric too, but they have failed to meet the hundred percent benchmark. Women using Indian Mehndi on hands feel frustrated when their thumbs don’t get identified at office machines. Similarly, plant workers who work on oily machines cannot walk past a thumb-based system easily. Besides, it is not touchless, and it takes multiple attempts for one correct match. 

Face recognition is truly the only unique identifier, doing its job in few seconds. It cannot be proxies or scope for manual overrides.

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5 Attendance compliances you can automate easily (like-never-before)

 

One big advantage of activating face recognition attendance system is ‘automation’. All data gets synced back in real-time, churning reports that can go straight into salary calculations and other reporting. 

Is that really practical? Can you actually do that without the need for manual overrides and physical syncs? After all, there are so many exceptions – branch wise holidays, employee wise weekly offs and so on. 

Well, we worked on all those exceptions and made them a rule within our employee attendance app. You can define all these unique possibilities and automate practically 100%. 

Let’s look into top 5 such compliances

Top face attendance automations

Assign weekly off

While most of your employees may have Saturday and Sunday as weekly off, there would be contract workers or shift employees with different week offs. It is particularly true for call centers, plant operations or retail stores. 

How would the system know if an employee is absent or just has a weekly off? You get to define it. You can define employee categories (full time, part-time, contract, temporary, factory etc.) and then assign specific weekly offs for them. 

Of course, you can do it at an individual level or as a bulk action – either ways weekly offs can be taken care of easily.  

Define public holidays

In case of multinational organizations, the geography of the branch office defines the public holidays. For instance, an office in Maharashtra may have a public holiday on Uttaran. However, a branch in Kerela may have a public holiday on Onam instead. 

These differences don’t have to be manually entered. Each branch can be defined as a separate site with its own set of public holidays and other rules. 

Set workhour calculations

Are your salary calculations dependent on total hours clocked by the employee? There are several ways organizations can calculate it and it is possible to define your own rules. 

You can set the system in a way that it uses the ‘First in, Last out’ rule to report total hours clocked. Alternately, the system can calculate the actual time based on every single in and every single out. 

Either ways, it is easy to spot outliers who have too many outs or break-time. You can go a step further and define all days with less than 5 hours as part-time.

Calculate overtime

If you have workers who get daily wages or whose renumeration is calculated ‘per hour’, you might have to pay them overtime for every extra hour. It is a common practice in factories and even BPOs or Government organizations. 

Even this can be automated using a simple toggle (on/off) for each of the below pre-defined rules 

  • Above 9 hours in a day to be auto added as overtime
  • Consecutive 7th day of work to be auto added as overtime (public holiday not counted)
  • Work hours on public holiday will be added to overtime
  • Overtime apply only when OT is more than 30 minutes
  • Work hours on weekly off will be added to overtime

If you would like to apply these rules to only a specific set of employees, you can segregate them by categories and tick or untick ‘apply overtime’ on relevant categories.  

Detect mask

Would you like to restrict entry to employees who are not wearing mask? Truein face recognition attendance system is geared to identify masks on their faces. It will deny entry in case attendance is marked without it. 

There are other Covid compliances also. They can be activated in the form of a quick survey to include questions like – are you experiencing any symptoms, did you travel anywhere etc. 

When convenience meets compliance

Truein has always had its ears to the ground. We release a new upgrade almost every month, resulting in over hundred features in the last four years. Objective? Ease the life of our HR colleagues so they can focus on the most crucial tasks. 

They are legal mandatories which take days to reconcile and are mostly done manually even today. Is it time to upgrade? A lot of productive manhours are wasted on clerical work which can be easily assigned to AI & automation. 

Make your attendance system practically 100% automated to save time and effort, whilst taking care of all compliances. 

Read more: How you can ensure 100% attendance of your employees amidst Corona Outbreak!

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How geo-fencing takes touchless attendance to the next level?

Face recognition based attendance is the straight off answer to the touchless solution the world is seeking today. Or may it is not as straight. Not all face recognition attendance is made equal. It is important to consider specific use-cases before picking the one that works for you.

Today, we will focus on use-cases for geo-fencing – a powerful feature on Truein’s contactless attendance system.

What is geo-fencing?

With Truein, organizations can allow users to mark attendance from their very own phone. Organization’s ability to limit such attendance to only a specific geography (usually a radius around the office) is called geo-fencing.

Geo-fencing can be activated to ensure that employees don’t queue up in front of the kiosk at the main gates, conveniently use their own phone but do not misuse it while vacationing.

Who is it most relevant for?

Retail chains

Large retail chains can avoid putting a kiosk at every store. Each individual store can geo-fence attendance for their site and employees can mark attendance from their devices. It can result in huge savings while ensuring automation that syncs data back to the head-office in real-time.

Construction sites

In case of outdoor locations, the supervisors need not report to office before going to the site. They can go to their work site directly and mark attendance after reaching that geo-fenced boundary.

It makes sense for even contract workers who keep changing and report to site directly.

Marketing and event agencies

Any organization that employs a large workforce that is on their feet and always on field, would find geo-fencing very useful. The geo-fencing feature can be used to mark radius around the distributor’s office where sales team reports. It can also be used to mark an event location where the marketing team is working.

Any other large organization

In case you have a large employee strength, you can shorten the queue at the main gate by activating user-device based geo-fenced attendance.

What are the key advantages?

Being compliant:

We believe that automation of attendance should always be 100%. If you leave scope for manual entries in case of remote sites, on-field force etc., you are increasing chances of proxy and plenty of paperwork.

When data for the entire workforce gets automated – no matter where they are, all of it can feed back into compliance and salary calculations.

Being progressive:

The hard part about allowing employees to report directly to remote sites is the ability to track and trust. You can leave all of it behind and embrace progressive HR policies. Geo-fencing is your safety net – an assurance that all will be well even when you adopt laissez-faire policies.

It sure leaves a good impact on employee satisfaction score as well.

Being safe

When social-distancing is active and you have a large workforce queuing up at the kiosk, you could consider moving to geo-fenced user-device attendance.

People can space out and mark attendance from their desks if they please.

What should you know about geo-fencing on Truein?

Truein has evolved over the last 4 years to include more than hundred features. Geo-fencing is only one of them. Like always we have focused on keeping it simple.

  • It can be activated or deactivated by the user at a click of a button
  • There is no limit to how many locations can be activated
  • It is possible to geo-fence attendance by adding Google location address or latitude/longitude co-ordinates
  • It is also possible to define the radius around the marked address.

The bottom line

Face recognition is the buzzword in touchless attendance. However, that is just the beginning. Making it more widespread and employee-friendly is what true evolution would be. Activate geo-fencing and other hundred plus features to suit your specific HR policies.

Read more why do you need face technology in your organisation and how you can Implement Face recognition based attendance for your organisation in hours.

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