February 1, 2006 Here’s a big chance for technophiles to be the first in their apartment building to have a BioKnob – the first doorknob with fingerprint recognition. The BioKnob replaces your existing doorknob, and registered users just brush their fingerprint across the knob to unlock the door. Accordingly, there’s no longer a need to carry keys or hide one under the potplant and for people who have lots of friends, it’ll store up to 100 sets of fingerprints. Now the BioKnob also records the last 1000 accesses with who opened it and the date and time of entry, so you’ll know what time your teenager/spouse came home. Short term visitors can be programmed for the duration of their stay then deleted and entry is also possible by an individually assigned passcode.
First introduced at the International Security Conference in Las Vegas, the BioKnob attracted considerable attention with its advanced features built into a sleek doorknob. "We wanted to bring biometric technologies mostly seen in government agencies to consumer products," said Sheng Deng, president of Tychi Systems, a New Hampshire company. "It was a technological challenge but after three years, we are delighted to be shipping a fantastic product," he added. "Now home owners and small businesses can benefit from advanced biometrics in an attractive door lock."
With the BioKnob, families do not need to carry keys or hide one in the yard. Managers at businesses need not worry about loose keys or having to re-key locks with every lost key or management change. Guests or short term visitors can be programmed; then after their stay, their fingerprints are deleted. The audit feature records the last 1000 entries. Parents can tell what time their teenagers came home. Employers have a time & attendance function built-in.
A tiny sensor on the BioKnob reads your fingerprint pattern when you brush a finger across it. The pattern is converted into a template. No actual pictures of fingerprints are recorded, so no one can replicate fingerprints from the data. Rechargeable batteries last about three years and there is an advance warning.
The BioKnob was designed and developed by Tychi Systems at their Salem, New Hampshire facility near Boston. It uses advanced components from around the world and basic manufacturing is done in China in a factory owned and managed by Tychi. "By running our own factory, we ensure high quality standards and also maintain strict control of our technology," said Deng. Final assembly and testing is done in New Hampshire. It is the only known company in the U.S. dedicated solely to the development of biometric locks and is seeking international distribution.