Amusement parks exist, almost by definition, to create a positive atmosphere for customers looking for a fun get-away. Authenticating these customers at the gate — collecting tickets — has to be as easy and trouble-free as possible or park operators risk spoiling the mood for their customers before the experience has even begun. And yet, parks have a financial interest in ensuring that only one person uses each ticket.

Multispectral imaging fingerprint sensors are used today at many park gates to meet both requirements. To prevent ticket fraud, parks today can link each ticket to a specific customer with the touch of a finger. Because of multispectral technology’s unique characteristics, biometric authentication is done without interfering with the positive experience of visitors as they pass through the entry gates. More than 200,000 people enter major theme parks through multispectral fingerprint-enabled gates every day, and park operators save millions of dollars every year.

Security and convenience

Amusement park access is a good example of an authentication application that has both security (ticket fraud prevention) and convenience (customer experience) components to the solution. Indeed, the historical reluctance to adopt biometrics had almost everything to do with a lack of biometrics performance and thus convenience: there is nothing convenient about a biometric solution that “works” so well at preventing unauthorized access that a line forms at the gate.

Park gate throughput is clearly an important indicator of a successful deployment. A quick individual transaction time is meaningless if the guest in front of you can’t use the sensor, for whatever reason. The wide age and demographic range of amusement park customers presents a problem for some biometric technologies, as do variable environmental and user conditions.

On the other hand, multispectral imaging is a sophisticated technology specifically developed to overcome the fingerprint capture problems that conventional imaging systems have in less-than-ideal conditions. This more-effective technology is based on the use of multiple spectrums of light and advanced polarization techniques to extract unique fingerprint characteristics from both the surface and subsurface of the skin. That subsurface capability is important because the fingerprint ridges seen on the surface of the finger have their foundation beneath the surface of the skin, in the capillary beds and other sub-dermal structures.

Unlike surface fingerprint characteristics, which can be obscured during imaging by moisture, dirt or wear, the “inner fingerprint” lies undisturbed and unaltered beneath the surface. When surface fingerprint information is combined with subsurface fingerprint information and reassembled in an intelligent and integrated manner, the result is superior biometric performance in any environmental or demographic condition and an authentication application that is more consistent, more reliable and more tamper-resistant in the real world.

The ability to provide convenient, rapid and hassle-free entry was, and remains, an important part of the whole visitor experience. But this is just the beginning. Efficient and reliable user authentication not only provides theme park operators with a way of ensuring that ticket holders are legitimate, but it opens the door to personalization which enhances the visitor experience even further. A customer can stand in a virtual line at a favorite ride while enjoying face-time with a park employee who knows just what activity to suggest — all with the touch of a finger.


Original article provided by Lumidigm.