David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
My Biometric Timeclock Is Ticking

June 23, 2021

Today I learned about Biometric Timeclocks. I had never heard that phrase although I certainly knew about biometric security measures (facial recognition, etc.). "Biometric Timeclock," however, really made me chuckle.  There has been a "tick-tock, tick-tock" refrain in my head the whole day, and I can't help but wonder if higher education might employ such technology.  It would be a step up (or at least a body part up) from this crazy idea.

If higher ed were to employ Biometric Timeclocks, and let's face it, they could be quite valuable since clock hours are so integral to Department of Education funding and accreditation requirements, what would be the system we might use?  Students, faculty, staff, even the cleaning crew could use it. A quick Google search today brought me to this list of the "Ten Best Biometric Mechanical Timeclocks" from The Daily Tibble. Here are some of the options based upon this list:

1 - The Icon Time Systems Biometric Time Clock. 

What are its advantages for higher ed? We can create an easy acronym, which is always important to us: "Before you start class, remember ITS time to clock in." Also, it looks like a telephone pad so the luddites among us may not freak out quite so much about the new technology.

The disadvantage is that colleges would have to pay more to use for more than 100 people.  If we are still running ill-suited lecture sections of 250 students, then we have a problem. Not to mention the incorrect “Its” for the acronym, guaranteed to send the Comm faculty over the edge.

2 -- FingerTec TA200 Plus Color Fingerprint Clock.

Advantages include the fact that it isn't actually called a Time Clock, making it easier to slip in as an update before a major semester begins. With capacity for 10,000 users, it is perfect for all the small, dying liberal arts colleges.

However, it promotes its colorful display. I suspect it is not ADA compliant for all who are color-blind. We might have to give the finger to the FingerTec.

3 -- Timedox Silver D Biometric Fingerprint Time Clock.

Hey, it won't take long to be calling it the Timedoc, the appropriate nod to the PhDs (but never the EdDs) across campus.  The device also creates weekly and monthly summaries, alleviating all of us of those pesky leave reports.

The one downside might be the "Silver D" in its title, guaranteed to clash with most institution's school colors. Would have so loved to see it called the Timedox Tenacious D Biometric Fingerprint Time Clock.

4 -- uAttend BN6500 Wi-Fi Biometric Fingerprint Time Clock.

At 6500, we have the biggest unit for any unit and these things still matter, even in academia. By automating paid holiday, that's even one less reporting function HR has to nag people about every month.

But that "uAttend?"  Communications faculty will be up in arms again about the degradation of language in America.

5 -- COMPUMATIC XLS BIO Biometric Time Clock.

Is it an advantage that the "specially coated fingerprint promises to deliver accurate fingerprint reading for both wet and dry fingers?" I guess those of us sneaking back from a three-martini lunch don't have to worry about drying our hands to get back in the building.

However, its downside is similar to uAttend's.  What's with the all caps in the name?  Who is so angry over there?

6 -- Schlage HandPunch HP 2000-WEB Biometric Time Clock.

Advantages start with the fact that this scans/reads an entire hand, recognizing how college employees are so much complex than your average factory worker (or CIA agent).

On the other hand (and who couldn't have predicted that transition), it works on a wireless connection, meaning it will shut down at least three or four times a day, usually when all of the students are sucking up the bandwidth playing games or streaming movies. However, all of these other timeclocks require some internet, ethernet, cloud, capability, and so all will be at the whims of our IT infrastructures.  I am tempted to recommend this one.  However, look at this sucker:

If that thing malfunctioned, it might as well be a medieval torture device.  Maybe a bad idea.  Oh well, too late, already put in with this year's capital requests. Ladies and gentleman of academia, getta punching.