Company has finger on the button with security unit

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A BOROUGH-based security company has launched the world’s smallest and most advanced optical fingerprint scanner after securing a £150,000 investment.

Killingworth-based Ievo developed its new ‘Micro’ biometric reader to meet the growing demand for security door locks in airports, hospitals, offices, data centres and hotels.

Instead of using a card-reader, key fob or numeric keypad to open a security door, users touch their index finger to a small sensor mounted on the door-frame which scans their print and opens the door to authorised personnel.

Ievo managing director Shaun Oakes said: “Although this type of fingerprint reader has been seen for many years on television and in Hollywood movies, the reality is that the existing technology was unreliable and affected by things like weather or users with anything other than perfectly clean and dry hands.

“Our competitors all manufacture in the Far East, and readers designed for internal use in their high rise offices or apartment blocks are simply not suitable for European customers who are more likely to have their own front door.

“That’s why our first product, the ‘Ultimate’, was toughened-up to cope with harsh weather and work in exposed locations or extremes of temperature.”

Since launching the Ultimate a year ago, it has been installed at various sites at the Olympic venues, the German embassy in London and the Scottish National Arena in Glasgow.

Managed by Northstar Ventures, the Accelerator Fund investment of £150,000 – which is supported by the European Investment Bank, One North East and the European Regional Development Fund – has helped to create three new jobs at Ievo’s Killingworth HQ.