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Contactless Attendance – The Next-Generation of Attendance Systems

Since half of the world is in lockdown, many employees are working from home nowadays. But, some employees still have to go to work where countries have not imposed the lockdown.

However, companies have a fear of what would happen if any of their employees gets infected. Therefore, they are taking measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. To avoid the risk of infection, organizations are looking to implement a contactless attendance system that enables zero contact.

In this article, we will discuss the following topics:


Why companies require a Contactless Attendance System?

What if companies have the fingerprint biometric attendance systems in their offices? A fingerprint system in an office is used by all employees. One after another, employees tap the screen of the attendance system and enter into the office. It may result in a huge risk because of the frequent touches on the device.

Many times, your co-worker will cough or sneeze while touching the biometric scanner or you may find any droplet or oil on its surface. According to experts, the most common way of the transmission of the virus is through infected surfaces. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid touching surfaces that can be infected quickly due to human touch. 

That’s the reason why companies are looking to incorporate a contactless attendance system in their offices. 

Since the attendance system is the first point of contact for every employee, the containment of the spread of the virus can be at the doorstep of your office. The future of office and work hygiene would require the termination of the biometric attendance system as employees can be scared to touch the biometric scanner during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Therefore, there is a need to introduce a contactless attendance system that ensures the zero-contact entry of employees. 

Before discussing how a contactless attendance system could be built, let’s discuss the existing attendance systems and understand the difference between futuristic solutions and current solutions. 

What are the different types of existing attendance systems?

  • Attendance Tracker with Fingerprint Scanning
    In this system, the attendance is collected via a biometric input, for example, fingerprint. When the input enters the system, it is compared with the data saved in the database. If the input is found to be valid, the system records the attendance information. 

    If the details are invalid, the attendance record cannot be added. It will ensure that the data entering the system is verified and does not have issues of proxy attendance. Due to its simple processing, fingerprint scanning method is one of the most commonly used attendance collection methods. 

  • Attendance Tracking System with RFID reader
    In this kind of system, the user input is gathered via an RFID card which fetches the information from the RFID tag and forwards it to the application that validates the data with the database. If the data is found valid, the attendance information will be recorded into the database. However, if the data is invalid, the system will deny the information. As compared to the previous attendance system, this process is quite faster but the legitimacy of the data is not efficient.

    In the above system, people had no way to mark proxy attendance. However, proxy attendance can be possible in the case of RFID reader as there is no mechanism to prove who possesses the RFID tag. 

    Though this attendance tracking issue has an issue of the proxy, it can be used in institutions where authority takes care of the authentication of a person via physical methods. 

  • Location-based Attendance System
    A location-based attendance tracking system uses the GPS system to track the location of a person. The attendance information of users is collected based on the location.

    It requires a GPS to be linked with the smartphone of the users. The attendance system should know about all GPS systems to be tracked.

    When the attendance system identifies the location of a user via GPS, it links the location with an attendance record and decides what to do with the attendance information. 

    Since the location-based attendance system currently lacks accuracy and has higher chances of proxy attendance entry, it cannot be implemented on a wide-scale yet.    

Contactless Attendance System: Face Recognition Based Attendance System

Face recognition technology has witnessed a significant improvement in the changing world. Smart attendance with real-time face recognition is used for recognizing faces of people to take attendance with face biometrics. Computer Systems can detect and recognize faces precisely and quickly in videos or images captured via a surveillance camera. 

Deep Learning algorithm helps in converting frames of videos into images so that the face of a person can be recognized for the attendance. 

With deep learning technology, the machine automatically identifies the attendance performance and handles the record of collected information. 

Using automated contactless attendance system, it can also be possible to recognize whether employees are working productively or spend more time on mobile phones. 

How existing attendance systems are different from the face recognition based attendance system?

Attendance System
Chances of Proxy
Convenience for Setting up 
Attendance Tracker with Fingerprint Scanning  Biometrics  Less Medium to High High  Hard to Setup 
Attendance Tracking System with RFID Scanner  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) High High Medium Hard to Setup
Location-based Attendance System Global Positioning System (GPS) High Medium to High Low

Easy to setup

Attendance Tracker with Face Recognition  Facial Recognition and Computer Vision Less Low Medium to High Easy to Setup

Considering and comparing the above attendance management systems, we have found that using facial recognition can overcome the challenges of the existing attendance systems. However, it needs a lot of improvement in terms of the accuracy of the attendance information. 

We have come up with an idea of developing an attendance management system that inputs the user’s attendance record by detecting their faces via existing CCTV or IP cameras. You don’t need to install any specific camera or hardware to detect the faces of your employees. Instead, CCTV cameras installed within your office will recognize employees’ faces. Based on the information gathered via cameras, the employee’s attendance record will be added to the system, generating the attendance report on a daily or weekly basis. 

The best part about implementing this approach is that you don’t require any special device or hardware and can be used in small to large organizations for tracking the employee’s attendance record. 

Let us explain to you an example describing how it could work and what changes our idea can bring to the world. 

How our proposed attendance tracker system could work?

Here’s how our proposed contactless attendance system works:

Every office usually has a CCTV camera installed at its entrance. So, when the employee will enter the office, the camera installed near the gate will capture his/her face and feed the attendance data to the database using computer vision.

The time at which an employee entered the office will be added to the attendance system. Every time an employee comes in or goes out of the office, their face data and attendance information will be recorded.

A detailed report of employees’ attendance will be generated through AI and will be sent to their respective managers at the end of the day. This attendance system, as a whole, will improve employee’s productivity and enable easy tracking of attendance with CCTV cameras.

Here’s a step-by-step workflow of our attendance tracking system

  1. Add Face Data to System
    Employers or HRs need to add face data of employees into the system for matching of faces.
  2. Capture Video
    Cameras can be fixed at specific locations to capture videos of employees when entering and leaving the office.
  3. Create video frames
    Captured videos can be converted into frames per second to detect and recognize people.
  4. Face Detection
    It is a process where the image provided as input data, is searched to find a face matching with it.
  5. Face Recognition
    If the face is successfully found after detection, it gets captured in the attendance database along with time and date to update the attendance record.

If you are interested in knowing more about our idea, consult our AI experts today and request a demo. 

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Author’s Bio

Akash Takyar
Akash Takyar
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the founder and CEO at LeewayHertz. The experience of building over 100+ platforms for startups and enterprises allows Akash to rapidly architect and design solutions that are scalable and beautiful.
Akash's ability to build enterprise-grade technology solutions has attracted over 30 Fortune 500 companies, including Siemens, 3M, P&G and Hershey’s. Akash is an early adopter of new technology, a passionate technology enthusiast, and an investor in AI and IoT startups.

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