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Glossary

Access Control Cards
Made from plastic or PVC, access control cards are used to verify identity, grant access, and monitor movement throughout a premises. Magnetic stripe and proxmity cards are the two most commonly used methods of access control.

Barcode
A barcode is an array of machine-readable rectangular bars and spaces arranged specifically so that when scanned, the arrangement is translated to yield human-readable data. Bar codes come in a variety of arrangements to suit any security need:

Biometrics
Biometrics utilizes physical or behavioral traits to verify identity. Biometrics can use fingerprints, retina patterns or hand geometry (physical traits), or the sound of a voice or the distinct traits of a signature (behavioral traits). Biometrics data is a highly secure way of verifying identity and granting access. Users commonly have biometric information stored on a smart card that, when inserted into a special biometric reader, reads their unique traits and subsequently will grant or deny access.

Coercivity
Coercivity is a term which describes how strong a magnetic field must be to affect data encoded on a magnetic stripe. Measured in Oersteds (Oe), coercity is also a term which quantifies the difficulty of embedding information in a magnetic stripe.

Digital Imaging
Capturing an image, may it be through a camera, scanner, or other method, with the intent of editing, displaying, or printing the image onto a card or other media.

Encoding
Encoding refers to the process in which raw information is embedded onto a magnetic stripe, a smartcard, or other form of ID card.

HiCo
HiCo, or High Coercivity, is a process which encodes cards with outstanding protection against stray magnetic fields. Since HiCo cards are more difficult to encode than Low Coercivity cards, they are slightly more expensive.

Hologram
Holographic printing is a unique process that gives a three-dimensional effect on a flat surface. Because they are difficult to duplicate and are aesthetically pleasing, holograms are a popular security measure on many ID cards.

Image Capture System
A system with hardware and software components that is designed to capture and edit images for ID cards.

ISO Magnetic Stripe Encoder
International Standards Organization specification for magnetic stripe encoding.

JIS II Magnetic Stripe Encoder
Japanese Industrial Standard for magnetic stripe encoding; published and translated into English by Japan Standards Association.

LoCo
LoCo, or Low Coercivity cards, are as stringently protected against stray magnetic fields like HiCo cards. For this reason, they are slightly less expensive.

Machine-Readable
A code or series of characters which can be read by machines.

Magnetic (“Mag”) Stripe
Composed of magnetized resin particles, magnetic stripes are present on the back of many ID cards. The composition of the resin material determines the coercivity of the stripe. The higher the coercivity, the more difficult it is to embed (and erase) information from the stripe. Magnetic stripes used often in many different applications, including: school ID cards, library cards, access control and time and attendance.

Smart Card
Smart cards are plastic or PVC cards which are embedded with a microprocessor or memory chip. There are several types of smart cards: Memory, Contact, Contactless, Hybrid (Twin), Combi (Dual Interface), Proximity and Vicinity.