Identity industry

May 27, 2021

How Do ID Scanners Work and What Are They Good For?

Does your business process passports or ID cards to identify clients, employees, or other people? If so, an electronic ID scanner can save you time and money. You can even use them to boost your marketing or security efforts in innovative ways. Learn more about electronic scanners and what they can do for you (apart from scanning documents).

What can an ID scanner do (apart from the obvious – scanning identity documents)? And what are the best ID scanners/passport readers out there? 

Many businesses need to identify their customers, employees, etc., by their passport, driver’s license, or other types of identification. Think bars, hotels, airlines, and more. For this, they need a device that can read bar codes, QR codes, and the like. Read on to find out how advanced ID scanners process a document and how you can leverage them by connecting them to other systems.

How do Document Readers Read Documents? 

Document readers detect electronic coding and scan images on a paper document, plastic card, or other hand-carried identification media. An ID scanner is a specialized type of reader, where scanning starts automatically; all it takes is a document is placed on the device’s window surface. In the case of our ID scanner device, Osmond, this is a three-step process that takes a few seconds and requires no user intervention. 

  1. Image scanning: First, the scanner extracts optical data by capturing various images under different illuminations. Then it performs image processing, such as reflection removal. 
  2. Printed data and chip reading: The optical character recognition (OCR) software recognizes all text-based information in addition to data extracted from 1D/2D barcodes and contact or contactless chips. 
  3. Authentication: The scanner performs multiple security checks on the captured images and extracted data for high-level document validation. 

Authentication through Security Checks 

The Osmond validates captured images and extracted data through various security checks. The checked data includes MRZ checksums, expiration date, UV dullness, presence of B900 ink, data integrity between MRZ and RFID, biometric integrity, and optional special features such as advanced pattern matching or JURA IPI decoding. 

Biometric identity check means an automated cross-checking of the photo from the data page and the image stored in the RFID. 

Osmonds feature a reflection removal technology. This ensures that captured images are free of reflective security signs like holograms and other optical elements. These are presented in a separate image. 

IPI (Invisible Personal Information) encodes personal data into the photo of the data page, linking the owner’s image and the ID together. The IPI is invisible to the naked eye; only authorized people can verify it. Verification can be done manually with a special decoding lens or automatically with Osmond. 

The system is well prepared to operate in various light conditions, eliminating any ambient light in the scanning process. 


All agencies, public and private, issue documents with electronic strips, images, and other features containing electronically readable data. Governments at all levels, travel service providers, hotels, commercial parking lots, banks, casinos, even grocery stores – the list of issuers is long.  

To the long list of issuers comes an equally long list of document types: passports, visas, resident cards, address certificates, driving and other licenses, tickets and boarding passes, loyalty cards, etc. 

It is easy to see why it is essential for the software behind the scanner to keep up with a constantly growing number of ID types. The good news is that Osmonds are trainable for new documents. Even if it has never seen a particular kind of document before, its OCR software can learn to recognize it after 10-20 times.  

Many scanners don’t have this capability. 

Connecting ID Scanners With Other Solutions 

Advanced ID scanners are even more powerful when connected to other devices. Do you need to manage a VIP parking lot or a security industrial zone? Just perform two easy steps. First, hook your scanner up to an ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) device equipped with MMR (make and model recognition). Then link this combined system to an access control system. 

This way, you can verify not just the vehicles but even the drivers, and you have full control over who you want to give access to and let drive at your site.

Suppose your system detects black-listed drivers and/or vehicles. In this case, you can assign special surveillance to monitor them, deny their entry to your site, or even report them to authorities. 

You may wish to monitor employees’ activity or build a face recognition-based access control system. Link the reader with a CCTV system, verify users by their ID, or even compare the ID face photo to the user’s photo by face recognition and build a biometric access control and monitoring system.

There are many other ways to combine your scanner with other devices and software. The following are just some of the possibilities: 

Intrigued? Get in touch with us for more advice on how you can leverage a state-of-the-art ID scanner like Osmond for your project.

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