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Home Is Where They Know Your Name (And Face and Fingerprints)

Chris Pollack hates carrying keys. So during the yearlong gut remodel and expansion of the Greenwich, Conn., home he bought for $1.825 million in 2012, Mr. Pollack built a new entryway with a biometric access system: a wall-mounted Suprema BioLite fingerprint reader with a glowing scanner that cost about $2,500 to install.

“It’s almost instantaneous—you put your finger on the sensor and within a second it triggers the lock,” said Mr. Pollack, 49, managing partner of Pollack+Partners, which builds and oversees high-end residential projects. “It’s much easier than using a key. And I don’t like to have things in my pockets.”

Biometric technologies such as fingerprint locks and facial-recognition systems have made the leap from spy movies and high-security institutions to the home. Beyond the sci-fi cool, biometric design features offer the promise of a frictionless lifestyle where you need never fumble for house keys or even a smartphone app.

More sophisticated biometric access systems are being integrated into new builds, said Chris Falkenberg, president of Insite Risk Management, which provides advanced security services for private clients. Commercial-grade systems—which can cost as much as $30,000 to install—have the capability to track, log and regulate the visits of anyone whose fingerprints give them access to the home, such as a housekeeper or nanny. “You can disable their biometric access outside of work hours,” Mr. Falkenberg said.

Article by Amy Gammerman is excerpted from The Wall Street Journal

Photo: Kelly Marshall for The Wall Street Journal.

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