The modernization of technology and the world is continuously advancing through innovation and science. Various technologies are a big part of our daily lives nowadays. Biometrics is one of the most prominent advanced technologies and industries developed.
The identification system is now all about biometric technology and is mainly used for security purposes. In this article, we will discuss modern biometrics and what future awaits for this technology.
Generally, biometrics is the measurement and analysis of biological characteristics of people, specifically physical and behavioral, for automated recognition and identification purposes. Identification and authentication based on discernible and verifiable specific data are made possible by biometrics. This automated recognition technology is also significantly used to verify and track individuals who are under surveillance.
Identification systems already existed centuries ago, and recorded history uses face recognition. It was traditionally enough until populations increased. Suddenly, associating faces became challenging. From this, various methods were developed and continued to emerge.
Babylonians used fingerprints on clay tablets. Then the Chinese used the same method for early business transactions. Fingerprinting continued and was used to sign contracts and to identify criminals. A standard was made and called the Henry Classification System. It was the first standard based on the unique architecture of fingerprints and later adopted by police and law departments.
However, it did not stop there. This event was followed by more research which caused the industry of biometrics to proliferate. Starting from the 1990s, here are some highlights of its growth:
- Semi-automated facial recognition was developed in the 1960s.
- In 1969, facial and fingerprint recognition were prominently used in law enforcement. The FBI even provided funds for further development of automated methods.
- By the 1980s, the National Institute of Standards and Technology had a group study about speech recognition methods and technology. All studies have been used today as the basis for voice command and recognition systems.
- In the 1990s, interests in facial recognition development rapidly increased, especially when facial detection technology that made real-time processing was developed.
- And in the 2000s, more biometrics recognition algorithms were patented and used, especially in the US. Biometrics also started to be sold commercially.
Currently, studies about further development of biometrics continuously increase. This technology has also started to become more prominent in society’s everyday life. Nowadays, biometrics authentication is widely accepted and used in daily activities and various technologies. For instance, Apple included a fingerprint unlock system in their iPhone products in 2013, making other mobile developers do the same.
Over the years, the industry has proven the functionality and practicality of using biometrics for identification and authentication. It is even expected that the market for global biometrics technology will reach up to 19.08 billion USD in 2020. Its most common application nowadays is in the field of security. Many biometrics systems are used for surveillance and security systems.
Identification and authentication by biometrics are common in security systems using various methods, equipment, and devices. A person’s biometric identity can be used for password systems of gadgets, computers, and locked rooms and buildings.
Biometric data for each person is obtained and stored in the database. This data is usually encrypted or stored in remote servers or devices. Biometric devices are composed of:
- Scanners or reading devices that capture and store biometric data.
- Software that converts the data into standard digital format and will compare the observed biometrics to the stored data.
- Database that keeps and stores all biometrics data.
There are general classifications of biometrics systems used nowadays, which include:
- Visual biometrics
- Behavioral biometrics
- Auditory biometrics
Under these major classifications, the most popular biometrics technologies and measurement methods include:
- Face recognition: Uses the analysis of facial features or patterns for identification and authentication.
- Iris recognition: Focuses on the characteristics of the iris of the eyes.
- Retina recognition: Analyzes the veins in the back of the eyes and their pattern.
- Fingerprint recognition: Deals with the patterns and architecture on the finger of a person.
- Voice recognition: Examines voices and matches them with stored data.
- Signature recognition: Studies a person’s handwriting, specifically their signature.
The current status of the modern biometrics industry implies a promising future. Numerous studies and research are continuously made to develop further technologies and systems for more advanced and better identification and authentication methods for security systems.
Aside from the existing measurement methods, more and more human features and characteristics can be used to identify an individual. It’s also possible to lessen the length of time required to identify someone and access security.
In line with this, here are some fields where possible developments of biometrics are beneficial:
- Security and law enforcement
- Military forces
- Travel controls
- Civil identification
- Healthcare subsidies identification
- Physical identification for consumer electronics and more
- Commercial industry
They’re safer to use since they’re harder to fake and steal.
There’s still the possibility of hacking biometrics databases.
They’re convenient to use.
Errors are still bound to happen.
Storage-efficient since it doesn’t take up much space.
Slight changes in the features of the person can make the person unrecognizable by biometrics technologies.
Biometrics heightened security to avoid fraud using characteristics that are unique to an individual. However, there are still threats connected to this modern security system that society should be ready for.