Biometrics - identification techniques using biological traits

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Biometric Technology can protect most sensitive Information

Science fiction movies are full of the sort of technology that's coming on the marketplace today. Using one's voice or a scan of one's iris to access information or open doors has long been a feature of futuristic tales. This technology is now available and working to protect some of the most sensitive information and heavily-guarded facilities around the world.

The most common Biometric Access Control Technologies

The field is called biometrics and, as the name implies, it has to do with measuring the qualities of a biological organism. In this case, humans. This science is put to work when electronic devices record voice data, hand geometry, the interior of the eye and other features of the human body to determine who's allowed access and who isn't.

Biometric technology like iris control and fingerprint scanning can protect sensitive data

The most commonly-seen examples of biometric technology today are probably the small devices that allow the recording and recognition of fingerprint data as a means of controlling access to a personal computer.

The device is often a small silver or translucent square on the case of the computer. Placing one's finger on this device allows the computer to scan it and to compare the fingerprint scanned to one stored in the database. If they match, access is granted.

Biometric technology gets far more complex, however. The eyes may be the windows to the soul according to the poets but for biometric access control, they are an incredibly effective means of determining identity. Human beings all have a unique iris, the colored part of your eye.

Scanning the iris and storing it in a database provides a means of identification that is, for all practical purposes, impossible to forge. Fingerprints are nearly impossible to replicate as well but the human iris is orders of magnitude more complex, making it one of the most distinctive features of the human body.

The geometry of the human hand varies so much from individual to individual that it, too, is used as a means of biometric access control. After placing one's hand on a scanner, a computer measures the characteristics of the hand, shape, finger length, width, etc., and then compares this to its records of who has access to whatever door or resource is in question. Hands might seem fairly similar between individuals, but the differences in hand geometry are more than enough to provide accurate access control, especially when they're measured with the precision of a computer.

Some individuals have a talent for mimicking the voices of others, but even the best of them cannot change differences caused by the shape of the larynx and throat, the structure of the mouth and vocal characteristics such as accents and regional inflections in speech. A computer can separate the genuine from the fake with amazing accuracy and voice data has become another commonly-used way that biometrics are used to control access.

Where biometrics are concerned, the question is not if they are available but how quickly they will be adopted and what other means of identification will be used to control access.

Different kinds of recording and recognition technologies can increase security

Information on biometric access control Most common types of Biometric Access Control

Biometric access control
  • fingerprint scanning
  • hand geometry scans
  • iris scanner
  • face verification
  • voice recognition

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Biometric Access Control Technology, such as fingerprint scanning, iris scanners, hand geometry, and voice recognition