In a formal sense, biometrics refers to any automatically measurable, robust, and distinctive physical characteristic or personal trait that can be used to identify an individual or verify the claimed identity of an individual. It is the automatic recognition of a person using distinguishing traits.
From the Greek meaning life (bio) and metric (to measure), the term “biometrics” refers to technologies for measuring and analyzing a person’s physiological or behavioral characteristics. In reality, biometrics refers to protecting network and physical security through physical and behavioral biometric techniques.
The physical biometric techniques include fingerprinting, hand and finger geometry, facial recognition, iris and retinal scanning, and vascular pattern recognition. While, behavioral biometric techniques include speaker and voice recognition, signature verification, and keystroke dynamics.
For simplicity, both biometric techniques are defined and designed for simple and streamlined identification and verification purposes of a person. In short, biometric
involves determining who a person is and biometric
is determining if a person is who they say they are.
If biometric is used for security matters, such as access for example, it is possible to check human beings identity electronically. Therefore not only less security personnel is necessary, but also the average access time as well as the probability of potential misuse is reduced. Biometric solutions ensure an extremely high standard for different security application.
One of the first known examples of biometrics in practice, and considered the most popular form of biometrics today, was a form of finger printing used in China in the late 14th century. The fingerprinting involved Chinese merchants stamping children?s palm prints and footprints on paper with ink to distinguish them from one another. In the late Eighteenth century, body measurements were considered an alternative biometric technique. The process was designed for identifying convicted criminals of repeat offenses by measuring and recording a criminal?s body, head, and limbs whenever arrested. The process was called Bertillonage. Over time the process proved very time consuming and unreliable. Today, and mostly over the last three decades, physical security and biometrics have exploded in popularity thanks in large part to the computer revolution and the sensitivity of corporate data. Most corporations integrate a combination of physical and behavioral biometric techniques for their data centers. (Individual Biometrics 2002).
Are infinite in their possibilities. Many of the technologies discussed thus far are paving the way of the future. However, newer technologies (gait recognition, lip print identification, body odor) are gaining more and more acceptance. The main obstacles of biometrics will continue to involve complexity and privacy issues surrounding information abuse. Biometric information abuse has caused some civil libertarians to be incensed by the risks posed by the personal nature of biometric information and how this information can be manipulated or misused for unimaginably evil purposes by other people, employers, and governments. When choosing a biometric system, the following items should be considered when deciding. Characteristics such as speed, accuracy, user-friendliness, lowcost, public acceptability, reliability, resistance to counterfeiting, acceptable storage requirements, and fast enrollment times should all be considered.
How does it work?
Where it is used?
Besides, fingerprint recognition is the front-runner for mass-market biometric-ID systems. The future of fingerprinting appears to be very bright, as you will continue to see widespread usage within the law enforcement community and for personal use. Besides, dactyloscopy is the term used by scientists to describe the practice of fingerprint identification.
Fingerprinting takes an image (either using ink or a digital scan) of a person’s fingertips and records its characteristics. The patterns are matched (ink) or encoded (digital) and then compared with other fingerprint records. Although the popularity of ink is still common, digital scanning is preferred. With digital scanning, a user presses his or her finger gently against a small optical or silicon reader surface where fingerprint information is taken from the digital scan and sent to a database for verification and identification comparison. (Individual Biometrics 2002).
dots (very small ridges),
islands (ridges slightly longer than dots, occupying a middle space between two temporarily divergent ridges),
ponds or lakes (empty spaces between two temporarily divergent ridges),
spurs (a notch protruding from a ridge),
bridges (small ridges joining two longer adjacent ridges), and
crossovers (two ridges that cross each other).
Hand geometry offers many advantages similar to the other technologies such as ease of use, small data collection, resistant to attempt to fool a system, difficult technology to emulate a fake hand, and provides for the elimination of buddy punching in workforce management solutions.
Facial recognition has many advantages such as easy integration into existing access control or time and attendance systems; verification and/or identification being accomplished in a short time period; flexible communication interfaces that enable terminals to be networked together; and a non-intrusive technology.
Iris scans analyze the features that exist in the colored tissue surrounding the pupil of an eye the iris The main advantage of iris scanning involves the extreme accuracy of the technology. Since no two irises are alike, identification and verification are done with confidence. Iris scanning also involves non-invasive technology; an ease of use since irises cannot be stolen, unlike keys, access cards, and password systems; and eliminates the frustration for users to have to remember passwords. In addition, and unlike the other techniques learned thus far, will recognize a fake eye from a real one by varying the light shone into the eye and watching for pupil dilation.
Retinal scanning devices are the most accurate physical biometric available today since there is no known way to replicate a retina. Similar to iris scanning, retinal scanning analyzes the layer of blood vessels at the back of the eye. The scanning involves using a low-intensity light source and an optical coupler that reads the patterns of a person’s retina.
The product allows developers to speech enable devices for talking clocks, household appliances, navigation aids, talking books, answering machines and voicemail systems, talking dictionaries, language translators, security system monitors, and cell phones to industrial warning system controls and educational electronic learning aids.
Is an automated method of measuring an individual’s signature by having a user sign on a tablet or on paper that is lying over a sensor tablet. The device records the signature and compares it to its database. (Individual Biometrics 2002) The advantages of signature recognition include being able to accommodate to those who have trouble speaking, ease of use, easily deployable, and low development and application costs.
Involves a user typing his or her password or phrase on a keyboard. The system then records the timing of the typing and compares the password itself and the timing to its database. Verification takes less than 5 seconds. (Individual Biometrics 2002).
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