Biometry 101

biometric-capabilityThe meaning of biometryis “life measure” and it refers to the ability to automatically recognize and measure biological characteristics, such as finger prints or voice. Biometry-based technology is oftenused in security and identity related applications. One thing that contains biometric information that almost everyone is familiar with is a driver’s license. Height, weight, hair color and eye color are physical characteristics that can be checked quite easily. It should be noted, though, that some of these things can change, either naturally or on purpose.

There is also biometric data thatdoesn’t change, and that information is what is utilized by security devices. There are the characteristics that will stay the same for an entire life. Such devices as fingerprint or eye scan locks used to be seen only in science fiction movies in the past, but they are becoming more popular, as the cost that it takes to manufacture them has gone down. Biometric security is not only used by the military and government anymore. The use of biometric locks in cases when a lock change is needed for a business place is getting more popular as well, and not only large companies can afford them.


Biometryoffers a number of exclusive advantages as this technology keeps evolving. Manufacturers of biometric devices can ensure that extremely sensitive information is only given to those who are really supposed to access it. Biometric scanners are cannot be compromised easily. The identification process can be done quickly as well, because no keys or entry cards are required in order to open a biometric lock. While sensitive information such as a password can easily be hacked or forgotten, that simply cannot happen to one’s finger print.

The Different Methods of Biometric Identification

Which biometric identification method works best? There isn’t one that is better than the others. It all depends on the user’s needs.

  • Face Recognition

Face recognition is the most flexible method. Itcan be used without the person knowing that he or she is being scanned. It uses a complicated series of equations (of such details as the distance between the eyes, the width of the nose), which takes only a few seconds to process. This method is useful for protection of large, crowded places. If there is a need to find a suspicious person inside a big crowd, it’s possible to scan many faces at the same time.

  • Fingerprint Identification

This technology keeps getting more and more popular all the time, especially in the locks and electronic devices (such as tablets, cell phones and laptops) industries. Fingerprint locks are often used in businesses that have many compartments that only specific people should be able to access.

  • Hand Geometry

Industrial environments use the biometrics of hand geometry,because it works in harsh environments and does not require clean conditions.

  • Retina & Iris Scans

Retina scans take about 15 seconds of concentration to get a good scan. This method is mainly used by the military and government for security purposes. Iris scans are similar to retina scans, but can be transferred into information which is similar to that of a barcode.

  • Signature & Voice Analysis

A person’s signature is easier to fake than a fingerprint or a retina scan, but digitized signatures are used by banks and courier companies. A voice analysis is probably the least invasive method, but it’s also the easiest one to fake.

Biometric security devices differ not only in terms of technology. Their prices vary as well, so once there is a need to make a lock change, it’s better to do a market research and choose the option that provided the best value for the price it costs.

Published by Kidal Delonix (1196 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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