Biometrics have been the standard of identifying individuals for nearly 100 years, but as technologies improve, it is also useful in other ways. Biometrics can be physical or behavioral characteristics used to quickly identify individuals. These characteristics are then converted into biometric technology and aid industries in implementing more advanced security systems around the world.
The benefits from implementing biometrics are undeniable, but also with such a vulnerable technology, some legal concerns arise. The iPhone and iPod can provide access to millions of locations without physical access. With voice recognition, there is the potential to track someone through their mobile device. While facial recognition is convenient, it is not always practical.
Biometrics fall into the category of singularity – something that is difficult to replace, despite emerging technologies to do so. However, as advances in our understanding of speech recognition software continue to improve, biometrics will become easier to use in conjunction with voice recognition to provide richer, more robust experiences. Voice recognition is not perfect, but advances are making it increasingly practical. As well, as this technology improves, we will likely see less technical restriction when performing biometric advantages.
There are different types of biometrics. Two major categories are physical biometrics, which include fingerprints, hand prints, and facial features; and behavioral biometrics, which include iris patterns, voice recognition, finger prints, and handwriting. Each of these different types has specific advantages, as well as limitations. Here are the most common biometrics used:
Facial recognition is one way to quickly identify individuals. Biometrics can be designed to include identifying characteristics, including hair color, eye color, age, and gender. The iris, or colored portion of the eye, is the most commonly used biometric in this category. This unique identifier can be programmed to record a specific amount of information. In order to perform the task of opening doors or activating security systems, for example, the iris must recognize the finger prints that are integrated with the digital recording.
Fingerprint identification systems have been around for several years, and they are now becoming an important part of the fight against cybersecurity. Biometrics embedded within the fingerprint register can be paired with digital fingerprints, so that if someone tries to open a door or access a secure area, the lock will know that only the authorized party has been present. Biometrics can also be used as passwords to provide access to secured areas. As more of the U.S. populace trades personal information online, more companies are using biometrics as an additional means of protecting the public from hackers who gain access through password theft or other ways.
Voice recognition is another biometric element used to monitor the public’s safety. A recent development, known as biometric voice recognition, works by gathering voice characteristics of the caller, then using them to identify the caller in the database. In an effort to improve on the already effective voice recognition technology used by banks and other financial institutions, banks and other businesses have been collecting voice samples of their callers for the past few years. Once the database has been collected, it is being used to further monitor all phone calls, whether made within the bank or to other customers.
All of these types of biometrics may play an important role in our society. No matter how the technology is used, however, one thing is clear: every person carrying a digital recording of themselves will have some form of biometric identification, as it will allow employers to verify an employee’s identity and as it will allow parents to ensure that their children are not communicating with strangers. If you are concerned about your own personal safety, voice biometrics may help you to feel safer. However, voice recognition and other biometrics will never replace keys and passwords; and as long as we remain a society where people trust one another, voice recognition will likely continue to improve.