Advancements in biometric identification management technology are moving so fast, it is tough to predict just how much it will potentially change the world we live in. Biometrics are fundamentally changing identification management in a host of industries and governmental entities. There is no question that biometrics now touch virtually every corner of the world to improve security, but what is perhaps most fascinating is the benefits biometrics have established that were once unforeseen which include establishing parity in societies that have traditionally lacked class equity.
Fingerprints, for example, were recognized as a useful tool for identification far earlier than we might think. As early as 500 B.C., the Babylonians recorded fingerprints on clay tablets for business transactions. Modern-day biometric systems began to emerge in everyday applications toward the end of the 20th century. Touch ID became commonplace with the emergence of the iPhone 5S and then 3-D touch with the iPhone 6S.
Beyond fingerprints, many organizations have also started to incorporate other biometrics when authenticating end users. In 2016, MasterCard announced the capability for customers to use facial biometrics for payment authentication, often referred to as “selfie pay”. Tapping into the user’s smartphone camera, the person can verify his identity just by showing his face. Apple may also be moving toward facial biometrics with the release of iPhone X: facial recognition for things like unlocking and paying with the device. It is a big bet, but one that may very well pay off—and pave the way for easier-to-use, more secure biometric technology of all kinds in phones of the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways biometrics is (or will soon be) increasing the safety, convenience or revenue potential of individuals and businesses.
Safe Environment for everyone
In a factory environment, for example, potentially dangerous equipment like forklifts and heavy machinery can pose a risk to employees or visitors. Without controls, anyone can go up to that piece of equipment and turn the key. Anywhere there is a dangerous piece of equipment biometrics can easily prevent unauthorized access.
In the home environment, a different kind of danger presents itself — kids watching programs that are not suitable. There is talk of one day putting biometrics into remote controls that would allow parents to limit what their kids have access to. Also in the home, there are smart locks today that allow someone to open the door remotely via an app. But how much simpler would it be to simply enroll the kids or grandma into the biometric door lock and not have to worry about not being near your phone when someone needs to get in? It would eliminate that extra step, while actually increasing security.
A More Convenient Experience
Biometric technology makes individual identification convenient without the need to carry around ID cards or remember complicated passwords. Due to the fact that passwords can be forgotten or easily guessed and the fact that ID cards can be damaged, swapped, or shared, biometrics are more convenient because individual physiological attributes are always with you.
Biometric technology is also being incorporated into some cars for keyless entry. How long before biometrics is what starts the car, making your car both ultra-convenient and virtually burglar-proof?
Anything that requires a memory setting is a prime candidate for biometrics.
Making or Saving Money With Biometrics
In commerce there has always been the term “middle man.” Technologically-speaking, biometrics eliminates that middle man — whether that is a physical key, pin code, ID card or mobile device — when it comes to revenue savings or producing.
Modern biometric identification management systems are comprised of hardware and software that are simple to install and easy to use. This reduces the need for intense training and ongoing management costs. Also, biometric identification management helps save other costs such as the issuance of new ID cards, and replacing lost or damaged ID cards. Biometric identification also generates cost savings for IT by eliminating the time consuming and resource draining need to reset passwords. In addition, if that password gets stolen, it can lead to a security breach.
Biometric authentication has firmly expanded beyond its highly professional niche and arrived in the consumer mainstream. As the technology gets cheaper and more powerful, it will make its way even more into our lives.
So, what is your opinion? Do you think biometrics will replace traditional password authentication? Do you feel ready to experience the advantages of implementing biometric identification management?
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