What Is Biometrics?
Biometrics is the analysis of unique biological and physiological characteristics with the aim of confirming a person's identity. The four most common types of biometric identifiers are: fingerprints, voice, eye, and facial recognition.
Everyone’s fingerprints are unique to them. So, by analysing the ridges and pattern of the print, fingerprint scanners create a digital model which is compared against future attempts to authenticate. Fingerprints are typically used to authenticate someone, rather than identify someone - which is what Disney parks do to allow admittance to different areas of the park. Similarly, some organisations use fingerprint scanners instead of timecards.These systems use a digital camera and light. Once a user places their finger on the flat surface, the software aligns the print against several pegs to ensure a correct reading. There are over 30 specific points (called minutiae) in a fingerprint that a scanner will obtain for identification.
- Fingerprints are unique identifiers specific to the individual.
- Fingerprint scanners are relatively cheap and can even be bought on Amazon.
- Used in many industries
- Among the most ubiquitous modalities
- Injuries, temporary or permanent, can interfere with scans.
- It is a technology that can be bypassed with methods that copy and replicate fingerprints. It’s hard to copy one’s fingerprint, but it’s not impossible.
- It can be bypassed by using someone else’s finger while they are asleep or unconscious.
Voice recognition, otherwise known as voiceprints, is unique in the sense that your vocal cavities create a specific shape when your mouth moves to speak. For this to work, you would need to say an exact word or phrase that the system requires, or give an extended sample of your speech so that it can recognize you no matter what you’re saying.The data used in a voiceprint is called a sound spectrogram, which is essentially a graph that shows sound frequency. Different speech sounds will create different shapes on the graph. These graphs also use colours or shades of grey to represent the qualities of the sound of a voice.
- Offers a convenient authentication experience
- Some software provides a phrase for the user
- Users may not understand how their data is stored and have privacy-related concerns.
- Noisy places may prevent successful authentication.
- Severe respiratory illness may decrease the success rate of authentication.
Contrary to popular belief, there are actually two methods of scanning the eye for the purposes of authentication. The scan leverages iris recognition or retina recognition to identify users.In a retinal scan, the authenticator shines a light briefly into the eye to illuminate the unique pattern of blood vessels in the eye. By mapping this pattern, the eye recognition tool can compare a user’s eyes against an original. Iris scans work similarly, but they analyse the colored rings found in the iris.
- In some implementations, eye recognition can be as fast and accurate as face recognition (though less user-friendly).
- Iris is an internal organ that is well protected against damage by a highly transparent and sensitive membrane. Thus, it’s unlikely for minor injuries to influence scanning devices.
- This technology is relatively new and still requires improvements.
- It is a method that requires a short distance between the device and the user's eye.
- In low light conditions, the chances of iris recognition are really poor.
Facial recognition is when software is used that maps an individual's facial features and then stores the data of these features. A facial recognition system will use biometrics to map the face and compare it with a database to find a match.
Using face detection, face capture, and face match, this technology analyzes over 80 elements of the human face.
- Requires little interaction with the device.
- It is widely used and people are used to this type of technology.
- Highly effective and very little setup.
- No need to memorise complex passwords.
- Facial recognition is among the more convenient biometric authentication modalities. Looking into the device’s camera involves less friction than a fingerprint scan or authentication code.
- Not all facial recognition systems are created equally. Some are easier to spoof than others.
- Device-native solutions are not as effective as third-party or proprietary solutions.
homebase's face recognition SaaS solution is made and patented in Germany and equipped with an anti-spoofing technology and liveness detection to eliminate bypassing of the biometrics. With its 3-step onboarding process and easy setup, your company’s data could be protected in no time.
Contact our team now for a free demo.