Biometric systems use people’s intrinsic physical characteristics to verify their identification. The characteristics that can be used by biometric systems include fingerprints, facial identification systems, voice recognition systems and in new developments – the analysis of DNA. Biometric security systems are applied wherever there is a need for personal identification where control of access to material objects or information is required.
Types of biometric identification
- DNA Matching. The identification of an individual using the analysis of segments from DNA.
- Ear. The identification of an individual using the shape of the ear.
- Eyes - Iris Recognition. The use of the features found in the iris to identify an individual.
- Eyes - Retina Recognition. The use of patterns of veins in the back of the eye to accomplish recognition.
- Face Recognition. The analysis of facial features or patterns for the authentication or recognition of an individuals identity. Most face recognition systems either use eigenfaces or local feature analysis.
- Fingerprint Recognition. The use of the ridges and valleys (minutiae) found on the surface tips of a human finger to identify an individual.
- Finger Geometry Recognition. The use of 3D geometry of the finger to determine identity.
- Gait. The use of an individuals walking style or gait to determine identity.
- Odour. The use of an individuals odor to determine identity.
- Hand Geometry Recognition. The use of the geometric features of the hand such as the lengths of fingers and the width of the hand to identify an individual.
- Typing Recognition. The use of the unique characteristics of a persons typing for establishing identity.
- Hand Vein Recognition. Vein recognition is a type of biometrics that can be used to identify individuals based on the vein patterns in the human finger or palm.
- Voice - Speaker Identification. Identification is the task of determining an unknown speaker’s identity. Speaker identification is a 1:N (many) match where the voice is compared against N templates. Speaker identification systems can also be implemented covertly without the user’s knowledge to identify talkers in a discussion, alert automated systems of speaker changes, check if a user is already enrolled in a system, etc.
- Voice - Speaker Verification/Authentication.The use of the voice as a method of determining the identity of a speaker for access control. If the speaker claims to be of a certain identity and the voice is used to verify this claim. Speaker verification is a 1:1 match where one speaker’s voice is matched to one template (also called a “voice print” or “voice model”). Speaker verification is usually employed as a “gatekeeper” in order to provide access to a secure system (e.g.: telephone banking). These systems operate with the user’s knowledge and typically require their cooperation.
- Signature Recognition. The authentication of an individual by the analysis of handwriting style, in particular the signature. There are two key types of digital handwritten signature authentication, Static and Dynamic. Static is most often a visual comparison between one scanned signature and another scanned signature, or a scanned signature against an ink signature. Technology is available to check two scanned signatures using advances algorithms. Dynamic is becoming more popular as ceremony data is captured along with the X,Y,T and P Coordinates of the signor from the signing device. This data can be utilised in a court of law using digital forensic examination tools, and to create a biometric template from which dynamic signatures can be authenticated either at time of signing or post signing, and as triggers in workflow processes.
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F.A.Q about Biometric Identification
Biometric Identification or Biometric Authentication?
Biometric identification answers the question “who are you” and can be applied to both physical and digital scenarios. It is an established solution that is being used in many applications including law enforcement, defense, and border control.
Biometric identification system usually applies to a situation where an organization needs to identify a person. The organization captures a biometric from that individual and then searches a biometric id system repository in an attempt to correctly identify the person. The biometric repository could be managed by a law enforcement agency, such as the Integrated Automated Fingerprint System (IAFIS) run by the FBI in the USA, or be part of a national identity system like India’s UIDAI system.
Biometric authentication asks the question “can you prove who you are” and is predominantly related to proof of identity in digital scenarios. A biometric identity verificationsystem will challenge someone to prove their identity and the person has to respond in order to allow them access to a system or service.
Biometric authentication involves use of a factor that is something a person is – a biometric identifier from a person can include a fingerprint, their voice, face, or even their behavior. This biometric is indexed against other identifiers, such as a user id or employee number, with the identifier being matched against a single stored biometric template – one-to-one match.
Where is biometric identification technology used?
Historically, applications using have been predominantly initiated by authorities for military access control, criminal or civil identification under a tightly regulated legal and technical framework.
Today, sectors, including banking, retail, and mobile commerce, are demonstrating a real appetite for the benefits of biometric identity systems.
Most importantly, awareness and acceptance have been boosted in the past seven years, as millions of smartphone users are unlocking their phones with a fingerprint or a face. The most typical use cases of biometric technologies are:
- Law enforcement and public security (criminal/suspect identification)
- Military (enemy/ally identification)
- Border, travel, and migration control (traveler/migrant/passenger identification)
- Civil identification (citizen/resident/voter identification)
- Healthcare and subsidies (patient/beneficiary/healthcare professional identification)
- Physical and logical access (owner/user/employee/contractor/partner identification)
- Commercial applications (consumer/customer identification)