Biometrics literally means life measurement and is associated with utilization of distinctive physiological characteristics for identifying individuals. Though most important application related with biometrics is that of security, it is used as the computer interface too. A range of Biometric applications are being used for authenticating person’s identity. With the use of various features including fingerprints, face, signature, and iris, a person is identified. Click to read more about Iris recognition and its working.
Identification method using biometric characteristics is being preferred over conventional PIN and passwords based methods. Due to various advantages, biometrics technology is gaining popularity. The need of physical presence at the time of identification with these systems makes identification even more authentic. Use of this technology also overcomes necessity of remembering passwords and Pins. This automated technology thus makes verification and identification easier by identifying behavioral and physiological characteristics.
Chinese were the first ones to use biometrics in the 14th century. They used to take prints of feet and hands of the newborns to differentiate them from one another. Alphonse Bertillon introduced anthropometrical study called Bertillon age. This was known to be initial modern step for systematically identifying people with the use of biometrics. 11 different measurements were used by the system. These measurements identified the individuals with assumption that two individuals cannot be same. While the system proved to be flawed and cumbersome, basic concept stayed alive within law enforcement and scientific communities. This ultimately led to development of various biometric systems that are even used today.
Biometrics can be divided into two groups based on purpose- verification and identification. Verification system is more popular among the two types. These biometrics banks on the database of the approved signatures prepared well in advance. System checks the signatures with already stored ones in the database to verify the identity. Identification systems try to determine exact identity of person. Instead of consulting local database, this type of biometrics system may use international database for determining the identity. Due to cost and complex nature, the identification systems are less popular.