Biometrics refers to authentication techniques that depend on measurable physical characteristics that can be automatically checked. There are several types of biometrics identification schemes based on their physical or behavioral characteristic:
· Face: the complete analysis of facial characteristics
·Fingerprint: the examination of an individuals unique fingerprints
· Hand geometry: the analysis of the shape of the hand and the length of the fingers
·Retina: the deep analysis of the capillary vessels located at the back of the eye
· Signature: the detailed analysis of the way a person signs his name.
· Voice: the analysis of the tone, pitch, cadence and frequency of an individual voice.
Biometrics-based identification is the best and safest way of identification. Biometric methods are preferred to conventional methods of identification that involves passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) because:
1. Identification process is transparent, as the person to be identified should to be physically present at the point of identification.
2. Identification based on biometric techniques eliminates the need to remember a password.
The biometric system
Basically, biometric systems consists of three basic steps:
1. Enrollment, or the process of collecting biometric samples from an individual, known as the enrollee, and subsequent generation of his template.
2. Templates or the data representing the enrollees biometric.
3. Matching, or the process of comparing a live biometric sample against one or many templates in the systems database.
Enrollment: - Enrollment is a very important stage of biometric authentication as it is this process which generates a template used for all subsequent matching. Typically, the device takes three samples of the same biometrics and averages them to produce an enrollment template.
Templates: Since the data represents the enrollees biometric, the biometric device generates templates. The device uses algorithm to extract characteristic appropriate to that biometric from the enrollees sample. In short words, templates are numerical representation of important points read from a persons body.
Reseach in biometric technologies
Research has been going on for next biometric of maximum potential. Emerging technologies are:
1. Brainwave biometric analysis
2. DNA identification
4. Ear pattern identification
5. Body salinity identification
6. Infrared fingertip imaging and pattern recognition
7. Vascular pattern recognition
8. Body odour recognition
9. Fingernail bed recognition
Advantages of biometric technologies
Biometric technologies can be used in applications requiring logical access control, such as personal computers, telephone systems, networks, financial accounts, human resource records and invoke customized profiles to improve the mobility of the disabled. In a business-to-business scenario, the biometric-based methods can be implemented in various business processes of a company to increase the accountability of financial systems, vendors and supplier transactions; the outcome can be extremely profitable.