Other Uses of Biometrics – Convenience
Biometrics offers other uses than the ones you’re probably familiar with such as hand print, iris, and fingerprint which can all be used to ensure that you are who you say you are, and that information can be used in many different ways. Biometrics uses your unique, individual characteristics to identify you. The most obvious of these is security, but there are many other uses as well.
When someone asks what biometrics is used for, the first thing that comes up is generally security. If you can be identified without fail as yourself, you can key locks to unlock, or not, depending on whether or not you should have access to whatever property or data has been locked. This is what the technology was originally developed to do. However, with the increasing availability and lowering cost of the technology we are finding other uses for it, more and more ways in which our lives are being made easier through biometrics.
Some of the uses of biometrics other than the traditionally mentioned security are within the consumer marketplace. Buying and selling are being affected more and more by the ability to identify a consumer, as part of a general group or specifically. If a person can be identified via physical characteristics, a piece of technology can customize itself to that person. Settings can be modified, color changed, smell altered; specific data sets used according to what that person has determined desirable.
Resellers can determine whether a person is able to buy a restricted item based on their identity. Advertisers can market a product to a person’s specific target group once that person’s age, sex or interests can be identified.
Handwriting is as individual as a thumb print. Technology is now being developed that uses biometrics to identify handwriting as easily as it can a thumb print. Not only can police use this in forensics, but a person can use it, for example, to securely identify them when signing a credit card receipt or check. Biometrics is expanding to include characteristics other than the physical ones mentioned above.
Big business is finding other uses for biometrics as well. Companies are using biometrics to track employee behaviour. It becomes easy to track an employee’s time and attendance when the employee must have an iris scan or a thumb print to enter or leave work. Taxi cabs & delivery trucks are also being equipped with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) equipment to detect time, distance, and proper usage.
With the growing concerns about the security and legitimacy of the democratic voting process, another use of biometrics has come into being. Government is using it to help with fraud prevention in elections. It is being used to verify a voter’s identity, and keep people from voting more than once. Biometrics is allowing statisticians to know who is voting and how many, while ensuring that only one vote is being cast per person.
Biometrics began as a method of identifying people for security reasons, and verifying that they were where they were supposed to be, and that others were not being given access to areas or data where they were not permitted. As the technology gains in popularity and decreases in price, other, newer and more innovative uses of the technology are coming into being with increasing frequency. Biometrics is now being used in ways ranging from fraud prevention in elections to your car knowing whether you like country or classical on the radio dial, and whether you’re more likely to want to know where the local KFC is than the nearest fancy restaurant, and it will be able to make sure that you are you when you sign the credit card receipt after your meal.
Biometrics is rapidly turning from something used by only those who could afford it, to many other uses in everyday tasks, which you will discover in the links found below: