Multimodal Biometrics


Multimodal Biometrics are systems that are capable of using more than one physiological or behavioral characteristic for enrollment, verification or identification.  For biometric identification to be ultra-secure and provide above average accuracy, more than one type must be used as only one form of it may not be accurate enough.  One example of this inaccuracy is in the area of fingerprints where at least 10% of people have worn, cut or unrecognizable prints.

Some forms of behavioral biometric identification include the following:

  • Keystroke or Typing Recognition
  • Speaker identification or Recognition

Some forms of physical biometric identification include the following:

  • Fingerprint
  • Iris
  • Retina
  • Finger Geometry
  • Signature/Handwriting
  • Voice
  • Facial Proportions
  • Hand Geometry

Multimodal biometrics will use a combination of the above recognition technologies, up to three of them, to compare the identity of a person therefore providing the best security available to you.  If one of the technologies fails for any reason, your system can still use another one or two of them to provide accurate identification of a person.

The benefits of multimodal biometrics is that by using more than one means of identification, your system can retain a high threshold recognition setting and your system administrator can decide the level of security that is needed.  For a very high security site, you may need to use up to three biometric identifiers and for a lower security site, you may only need one or two of them.  This greatly reduces the probability of admitting an imposter.

There is a great need for multimodal biometrics as most biometric systems used in real applications are unimodal, which means they rely on only one area of identification.  Some examples of these are fingerprints, faces and voices and these systems are quite vulnerable to many problems such as noisy data, non-universality and spoofing.  This leads to a high false acceptance rate and false rejection rate, limited discrimination capability, and lack of permanence.

You can overcome the limitations of unimodal biometric systems by using multimodal biometrics where you use two or more sources to validate identity.  Multimodal systems are more reliable because you are using many independent biometrics that meet very high performance requirements and they counteract the problems listed above.  They also effectively deter spoofing because it is near impossible to spoof multiple biometric traits and the system can request the user to present random traits that only a live person can do.

Some of the benefits of using multimodal biometrics, and for very secure environments the biometrics could include fingerprint, iris and voice, to allow you to safely reset passwords, process payments, and access control to a secure area.

And it can also be used in the following areas:

  • Time and attendance keeping
  • Border management
  • Law enforcement

Multimodal biometrics are driven by various factors such as: risk and viability of spoofing, universal enrollment requirements, accuracy/integrity requirements, suitability for the environment and transaction time flexibility.

Some of the multimodal biometrics target applications are shown below with the potential needed:
Strong Potential:

  • Physical access
  • Civil ID
  • Criminal ID

Moderate Potential:

  • Network/PC access
  • Kiosk/ATM

Modest Potential:

  • Retail/POS
  • Surveillance
  • eCommerce
  • telephony

Now come some of the challenges in designing multimodal biometrics systems and the successful pursuit of these challenges will produce great advances to your safety and security in the future.  The sensors must be consistent in performance under many environmental operations, have embedded privacy functions, protective solutions, enhance public confidence in biometric technology and must totally safeguard your personal information.

Find a multimodal biometrics suppliers below.


Leicestershire Police Try Biometric Face Recognition For Catching Crooks  
NEC has been at the forefront of defining leading-edge biometric identification solutions for over 40 years. NEC’s identification technologies include finger/palm print, DNA and face recognition solutions. NEC has developed some of the world’s largest and most complex identification infrastructure projects for government and law enforcement. Our mission is to help government and businesses use technology to build a safer environment for life and work. Products & Services: Fingerprint Readers, Mobile Biometrics, Facial Recognition, Justice/Law Enforcement, Financial and Transactional, Border Control/Airports, Healthcare Biometrics, Multi-modal Biometrics, Logical Access Control, Physical Access Control

Our customers say WCC Smart Search & Match’s flagship product ELISE offers something no other product on the market can – the ability to search through data just as the human mind would. Using such techniques as bi-directional matching, weighted criteria and gliding scales, ELISE delivers ranked, meaningful results. And even better than the human process, ELISE can return those results in under a second – no matter how big the database, or how many! Products & Services: Middleware/Software, Multimodal Biometrics, Smart Cards, Border Control/Airports, Justice/Law Enforcement


MorphoTrak, recently named Biometrics Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan, provides biometric and identity management solutions to a broad array of markets in the U.S. including law enforcement, border control, driver licenses, civil identification, and facility/IT security. L-1 has been acquired by Morpho, and is now part of Morpho, Safran’s security division. Reporting to Morpho, MorphoTrak is part of the world’s largest biometric company and leading innovator in large fingerprint identification systems, facial and iris recognition, as well as secure credentials. For more information, visit   Products & services: Biometric Sensors and Detectors, Facial Recognition, Fingerprint Readers, Iris Scanners & Recognition, Smart Cards, Border Control / Airports, Consumer / Residential Biometrics, Justice / Law Enforcement, Logical Access Control, Mobile Biometrics, Other Uses of Biometrics, Physical Access Control, Time and Attendance, Hand Readers & Finger Scanners, Middleware/Software, Vein Recognition. 


Morpho (Safran group) is the world leader in multi-biometric technologies - fingerprint, iris and face -, a global leader in the fields of smart cards and identification systems. Our solutions meet a wide range of security needs for individuals, businesses and governments worldwide, including identity management, physical and logical access control. Product and Services: Fingerprint, Airports/Border Control, Financial/Transactional and HealthCare/HIPAA.

Other Vendors

  • AFIS and Biometrics Consulting Inc.
  • Argus Global
  • Biometric Signature ID
  • MOSA Technology Solutions, LLC
  • Rayabin Co.
  • Anviz Biometric Tech. Co., Ltd.
  • ARH Inc.
  • Exodus Payment Systems
  • IDTeck
  • Techno Brain