Biometrics are reported to make passwords and PIN codes obsolete by 2020, according to a study by Visa Europe.
Biometrics utilise science and technology to measure and statistically analyse biological data such as fingerprints, eye retinas, voice patterns, facial patterns and hand measurements, for the purpose of verification.
Biometric technology works by specialist software converting the raw biological data and then identifying specific points of the data as ‘match points’. These ‘match points’ are then processed using algorithms that translate the data into a numeric value, which is then compared with the numeric value in the security database and authentication is either approved or denied.
In Visa Europe’s study, three-quarters of generation Z would feel comfortable making payments using biometric security, with 69% believing that this would make their lives easier and faster.
What would be the impact of a rise in biometric security?
With an increase in biometric security you may think that membrane keypads would become a thing of the past. On the contrary, membrane keypads that can with stand the harshest of environmental conditions are an ever-increasing product line for us here at Fascia Graphics®.
As a manufacturer of membrane keypads used in the security sector, we are used to producing security keypads that are required to have IP68 rating(protection from ingress of liquids and particles during submersion). Such keypads are ideal for products that aresituated outdoors. However these features may not be so readily available for equivalent biometric technologies, and not at so reasonable a cost.
As it stands biometric technology is better suited for ‘indoor’ use and with the ever growing ‘Internet of Things’, biometric technology is expected to be used to control numerous home devices and for personal verification for web applications such as online banking and shopping.
Biometrics will undoubtedly impact the mobile phone market, with a recent report by Juniper Research showing that more than 770 million biometric authentication applications will be downloaded annually by 2019. This is up from the six million applications downloaded this year.
The increase in biometric downloads suggests a substantial change in people’s reliance on alphanumeric passwords, with people instead opting for the enhanced security and ease of use of biometrics.
Ever evolving biometric technology…
Biometric technology is constantly evolving as new technologies are developed. The US military are currently developing a new identity verification system bases on ‘cognitive fingerprints’ rather than physical characteristics such as palms, face, DNA or iris recognition. The technology is based on emerging behavioural-based biometrics, where algorithms can verify identity by recognising the way a person uses a desktop or mobile device.
With the increasing development of new and innovative technology, one thing is for certain, the age of the password and PIN will eventually come to an end.