Home » What is biometric? & History of Biometrics

What is biometric? & History of Biometrics

by Uneeb Khan

As technology advances and we get used to living a modern life, the world is also digitized. And at the same time, it is becoming difficult to protect our sensitive information. Passwords are not very useful as security; hackers easily crack passwords.

Unique security methods and biometric security systems are one of these methods to avoid security breaches, identity hacks, etc. In today’s tune we will discuss what biometrics is and how it will be used as a future security method.

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What is biometric?

The word Biometric comes from two Greek words, Bio and Metric. Bio means life and Metric means measurement. So it can be said that it is a method of identification based on the biological characteristics of each individual. From fingerprints to footprints, no two people will ever be the same, not even twins.

And for this uniqueness, identifying people with biological characters and using them as a security method is more reliable than passwords, PINs. Moreover, the biometric method is quick and straightforward. There is no chance to forget like PIN or password here. Most importantly, this type of security is almost impossible to hack.

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How Biometrics Work

The security structure in biometric authentication works based on comparison. Biometric systems store specific characters that remain constant over time. For example, finger print, voice, retina pattern, facial recognition, etc. are saved in the database. When the specific finger print is given to open the lock, the system matches the data in the database. If it matches then access permission is granted.

All biometric systems consist of three basic components,

  • A sensor or reader that records data and scans biometric factors for identification.
  • A program or software that converts recorded or scanned data into digital format and compares it with the new data.
  • A database that stores all biometric data.

History of Biometrics

Biometric methods of identifying people can be found in the Babylonian civilization. Research has found that footprints on clay tablets were used in business transactions as early as 500 BC. Also, in the 14th century, Chinese merchants would identify children by looking at their palms and footprints. Similarly, the farmers of Egypt also distinguished themselves on the basis of physical characteristics.

Biometric identification was first developed by a French police officer named Alphonse Bertillon in the 1800s. Bertillon developed an identification system based on physical characteristics of criminals. Although the system was not completely pure at the time, it was still more effective than identifying by name and photo. And since then identification based on physical characteristics has gained acceptance.

Collecting, separating and comparing fingerprints using modern science began around 1880 when Dr. Henry Faulds, a British physician, published a research and stated that fingerprints could be used as a personal identification method. Dr. Faulds also invented a method of taking fingerprints using ink.

An anthropologist named Sir Francis Galton Dr. Adding another dimension to this discovery by Faulds, he reported finding three patterns in fingerprints: loop, whorl, and arch. After that, in 1900, his friend Edward Richard Henry developed a fingerprint classification system that is still in use.

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