Biometric technology has become one of the most secure and effective methods used to verify someone’s identity. The commercial development of the technology has seen the creation of biometric access control systems that have helped to improve staff management and movement within the office space. With biometric scanners already integrating with personal computing devices like tablets and smartphones, there is much anticipation about what the future holds for biometric access control.
What is biometrics and where does it come from?
Biometrics, the science used to determine someone’s identity through their own unique physiological characteristics, like fingerprints or retinas, has been around for a lot longer that you think. The study of biometrics was initiated in the late 1800s by the French police officer Alphonse Bertillon who used an anthropological technique, anthropometry, to help identify criminals. His system relied heavily on the precise measurement of the body.
However, automated biometric access control systems only saw the light decades later. From big and somewhat bulky biometric readers introduced in the 1990s, biometric access control systems have transitioned into streamlined devices available in different styles and designs – adding to the aesthetics of the office space.
Not just an identifier – biometrics have improved functionality in the office space, too.
Biometric access control offers unparalleled reliability and accuracy, helping to safeguard business assets and manage staff more efficiently. Aside from giving buddy punching the boot, biometric access control also helps to eliminate tedious paperwork and admin required to effectively manage the workforce. Less physical documents and time needed to fill them out keeps employees happy, while at the same time, uncluttering the office space.
Biometric access control provides a high level of security, eliminating the need to employ and pay for additional security staff. Further, controlling the movement of staff in the office by restricting certain areas with biometric control, improves the flow of people and the functionality of spaces. Setting up biometric user profiles on office hardware like printers and other automation devices eliminates queuing and ensures that resources are utilised efficiently. Each employee swipes their finger to print their documents separately – avoiding page mix-ups and wastage.
Mind control and tattoos – where biometric control will be in the future.
The development of biometrics, like most technological advancements, is usually portrayed in science fiction films. The Star Trek franchise is known for introducing various categories of biometric access control like palm registration, voice and retina recognition ahead of their actual release into the public domain. All of the above mentioned methods of recognition have been around for quite some time and tech developers and scientists are directing their future ideas toward more intuitive control methods and wearable devices.
The mind and heart are the next frontiers in biometric access control. And according to a recent report by WhorwiredKorea, unlocking doors with your brain could be a reality sooner than you think. The Korea Internet & Security Agency is reportedly standardising the next generation biometrics that uses heart rhythm and brainwaves to identify people. The technology that monitors brain electro-encephalography (EEG) and heart algorithms could be available as soon as 2018.
While the use of access cards is slowing becoming less prevalent, wearable devices are being touted as the next big thing in biometrics. In its quest to find alternatives for using passwords, Google last year released a digital tattoo for its smartphone manufacturer Motorola. The thin and flexible device is worn on the body and uses Near Field Communication to unlock the smartphone.
Biometrics will for a long time remain the pinnacle of access control. From unlocking doors with your thoughts and digital tattoos, the possibilities for expanding biometric access control seem endless. Experience the future of security today with our range of biometric access control systems.