The pandemic induced impact on the world’s socio-economic affairs is going to persist for a long time. It has led to the emergence of new technologies and trends that are both trailblazing and redefining. One such example is touchless technology. Subsequently, a huge surge in demand has risen for technologies that offer both digital and physical access to locations and information, without increasing face time with other individuals or spreading germs.
As such, the best possible technology to meet these demands effectively is through Biometric technology. Biometrics is the science of uniquely identifying or verifying an individual among a set of people by exploring the user’s physiological or behavioural characteristics. A biometric security system is intrinsically linked to a person and therefore not easily compromised through theft, collusion or loss which makes it more advantageous than conventional, or traditional authentication methods like personal IDs and passwords, keys, or magnetic cards.
Today, biometric security technology is being incorporated into touchless solutions around the world. According to TechSci Research, in India, the biometrics market is estimated to grow at a 21.38 percent CAGR to 2026 from US$1.64 billion in 2020 to exceed $5 billion by 2026, largely propelled by increasing smartphone penetration and the need for improved security.
Due to its convenience, speed, and security, biometrics systems are a perfect solution – impacting businesses and verticals alike. Let’s check out the top five innovative applications of biometric technology that are currently making strides.
Biometric and Cryptocurrency: Biometric authentication like facial ID, iris scanners, and fingerprint scanners as biometric IDs for onboarding can be used to make cryptocurrency more accessible to more people, in addition to using other authenticating credentials. With Biometric authentication, we will see a fully automated and remote onboarding process to crypto platforms in the near future.
Biometric at airports: Biometric security systems such as fingerprints, face recognition, palm vein scanners, and iris scanners will see increased implementation at airports across the globe. Biometric technology can enable contactless verification, simultaneously facilitate seamless boarding and checking for passengers. While countries like New Zealand already use e-gates that use biometric scanners to match faces to E-passports, India too will soon roll out face recognition boarding at four identified airports.
Staff-less stores: A staff-less store concept is soon to become popular in 2022 and beyond. In this scenario, the customers will be connected to the storesvia smartphone applications. Furthermore, facial recognition powered by AI will detect customers in stores.The items purchased can then be identified by a real-time monitoring system using a set of tracking cameras. And finally, the payment will be auto-debited from the customer’s account before leaving the shop.
Multimodal biometrics: Multimodal biometrics is the concept of adding one extra layer of biometric to another biometric modality. Cyberattacks in today’s age powered by AI have become more powerful and sometimes can crack through a single layer of the security system. Thus, the use of a multimodal biometric system is becoming more critical. Multimodal will soon replace traditional security measures, particularly in the financial service sector.
Market Research: In market research, biometrics plays an important role by providing a platform to understand the physiological reaction of people to certain stimuli, experiences, websites, or ideas. Since physical reactions do not necessarily always match with a person’s words, using biometrics can prove extremely useful for market research.
While the applications of biometric security technology are many, in India, the Aadhar card project was the most extensive biometric identification system in the world. As of June 2021, 1.29 billion people out of India’s total population, i.e., 1.38Bn have a registered Aadhar card – that means over 99% of the Indian population have been covered under this project. Aadhar card is a foundation of an authentic and reliable identification in India and has also helped reduce corruption, cost of delivery of public services, etc., as well as provide public subsidy and other unemployment benefit schemes.
This is just the beginning. With these use cases already in play across so many industries and verticals around the globe, it can be emphatically said that biometric technology will continue to serve huge purposes across industries in the future. Whether for patient records access in healthcare, remote employee onboarding for Human Resources, or international border security solutions, biometrics are here to stay.
The author is IC Sambit Bakshi, IEEE Member.