Biometric Access Control Systems – A Basic Introduction
Just close your eyes and think about your wildest dream..
You are James Bond and you are on a mission – to gain access to a top secret laboratory and destroy a deadly weapon of mass destruction with which the villains are planning to take over the world. But foiling this plan of world domination requires that you get pass their security system first. Getting inside isn’t just about the passcode or access card here. You need the villain’s irises or maybe his voice or the shape of his hand and his fingerprints.
Yes… we all have imagined ourselves as secret agents at some point in time. The allure of just being able to use technologies like these is enough to get anyone excited. And these days, we use these in our everyday lives too, minus the deadly weapons of mass destruction, of course. Airports, hospitals, hotels, grocery stores and even Disney theme parks use biometric authentication systems to ensure security of their premises. The concept behind this technology is simple – identifying you on the basis of your physical characteristics, for maximum possible security and unbeatable accuracy in identification.
Biometric access control bases itself of certain identifiable and recordable characteristics that are unique to every individual. These factors can be one or a combination of things like hand writing, hand geometry, fingerprints, iris structures, vein structures, voiceprints and the like. The logic behind this is simple – these characteristics are nearly impossible to forget, steal or fake. No one can use these features as if they were you and when you think of using a combination of these characteristics for authentication, you get a security system that is nearly fool proof.
Biometric identity management makes use of three different components:
• A sensor
• A computer and
• A software
The system is pretty much easy to understand. The sensor is used for detecting or scanning the feature that is being used for identification. This can be a fingerprint sensor, iris scanner, hand geometry mapping device, typing rhythm measurement system or any other form of equipment that has been specially designed for this purpose. The scans made by the sensor are then stored and analyzed by a backend computer. This computer stores and maintains a baseline scans with which the real time scans everyday will be compared. And finally we have the software which analyzes the characteristic, translates it into a graph or code and performs the actual comparisons.
Security systems that make use of biometrics are fast becoming a common sight these days, with more and more corporate entities as well as government organizations using them for ensuring maximum security. With the help of biometrics, it has now become possible to easily and accurately identify people on a real time basis. This becomes even more imperative in the present day environment of imminent terror attacks. All in all, these systems seem to be quite reliable. And whether or not James Bond will be able to gain access to that top secret facility with Q's fake contact lenses, recorded voice and silicone hand (and hence save the world) remains to be seen.
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About The Author
Benson Hedge is a pioneer in the field of biometric authentication and runs his own organization manufacturing security systems relating to this technology. He also likes to spread awareness about the many aspects related to the industry through the many informative articles he writes.
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