Biometric technology serves as a tool that utilises the measurement of biometric characteristics on the human body, revolutionising the security industry. Characteristics on the human body are nearly impossible to forge, including such things as iris and fingerprint shapes, which make much more secure tools of measurement than alternative techniques, such as keypads and passwords. There are several different biometric technologies and devices that are available, each measuring different characteristics.
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The single most common type of biometric device is the fingerprint scanner. These scanners measure the fingertips of a person and usually work hand-in-hand with a password or ID. Fingerprint scanners are often utilised as an alternative to traditional time-clocks, as the electronic system can be used to store data. Even simple, at-home fingerprint scanners can be purchased for personal use. Most operate through the USB port of a computer, providing enhanced security to your computer---regardless of its location.
One of the newer and most rapidly advancing types of biometrics is facial recognition. Facial recognition devices can be found in airports and casinos around the world, capturing everyone from gambling cheats and wanted fugitives to any person whose image the computer has stored. This technology works through the use of a camera, which provides mathematical data. Once the camera captures an image or photo of a person's face, a computer creates "nodes" on the person's face. Nodal points are usually distances between certain objects, including the location of the eyes, lip to nose distance, and nose width. The nodes are cross-compared with other people, which immediately provides recognition of desired individuals.
Although the majority of biometrics surrounds physical biometrics, there are other types of alternative biometric measurements including typing biometrics. This type focuses on keystroke dynamics. Using typing as a biometric can keep computers secure as it measures several factors rather than just one. It takes into account "dwell time," which records specific rhythms with which people type. Measurements---such as how long people hold down a key---are also taken into account. "Flight time" records the travel time between pressing different keys. Most typing biometric devices can also take into account error rates, which record the percentage rate at which people make typing errors.
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