Types of Biometric Devices


The word biometric refers to technologies that utilize specific human characteristics (specifically, biological features that are unique to each individual) to establish the identity of a person, or gain access to secure areas. Various devices of this type began to be developed in earnest after 9/11 and have continued to grow in popularity since then.

Fingerprint Scanner

  • In this device, the process locally scans a person's fingerprints, then compares those images with previously stored templates. The approach takes advantage of the structural characteristics of the human fingerprint in order to produce a reputed 99 percent accuracy rating.

Retinal Scanner

  • Retinal technology utilizes the small blood vessels at the back of the eye to identify and compare a local image with previously stored information. In the case of this technology, identification accuracy is also in the 99th percentile.

Facial Recognition

  • This system applies overall cranial structure, in addition to eye, nose and mouth position, to confirm identification by comparing those characteristics with previously stored metric information. The accuracy of this process is somewhat less accurate than fingerprint or retinal scanning, since local imagery can be negatively impacted by camera position or lighting.

Voice Recognition

  • Voice printing utilizes pattern recording of a series of spoken commands, then subsequently compares the local audio result against characteristics of previously recorded information. Accuracy for this technology is high, since the vibratory mechanism of the human voice is nearly as distinct as fingerprinting.

Keystroke Recognition

  • This is another pattern recognition approach based on the rhythmic nature of operating a keyboard. In this process, the local subject enters a series of keystrokes which are then compared with previously recorded pattern-based information. Accuracy for this process offers a 50th percentile rating, as these systems can be mechanically "spoofed" by learning a target subject's physical tendencies in order to emulate necessary physical traits.


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