Id-Me platform is a software product that includes the features of industry solutions for creating a united biometric landscape
Specially designed biometric identification plugin for CCTV, access control and VideoXpert automation systems created by Pelco
Software product that provides reliable staff monitoring hours through biometric identification
Software product that provides biometric access to banking operations conducted through ATMs
Software product biometric facial identification for security purposes with using video stream
Software product for enriching the biometric capabilities of access control systems
Software product that provides an increased level of targeting by employing biometric identification
Software product that uses biometric identification to display personalized welcome messages on interactive screens and monitors
Software product developed to expand functions of the traditional credit conveyor, and increase the quality of clients’ inspection through biometric verification
Reliable and trustworthy biometric control access to operating and information systems
Software product, which expands the toolset of the electronic queue terminal through biometric identification
Software product that provides a reliable and quick check of the gym clients access right without employee’s participation
A new level of work with visitors and employees of Business centers opened with the help of biometric products.
Biometrics for convenient service to citizens, including remote monitoring of the quality of personnel work.
Biometric monitoring of working hours and additional security tools for industrial facilities.
Modern methods of biometric analytics for safe operation of sports facilities.
Convenient and secure transport solutions based on the digital identity of the passenger.
Biometric video Analytics for targeted marketing and personnel control in distributed networks.
Biometric products for proctoring and video surveillance systems in educational institutions.
Keyless biometric access to rooms, targeted approach to each client and information about the time of work for employees.
Necessary tool for the security and competitiveness of a modern Bank.
Customer-oriented solutions, acceleration of the work process of the registry area, control of the staff of the entire institution.
RecFaces is a developer of enterprise-level multimodal biometric identification application solutions customized to the specific, current, and future needs of various industries.
We are ready for cooperation and sales through the partner network. To get advice on your project, please contact us by e-mail sales@recfaces.com
RecFaces provides regular trainings for partners. There are more than 10 software products, for each product we provide online training courses. Training is free.

Types of Biometrics: Complete Guide

Types of Biometrics: Complete Guide

Biometrics is a system for recognizing people based on one or several physiological or behavioral traits. This kind of data is used to identify the user and assign an access ID. Biometric access control systems are convenient for users because information carriers are always with them and cannot be lost or fabricated. They are considered to be reliable systems because even in case of a data breach, biometric credentials like fingerprints or a face scan are almost impossible to use for unsanctioned access, unlike username and password combinations.

In general, biometric identification systems are divided according to the operation principle into two main types: physical and behavioral.

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of biometrics? Which biometric systems are the most accurate? What is the difference between behavioral systems and static ones? Let's try to understand the principles of work and areas of application of biometrics.

What Are Biometrics?
Two Main Types of Biometrics
Physical Biometrics
Pros & Cons of Physical Biometrics
Behavioral Biometrics
Pros & Cons of Behavioral Biometrics
Difference Between Using Physical and Behavioral Biometrics When Authenticating Users
DNA Matching
Ear Acoustic Authentication
Eye Vein Recognition
Facial Recognition
Finger Vein Recognition
Fingerprint Recognition
Footprint and Foot Dynamics
Hand Geometry
Iris Recognition
Body Odor Recognition
Palm Print Recognition
Palm Vein Recognition
Retinal Scan
Skin Reflection
Thermography Recognition
Behavioral Biometrics Metrics
Keystroke Dynamics
Signature Recognition
Speaker Recognition
Voice Recognition
Gait Recognition
Lip Motion
Conclusion
Types of Biometrics FAQ
What Type of Biometrics Is the Most Accurate?
What Is the Safest Type of Biometric?
Where Is Biometric Data Stored?
What Is the Most Widely Used Biometric Device Today?
Which Is More Secure: Iris or Fingerprint?
Which Is Better, Face Unlock, or Fingerprint?

What Are Biometrics?

The field of biometrics encompasses knowledge that represents methods for measuring a person's personal physical and behavioral characteristics and how to use them for identification or authentication purposes.

Biometrics use science-based means to describe and measure the characteristics of the body of living beings. As applied to automatic identification systems, the “biometric” term means those systems and methods are based on the use of any human body's unique features for identification or authentication. Our life is filled with situations where we need to prove who we are.

It is easy to list a wide range of industries that require fast, reliable, and convenient user authentication: access to a personal computer or smartphone, access to email, banking transactions, opening doors and starting your car's engine, controlling access to premises, crossing state borders, and any interaction with government authorities that requires identification. Thus, faster and more secure authentication mechanisms are essential for preventing fraud and crime.

Biometric identification is often called pure or real authentication since it relies on a personal feature rather than a virtual key or password.
A specific feature of biometric identification will be the large size of the biometric database: each of the biometric samples must be compared with all available records in the database. For use in real life, such a system requires a high speed of matching biometric features.

There are verification systems on the other end of the spectrum; as a rule, they make only one comparison in a 1: 1 mode. That is, the presented biometric feature is compared with one biometric part from the database. Therefore, the system answers the question of whether you are who you claim to be.
In biometrics, two authentication methods are used:

  • Verification: measured parameters are compared with one record, suggested by some external identifier(a username, password, or other sort of ID) from the registered users' database.
  • Identification: measured parameters are compared with all records from the database of registered users, not with one of them selected based on some identifier.

If you want to learn more about biometrics definition, read our dedicated article here.

Two Main Types of Biometrics

Biometric recognition is the individual's presentation of his unique biometric parameter and the process of comparing it with the entire database of available data. Biometric readers are used to retrieving this kind of personal data.

Physical identification methods are based on the analysis of the invariable physiological characteristics of a person.
These characteristics include:

  • Face shape and geometry (technologies for recognizing two-dimensional images of faces drawn from photographs and video sequences work with these identifiers). Thanks to the growth of multimedia technologies, you can see more and more video cameras installed on city streets and squares, airports, train stations, and other crowded places, determining this direction's development.
  • Fingerprints (the most widespread, convenient, and effective biometric technology is built on the use of these identifiers). The advantages of fingerprint access are ease of use, convenience, and reliability. Although the false identification rate is about 3%, the unauthorized access probability is less than 0.00001% (1 in 1,000,000).
  • The shape and structure of the skull (for greater euphony, companies operating in this area prefer to talk about human recognition technologies based on a three-dimensional face model);
  • Retina (rarely used as an identifier). When identifying by the retina, the angular distribution of blood vessels on the retina's surface relative to the blind spot of the eye and other features are measured. The retina's capillary pattern differs even in twins and can be used with excellent personality identification success.
  • The iris of the eye (patent restrictions constrain the spread of the technology in which this identifier is used). The advantage of iris scanners is that they do not require the user to focus on the target because the iris pattern is on the eye's surface. The eye's video image can be scanned at a distance of less than 1m.
  • Palm, hand, or finger geometry (used in several narrow market segments)
  • Facial thermography, hand thermography (technologies based on the use of these identifiers have not become widespread)
  • Drawing of veins on the palm or finger (the corresponding technology is becoming popular, but due to the high cost of scanners, it is not yet widely used)
  • DNA (mainly in the field of specialized expertise)

Behavioral identification methods are based on the analysis of a person's behavioral characteristics — the characteristics inherent in each person in the process of reproducing an action.
Behavioral methods of user identification are divided by:

  • Signature recognition (for identification, simply the degree of coincidence of the two pictures is used). By painting and dynamic characteristics of writing (for identification, a convolution is built, which includes information on painting, time characteristics of painting application, and statistical characteristics of the dynamics of pressure on the surface).
  • Keystroke dynamics. The method is generally similar to that described above. Instead of a signature, a certain codeword is used (when the user's password is used for this, such authentication is called two-factor). The dynamics of the code word's set is the main characteristic used to construct the convolution for identification.
  • Speaker recognition. It is one of the oldest biometric technologies. Its development has intensified, a great future, and widespread use in constructing «intelligent buildings» are predicted. There are many ways to construct a voice identification code; as a rule, these are various combinations of the voice's frequency and statistical characteristics.
  • Gait recognition. This should be categorized as exotic. It seems that this direction is a dead-end due to the poor repeatability of the feature and its weak identification.

https://recfaces.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/types_-of_-biometrics.png

Physical Biometrics

The main goal of biometrics is to create a registration system that would very rarely deny access to legitimate users and, at the same time, completely exclude unauthorized intruders... Compared to passwords and cards, such a system provides much more reliable protection: after all, your own body can neither be stolen nor lost.

Physical biometrics analyze data such as facial features, eye structure (retina or iris), finger parameters (papillary lines, relief, length of joints, etc.), palm (print or topography), hand shape, vein pattern on the wrist, and heat pattern.

Physical biometrics have become widespread; for example, access control to smartphones and laptops. At some major airports, the iris is scanned to ensure security. The data is stored in an international database, and the next time you go through the control, you do not have to queue with your passport. Just go through the eye scan procedure.

It is especially important for banks that it is impossible to refuse actions confirmed by biometric identifiers' presentation. Unlike cards, fingerprints have no restrictions on the number of «readings» in biometric systems. It is possible to register reserve identifiers, and here fingerprints are again in the lead: an ordinary person has ten fingers on his hands and only one face, two eyes each, and two hands.

Healthcare facilities are switching to biometric technologies to keep their patients safe, speed up care, and reduce errors. Biometric technologies are actively integrated into electronic medical record systems in order to protect patients' data.

It is important to note that all biometric means of authentication in one form or another use the statistical properties of some of the qualities of an individual. This means that their application results are probabilistic and will change from time to time. Besides, all such tools are not immune to authentication errors.

Pros & Cons of Physical Biometrics

Pros:

  • An identifier is inseparable from a person; it cannot be forgotten, lost, or passed on. Having checked the identifier, we can say with a high degree of certainty that this particular person was identified.
  • It is quite difficult to recreate (fake) an identifier.
  • The process of biometric identification is fast and completely performed by computers.
  • Identification can be carried out transparently (invisibly) for a person.

Cons:

  • The need for certain environmental conditions for biometric identification.
  • Situations can arise where biometric identifiers are damaged or unavailable for reading.
  • For many biometric identification systems, biometric scanners are quite expensive.
  • It is necessary to comply with the requirements of regulators for the protection of personal biometric data.

Behavioral Biometrics

Behavioral biometrics involves the collection of a wide variety of data. For example, a smartphone that collects information about behavior can obtain multiple measurement points to assess the likelihood of fraudulent activity, while static biometrics provide less raw data. The combination of behavioral characteristics in various mathematical algorithms makes it possible to obtain a more multifaceted user profile that allows you to weed out fraudsters.

Behavioral biometrics are also called passive because users do not need to take any additional steps when operating. They don't need to put their finger on a dedicated button or speak into a microphone. They just behave as usual. Behavioral biometrics can also detect fraud early, even before the attacker's act (for example, stealing funds or making a purchase).

Behavioral biometrics can be adapted for various devices, including entire smartphone operating systems, not just specific applications that use the technology. This means that you can protect your entire phone. Each person has unique features of interaction with their digital devices: the speed with which they type on the keyboard, the force of pressing the keys, or the angle at which they move their fingers across the screen. These behaviors are nearly impossible to replicate by another person.

Today, the industrial application of behavioral biometrics is not yet widespread. Experts suggest using the technology in cases where additional authentication levels are needed — for example, when conducting large transactions or access to highly sensitive data.
Now, behavioral biometrics are most often used by banks and financial institutions. Experts also see the potential for technology applications in e-commerce, online services, healthcare, government, and consumer electronics.

Pros & Cons of Behavioral Biometrics

Pros:

  • Individual user set of analyzed behavioral characteristics.
  • No custom script change is required to perform identification: seamless integration method.
  • Improves recognition accuracy in multifactor identification systems.

Cons:

  • Inaccuracies in identification may arise because the user's behavior is not always constant since they can behave differently in various situations due to fatigue, drunkenness, feeling unwell or trivial haste.
  • Behavioral biometrics are not yet widely adopted.
  • Requires lots of personal data to determine a user's standard behavior.

Difference Between Using Physical and Behavioral Biometrics

The use of a person’s physiological characteristics as a means of identification has become widespread. However, after certain incidents, physiological biometrics fell into the background — behavioral biometrics offered a more reliable and safer alternative.

Physiological biometrics replaced passwords with personal identifiers — fingerprints, facial features, iris, ear shape, or palm vein patterns. However, it turned out that such identification systems are not always easy to use and not as secure as expected. For example, scanning the iris of an eye is ineffective in sunlight. And unlocking your phone with your fingerprint while exercising at the gym or working in the garden won't be so easy.
Consumers also want more control over their personal information. The problem with physiological biometrics is that it requires users to share their private information to assure that it will be safely stored and not shared with third parties.

Given the above problems, it is worth considering a multi-layered approach to identification using both physiological and behavioral biometrics. This will create a secure and user-friendly authentication method. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning have opened up a new identification method that analyzes how users interact with a device they use as an authentication tool.

User behavior can be applied to identify someone, and it does require storing large amounts of data. Stored data is used to develop a median behavior for a person, so it will increase identification accuracy when the user is tired, drunk, hasty, or in other states.
After creating a normal behavior portrait, all the redundant data can be removed, but most of it remains for identification purposes. Verification can be done only with one set of data (instead of using a database of million examples), but still, a lot of information will be collected and stored in the process.

By combining unique identifying markers — physiological and behavioral — companies will create a reliable, multi-level authorization process for access control systems. Depending on how critical the information is to secure and how accurate the recognition system should be, both physical and behavioral recognition can complete each other.

Physical Biometrics Methods

Static methods are based on the physiological characteristics of a person present throughout their life. These features include face and hand geometry, iris, vein patterns, and other features. In the world market for biometric security, static methods are mainly represented. Dynamic authentication and combined information security systems occupy only 20% of the market. However, in recent years, there has been active development of dynamic protection methods.

DNA Matching

Description: Biometric identification of a person using a person's DNA code is the most accurate method. It is based on the unique sequence of the human deoxyribonucleic acid chain. The process begins with preparing a control DNA sample (buccal smear, blood, saliva, other body secretions, or tissues). The sample is analyzed, a DNA profile is created, which is compared with another sample, and their identity is determined.

Category: Chemical
Industry Leaders: Innocence Project, 23andMe, Family Tree, Ancestry
Use-Cases: Forensic science, calculating family ties between people and determining their predisposition to various diseases based on their DNA samples
Security Level: Very High
Integration Costs:

Pros:

  • DNA is the only biometric technology that allows you to identify relatives using an unidentified DNA sample
  • Like fingerprints, DNA is one of the few biometric characteristics of a person that criminals leave behind at a crime scene
  • DNA testing is a relatively mature and dynamic technology that is widely used and familiar to the public
  • Rapid DNA identification devices make sequencing possible in just 90 minutes
  • Many DNA analysis results can be easily stored in databases, allowing data to be accumulated and quickly searched by automated means

Cons:

  • Low representation in the biometric market
  • Identical twins will share the same DNA

Accuracy Level: Very High

Ear Acoustic Authentication

Description: Unlike many other biometric methods, which require unique cameras, these biometric systems measure ear acoustics using special headphones and inaudible sound waves. The microphone inside each earpiece measures how sound waves bounce off the auricle and travel in different directions depending on the ear canal's curves. A digital copy of the ear shape is converted into a biometric template for later use.

Category: Auditory
Industry Leaders: NEC Corporation, Yahoo Labs
Use-Cases: Smartphone authentication, protection of phone calls, personal voice messages, wireless radios, and other audio information
Security Level: Very High
Integration Costs:

Pros:

  • High speed and accuracy of recognition
  • Possibility of wide distribution via smartphones

Cons:

  • Low representation in the biometric market
  • Technology is under development

Accuracy Level: Very High

Eye Vein Recognition

Description: Scleral blood veins have recently become an option in the recognition system. The sclera is the white, opaque, outer protective part of the eye where the irregularly spaced blood veins are visible. The advantage of the sclera is that it can be captured using a visible wavelength camera. Scleral specimens are stored not as raw images but as an encrypted template containing about 100 measurements that contribute significantly to the biometric matching process.

Category: Visual
Industry Leaders: TechNavio, EyeLock, EyeVerify
Use-Cases: Mobile phones, online banking apps authentication
Security Level: Very High

Pros:

  • High accuracy of recognition
  • Changes in the eyeball have little effect on the sclera over time
  • Possibility of wide distribution via smartphones

Cons:

  • Currently, the technology is under development
  • Low distribution

Accuracy Level: Very High

Facial Recognition

Description: In the process of biometric identification according to the shape of the face, a 3D or 2D image of the face is built using a high-resolution video camera). The contours of the eyebrows, eyes, nose, lips, chin, ears, and the distance between them are determined, and there are several options for changing the image depending on the rotation of the face, tilt, changes in facial expressions, etc. A digital photo of a face is stored in the database and used to compare individual faces' images. You can learn more about Facial Recognition here.

Category: Visual & Spatial
Industry Leaders:
20 major vendors, namely, NEC (Japan), Aware (US), Gemalto (Netherlands), Ayonix (Japan), Idemia (France), Cognitec (Germany), nVviso SA (Switzerland), Daon (US), Stereovision Imaging (US), Techno Brain (Kenya), Neurotechnology (Lithuania), Innovatrics (Slovakia), id3 Technologies (France), Herta Security (Spain), Animetrics (US), Megvii {Face++} (China), FaceFirst (US), Sightcorp (Netherlands), FacePhi (Spain), and SmilePass (UK).
Use-Cases: Controlling access to objects or systems, identification for video management systems, determining the profile of the customer, identification in the banking sector, time attendance systems, biometric authentication, payment for services
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • High accuracy of recognition
  • Wide range of parameters (the algorithm is not affected by age differences, lighting, head position, etc.)
  • Performance (result in a split second in a multi-billion database)
  • Scalable architecture (nationwide search)
  • Mobility (results in the field)

Cons:

  • Data storage difficulties. Identification efficiency develops with the number of identified faces in available databases, which is still very far away from world-wide or even country-wide numbers
  • The efficiency can decrease due to the low quality of camera resolution and lighting issues
  • Identify forgery. It is still very hard to trick the system into believing that you are someone else, but there are relatively easy methods to hide your identity, like using special makeup

Accuracy Level: High

Finger Vein Recognition

Description: This technology uses pattern recognition techniques based on images of samples of human veins located in the subcutaneous part of the finger. Finger vein recognition is one of the many forms of biometrics used for identification and verification. Vein templates cannot be faked because they are located under the skin's surface. The principle of finger vein recognition is to use infrared rays to capture samples of finger veins and match them to templates.

Category: Visual & Spatial
Industry Leaders: Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC Corporation, Safran, Agnitio
Use-Cases: Identification in the banking sector and in medical institutions
Security Level: Very High

Pros:

  • High reliability
  • Almost impossible to counterfeit
  • Contactless scanning
  • Convenience of integration
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Sensitivity to halogen light or direct sunlight
  • Some forms of anemia can interfere with the operation of the reader

Accuracy Level: Very High

Fingerprint Recognition

Description: This is the most widespread technology used in biometric recognition systems today. The technology is based on the uniqueness of the papillary patterns on people's fingers. The fingerprint obtained with the scanner is converted into a digital code stored in a database and then compared with previously entered and converted «fingerprint codes.» Fingerprint identification technologies have incorporated all the best features that are inherent in biometrics in general.

The fingerprint identifies a specific person, not a token or card; unlike a password, a fingerprint cannot be forgotten, voluntarily, or involuntarily passed on to another. Modern scanners can establish a fingerprint belonging to a living person, and they cannot be deceived by presenting a print of a fingerprint on paper, gelatin, or glass.

Category: Visual & Spatial
Industry Leaders: NEC Corporation, Idemia, ID R&D, Apple Inc, Samsung, IBM
Use-Cases: Device authentication (smartphone, laptop, flash drives, etc.), identification of criminals, identification in the banking sector
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Convenience and reliability
  • Low cost of devices that scan a fingerprint image

Cons:

  • Inability to read the print with some scanners with excessively dry skin
  • Violation of the papillary pattern by small scratches, cuts, chemical reagents can affect recognition

Accuracy Level: High

Footprint and Foot Dynamics

Description: A footprint can identify a person and calculate parameters such as their foot length, foot category, height, weight, and BMI. The foot movement features of 104 volunteers were studied using 3D image processing and image extraction techniques. With an accuracy of 99.6%, we determined who owns which trace. All 104 footprints were found to be unique. According to the study, there is a strong correlation between actual height and toes, actual height and foot length, height, and weight.

Category: Visual & Spatial
Industry Leaders: UMANICK, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, ID R&D
Use-Cases: Forensic and medical purposes
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • High accuracy
  • Almost impossible to counterfeit
  • Contactless scanning

Cons:

  • Currently under development

Accuracy Level: High

Hand Geometry

Description: Determination of hand geometry refers to measuring characteristics such as the length and width of fingers, curvature, and relative position. This method is outdated and rarely used, although it was once the dominant variant of biometric identification. Modern advances in fingerprint and face recognition software have overshadowed its relevance.

Category: Visual & Spatial
Industry Leaders: 3M Company, Fulcrum Biometrics LLC., Safran SA, Fujitsu Ltd
Use-Cases: Government support systems for the citizen identification process, smartphone applications, surveillance and security systems for larger gatherings
Security Level: Low

Pros:

  • Fast, simple, accurate, and easy to use
  • Can be integrated with other recognition systems
  • High level of public acceptance

Cons:

  • The need for contact with the scanning device
  • Changes in the hand's geometry as a result of injuries, aging, and weight gain can affect the recognition accuracy

Accuracy Level: High

Iris Recognition

Description: With this form of biometric identification, the pattern of the iris is scanned by photographing the face with a high-resolution camera. The iris, which is unique, is highlighted and converted into a digital code. Since the iris' appearance of age spots or discoloration is possible, a black and white image is used.

Category: Visual
Industry Leaders: EyeLock, Apple, Samsung, Fujitsu Ltd
Use-Cases: Integration in the access control system, identifying persons in special areas (airports, border control areas, passport offices)
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • Fast scanning
  • Contactless
  • Safe for users
  • Recognition does not depend on glasses or contact lenses
  • Impossibility of counterfeiting

Cons:

  • Minor eye injuries can affect recognition
  • Deterioration in identification after taking alcohol or LSD
  • High integration cost

Accuracy Level: High

Body Odor Recognition

Description: Body odor characteristics are so unique to each person that they can be used for biometric authentication. This conclusion was reached in 2017 by a group of scientists consisting of Juliana Agudelo, Vladimir Privman, and Jan Halamek. Their idea was very simple: the composition of amino acids in sweat is unique for each person. If you design a smartphone to determine this composition and distinguish it from others, the user can be authenticated using their sweat. Unlike other biometric authentication methods, it is not easy to counterfeit the unique chemical makeup of sweat. According to scientists, body odor recognition can be used in practice in the next 5-10 years.

Category: Olfactory
Industry Leaders: IIia Sistemas SL, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Use-Cases: Unlocking smart devices to protecting data inside applications can be used even by people with disabilities, unable to remember the password or unable to control their limbs
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • The technology is promised to be impossible to counterfeit
  • Сan be used by people with disabilities

Cons:

  • Currently under development

Accuracy Level: High

Palm Print Recognition

Description: This is a method based on the recognition of unique patterns of various characteristics on the palms of the hands. Palm prints are recognized using a specially configured camera or a particular device that processes image data from a photograph of a palm and then compares this record with a database. Palm prints include data used for fingerprint recognition. Palm scanners use optical, thermal, or tactile techniques to reveal the details of raised areas and branches in a person's palm, as well as scars, folds, and skin texture.

Category: Visual & Spatial
Industry Leaders: NEC Corporation, MegaMatcher, ZKTeco, DERMALOG
Use-Cases: Device authentication (smartphone, laptop, flash drives, etc.), identification of criminals, identification in the banking sector
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • It is possible to capture more distinctive features than fingerprints
  • Fast scanning
  • Safe for users
  • May be contactless

Cons:

  • Palm print scanners tend to be bulkier and more expensive than fingerprint scanners

Accuracy Level: High

Palm Vein Recognition

Description: This type is an improved version of palmprint recognition. It is much more challenging to crack the algorithm than with other biometric scans since the veins are located deep under the skin. Infrared rays pass through the skin surface where the venous blood absorbs them. A special camera captures the image, digitizes the data, and then stores it or uses it to confirm identity.

Category: Visual & Spatial
Industry Leaders: Fiserv, M2SYS, BioSmart
Use-Cases: Border control, identification in the banking sector, controlling access to objects or systems.
Security Level: Very High

Pros:

  • Excellent security
  • Contactless scanning
  • Convenience of integration
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • The large size of scanners

Accuracy Level: Very High

Retinal Scan

Description: The retinal scan allows capillaries deep inside the eye to be scanned using near-infrared cameras. The resulting image is first preprocessed to improve its quality. It is then converted into a biometric template for registration of a new user and subsequent verification with the template during attempts to recognize the user. The high cost and the need to place the eye close to the camera hinder such scanners' wider use.

Category: Visual & Spatial
Industry Leaders: EyeLock, CMITech, BioEnable, FotoNation, IDEMIA
Use-Cases: Identification in the banking sector, controlling access to objects or systems
Security Level: Very High

Pros:

  • Almost impossible to counterfeit
  • High accuracy
  • Fast recognition time

Cons:

  • Negative impact on eye disease (cataract or glaucoma)
  • Low level of public acceptance
  • High false rejection rate

Accuracy Level: Very High

Skin Reflection

Description: The method is based on the technology of exposure of a skin area to the light of different wavelengths (visible and near-IR spectral regions). Partially reflected light from the skin is analyzed for each wavelength. This method's effectiveness is especially high in temperate climates since removing gloves can slow down the identification process. Nevertheless, this technology is ideal for ensuring the separation of security levels in identification systems on two independent grounds.

Category: Visual
Industry Leaders: Apple Inc, Trinamix, Qualcomm
Use-Cases: General identity verification, observation, human-computer interaction
Security Level: Low

Pros:

  • Fast recognition time
  • Contactless scanning
  • The convenience of integration

Cons:

  • Skin reflection is not unique; it is not very reliable

Accuracy Level: Low

Thermography Recognition

Description: This is a method of representing infrared energy in the form of a temperature distribution image. Facial biometric thermography captures thermal patterns caused by the movement of blood under the skin. Because each person's blood vessels are unique, the corresponding thermograms are also unique even among identical twins, making this biometric verification method even more accurate than traditional facial recognition.

Category: Visual
Industry Leaders: Estone Technology, TAMRON Europe GmbH, Axis Communications (UK Ltd), FLIR Commercial Systems, LYNRED
Use-Cases: Used for recognition in airports, public transit hubs, offices, retail businesses, health facilities, and on public streets
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • Possibility to cover a large area
  • Fast recognition time
  • Recognition in areas with poor lighting

Cons:

  • Emotional and physical stress can affect skin temperature
  • Thermal cameras are expensive
  • The majority of the thermal images have low resolution

Accuracy Level: High

Behavioral Biometrics Metrics

Behavioral authentication methods are based on a person's behavioral characteristics. They evaluate the unique behavior and subconscious movements of a person in the process of reproducing any actions. Simultaneously, suspicious behavior indicates various systems can recognize a deviation from the norm as fraudulent.

Behavioral biometrics can be adapted for a wide variety of devices, including operating systems in smartphones. The technology can be used not only in individual applications, protecting the entire device.

Keystroke Dynamics

Description: Keystroke dynamics take standard passwords to the next level, tracking their input's rhythm. Such sensors can respond to the time it takes to press each key, the delays between keys, the number of characters entered per minute, and so on. Keystroke patterns work in conjunction with passwords and PINs to enhance security.

Category: Behavioral
Industry Leaders: TypingDNA, ID Control, BehavioSec
Use-Cases: Device user identification, part of multifactor authentication, used for observation
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • No special equipment is required for this method
  • Fast and secure
  • Hard to copy by observation

Cons:

  • Typing rhythm can change because of fatigue, illness, the effects of drugs or alcohol, keyboard changes, etc.
  • Can't identify the same person using different keyboard layouts

Accuracy Level: High

Signature Recognition

Description: The method consists of a pen and a special tablet connected to a computer to compare and check patterns. A high-quality tablet can capture behavioral characteristics such as speed, pressure, and signing time. During the registration phase, the person must write on the tablet several times to collect data. The signature recognition algorithms then extract unique features such as time, pressure, speed, blows direction, essential points along the signature path, and signature size. The algorithm assigns different weights to these points.

Category: Behavioral
Industry Leaders: Aerial, Redrock Biometrics, Sense, University of Oxford, Mobbeel
Use-Cases: Document verification and authorization, identification in the banking sector
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • Almost impossible to counterfeit
  • Widespread in business practice
  • Fast and secure
  • Convenience of integration

Cons:

  • High recognition error rate until user get used to signing pad
  • Hand injuries can affect recognition accuracy

Accuracy Level: Medium

Speaker Recognition

Description: For this method, the user needs to speak a word or phrase into the microphone. This is necessary to acquire a sample of a person's speech. The microphone's electrical signal is converted to a digital signal using an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). It is recorded in the computer memory as a digitized sample. The computer then compares and tries to match the person's input voice with the stored digitized voice sample and identifies the person. Speaker recognition focuses on the context of the spoken phrase by the user, as opposed to voice recognition.

Category: Behavioral, Auditory
Industry Leaders: Apple Inc, Microsoft, Google LLC
Use-Cases: Telephone and internet transactions, sound signatures for digital documents, online education systems, emergency services
Security Level: Low

Pros:

  • Convenience of integration
  • Fast recognition time
  • Contactless scanning

Cons:

  • Sensitivity to microphone quality and noise
  • Risk of counterfeit

Accuracy Level: Low

Voice Recognition

Description: Voice recognition compares a spoken phrase instance with a digital template. It is used as a means of identification and authentication in security systems such as access control and time tracking. The system creates digital templates with a very high probability of correct interpretation. Every person's voice includes physiological and behavioral characteristics.

Physiological aspects are based on the size and shape of the mouth, throat, larynx, nasal cavity, each person's body weight, and other factors. Behavioral traits are based on language, educational level, and place of residence, which can lead to the appearance of specific intonations, accents, and dialects.

Category: Behavioral, Auditory
Industry Leaders: Nuance Communications, Google LLC, Amazon.com, Apple Inc
Use-Cases: Online Banking sector, emergency services, call centers recognition, high demand for voice recognition in healthcare
Security Level: Low

Pros:

  • Convenience of integration
  • Fast recognition time
  • Contactless scanning

Cons:

  • Risk of counterfeit
  • Inability to suppress external noise
  • Recognition accuracy problems

Accuracy Level: Low

Gait Recognition

Description: Gait biometrics capture step patterns using video and then convert the matched data into a mathematical equation. This type of biometrics is discreet and unobtrusive, making it ideal for mass crowd surveillance. It is also an advantage that these systems can quickly identify people from afar.

Category: Behavioral
Industry Leaders: SFootBD, Watrix, Cometa Srl
Use-Cases: In the medical and forensic sectors
Security Level: Low

Pros:

  • Contactless scanning
  • Possibility to cover a large area
  • Fast recognition time
  • Technology is developing rapidly

Cons:

  • Not so reliable as other biometric methods
  • Clothes and shoes can affect recognition accuracy

Accuracy Level: Low

Lip Motion

Description: Lip motion is one of the newest forms of biometric verification. Just as a deaf person can track the lips' movement to determine what is being said, biometric systems record the activity of the muscles around the mouth to form a pattern of movement. Biometric sensors of this kind often require the user to repeat a password to determine the appropriate lip movements and then grant or deny access based on a comparison with the recorded pattern.

Category: Behavioral, Visual
Industry Leaders: Hong Kong Baptist University, AimBrain, Liopa
Use-Cases: It can be used to improve the efficiency of security systems and complement such access methods as face recognition, retinal scanning, and fingerprinting.
Security Level: High

Pros:

  • Contactless scanning
  • Fast recognition time
  • Improves recognition accuracy when combined with other forms of biometrics

Cons:

  • The technology is currently under development

Accuracy Level: High

Conclusion

Due to the high potential profits, many new biometric companies have appeared on the market. Healthy competition is developing, opening up new opportunities and applications for the use of biometric systems. Along with the well-known fingerprint and hand geometry scanning technologies, methods based on face-scanning technologies, iris recognition, and voice recognition are gaining popularity.

Types of Biometrics FAQ

What Type of Biometrics Is the Most Accurate?

Considering the statistics of FRR (False Rejection Rate) and FAR (False Acceptance Rate), iris recognition is regarded as the most accurate type of biometrics. By measuring the iris's unique folds and muscle characteristics, biometric verification tools can verify identity with incredible accuracy.

What Is the Safest Type of Biometric?

Dynamic types of biometrics use a person's unique characteristics, which are almost impossible to counterfeit and, therefore, are considered one of the safest methods. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, non-contact types can be viewed as the safest types of biometrics.

Where Is Biometric Data Stored?

Biometric data can be stored on different media depending on the type and technology of the particular biometrics. The data can be stored on a biometric database server as part of government infrastructure or distributed data for private companies. Biometric data can be stored on devices such as smartphones using fingerprint and face recognition technologies.

What Is the Most Widely Used Biometric Device Today?

The automated fingerprint identification method has already become widespread in many countries around the world. The technology is used in offices, enterprises, and organizations where it is necessary to ensure reliable verification of persons allowed to visit them. Today the technology is already integrated into almost every smartphone in the market. Fingerprint control is easy to use, convenient. Manufacturers are already producing reliable devices that are smaller than a matchbox.

Which Is More Secure: Iris or Fingerprint?

Iris recognition provides many more unique identifiers for identity recognition than fingerprint recognition. The complexity of faking the eye's iris is almost impossible, which distinguishes it favorably from other types of biometrics.

Which Is Better, Face Unlock, or Fingerprint?

Face recognition is considered to be a more convenient way of identifying a person. Modern technology makes it possible to recognize a face very accurately, considering a large number of unique identifying factors. Contact lessness is another advantage of face recognition over fingerprint recognition.