Biometrics (Defined)


Biometric definition is best explained by understanding its nomenclature.

The word “biometrics” is derived from the Greek words ‘bios’ and ‘metric’ ; which means life and measurement respectively. This directly translates into “life measurement”.

General science has included biometrics as a field of statistical development since the early twentieth century. A very good example is the statistical analysis of data from agricultural field experiments comparing the yields of different varieties of wheat. In this way, science is taking a life measurement of the agriculture to ultimately determine more efficient methods of growth.

Biometrics technologies measure a particular set of a person’s vital statistics in order to determine identity.

In the most contemporary computer science applications, the term “life measurement” adopts a slightly different role. Biometrics in the high technology sector refers to a particular class of identification technologies. These technologies use an individual’s unique biological traits to determine one’s identity. The traits that are considered include fingerprints, retina and iris patterns,facial characteristics and many more.

Types of Biometrics

There are basically two types of biometrics:
1. Behavioral biometrics
2. Physical biometrics

Behavioral biometric definition : Behavioral biometrics basically measures the characteristics which are acquired naturally over a time. It is generally used for verification.

Examples of behavioral biometrics include:

* Speaker Recognition – analyzing vocal behavior
* Signature – analyzing signature dynamics
* Keystroke – measuring the time spacing of typed words

Physical biometric definition : Physical biometrics measures the inherent physical characteristics on an individual. It can be used for either identification or verification.

Examples of physical biometrics include:

* Bertillonage – measuring body lengths (no longer used)
* Fingerprint – analyzing fingertip patterns
* Facial Recognition – measuring facial characteristics
* Hand Geometry – measuring the shape of the hand
* Iris Scan – analyzing features of colored ring of the eye
* Retinal Scan – analyzing blood vessels in the eye
* Vascular Patterns – analyzing vein patterns
* DNA – analyzing genetic makeup


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