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Access Control using Biometrics: Fact or Hollywood Fiction?

Tuesday, Sep 22nd

We’ve all seen it in movies, security systems that use iris scans to allow someone into a vault or voice recognition to gain access to classified information. But are these systems real, or are they a product of Hollywood fiction? Well, we have the answer for you…they are, in fact, reality!

These types of access control systems are referred to as Biometrics. Biometrics are technologies that measure and analyze specific human body characteristics such as fingerprints, eyes, and/or voice for authentication purposes. There are many different types of biometric access control systems.  Below is a description of a few:

Types of Biometric Scans

Fingerprint Scan – Probably the most well known (and most affordable) type of biometric scan, this is used for all types of access control ranging from entry into a building to unlocking the screen of your smart phone. Fingerprint scanners utilize the different curvatures of the fingerprint to identify you. More costly fingerprint scanners can actually scan for the presence of blood in the finger as well as overall geometry of the thumb.
                Hollywood Example: Back to the Future: Part II (1989)

Palm Scan – This type of biometric scan is very similar to a fingerprint scan, but on a larger scale. Instead of just the fingerprint, the entire palm of your hand is scanned for unique line patterns. This is more secure than a fingerprint scan since there are more unique patterns in a palm than in one specific finger.
                Hollywood Example: X-Men 2 (2003)

Hand Geometry – In this method, an individual places there hand down on a plate and a 3D camera takes a picture of the hand and analyzes the length, width, thickness, and surface area of the hand. This type of biometric scan is very commonly used for time clocks in work places including Dunkin’ Donuts, Hilton Hotels, and more.
                Hollywood Example: Die Another Day (2002)

Iris/Retina Scan – One of the more Hollywood-esque biometric scans; this type of scan will store biometric data on specific parts of the eye for security systems. Each person has unique patterns within their iris that set them apart. These types of access control systems tend to be far more complex, not to mention expensive.
                Hollywood Example: Minority Report (2002)

Voice Recognition – Everyone has unique patterns in their voice that set them apart from others. Voice recognition can be used for access control by using specific software that analyzes the tone, pitch, and volume of a person’s voice.
                Hollywood Example: I, Robot (2004)

Facial Scan – This type of biometrics scans the geometry of the face. No two people have the same facial bone structure. Even identical twins have differences in facial geometry that set them apart from one another. Subtle differences such as width of the eyes, placement of eyebrows, or the height of someone’s nose allow this type of security to work.
                Hollywood Example: Paycheck (2003)

While Hollywood may make it seem like these types of security are the way of the future, Biometrics for Access Control is a reality today! Want to learn more?   Remee Wire & Cable can help you find the right type of access control wire to implement some of the systems addressed above.  Give us a call at 800-431-3864 to find out more.