Biometric Tech Goes Mainstream

Biometric technologies like facial recognition, fingerprint scanning and voice ID have made the leap from spy movie storytelling to right-here-right-now consumer solutions. Here are five ways biometric technology may be about to become part of your everyday routine sooner than you think.

Fingerprint For Frappuccino

If you think biometric security is too complex to apply to your morning cup of coffee, think again. The Starbucks mobile app now allows users with phones with embedded fingerprint scanners to login, order, and pay for their purchase with the quick touch of a finger.  As the app contains the user’s customer profile, credit card information, and order history, requiring fingerprint data serves to protect that information should the phone ever get into the wrong hands.

Pay With Your Print

In the spring of 2017, Mastercard unveiled a new biometric card that blends chip technology with fingerprint information to verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases. The technology is currently being trialed in South Africa. Cardholders who register for the card have their fingerprint converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. When shopping and paying, the biometric card works like any other chip card: the cardholder places their finger on an embedded sensor at checkout and the fingerprint is verified against the template. If the biometrics match, the cardholder is verified and the transaction is approved. Additional trials for the biometric card are planned for Europe and the Asia Pacific. In Canada, Mastercard’s website confirms it will eventually be adding a fingerprint security element to its masterpass solution for online and app purchases.

Face Before Flight

Canadian airports have already begun rolling out facial recognition technology to screen travellers at self-service border clearance kiosks. The first kiosks appeared at the Ottawa International Airport in 2017 with international airports in Toronto, Quebec City, and Vancouver following suit. The first phase of the kiosks relies on facial recognition technology and there are reports that a second phase incorporating fingerprint scanning technology may be on the horizon. The Canada Border Services Agency already uses iris scanning technology as a security measure for voluntary trusted traveller programs, such as NEXUS and CANPASS.

Smile For Your Camera

With the launch of the iPhone X, Apple introduced an all-new feature called Face ID. Users can now use their face instead of their fingerprint or a passcode to unlock their phone. The technology uses the phone’s front-facing camera to map 30,000 dots on the user’s face and read the pattern to verify the face. Apple claims that this will stop scenarios such as a hacker using a picture of the owner as verification. Face ID uses machine learning to enable it to continue to recognize the face as it changes over time. Apple has said that while the odds that someone else’s fingerprint could unlock Touch ID are 1 in 50,000, the chance of someone with a similar face unlocking Face ID is 1 in 1,000,000.

Converse With Your Car

Ford is forecasting that nearly 90 per cent of all new vehicles will have voice recognition technology onboard by 2022 that could transform your car into a virtual personal assistant. Currently, Ford’s Sync 3 system allows drivers to use Amazon’s personal assistant, Alexa, but that’s just a hint of what’s to come. Cars in the not-so-distant future may be equipped with a system of microphones and cameras that will analyze the driver’s voice and facial expressions to pick up on subtle clues and inspire actions like the playing of a relaxing song to ease a stressful commute or the telling of a joke to help rouse a sleepy driver.

As biometric technology becomes increasingly prevalent, the need for staff to provide related software development and technical support is increasing rapidly. If you’re a job seeker interested in learning more about opportunities in the biometrics sector, search our current opportunities using the keyword, “biometric.” If your company has a need for technical staff with related biometric experience, contact one of our hiring consultants to discuss how developing a customized recruitment strategy for the position can save significant time and money.