With the Internet of Things or IoT, users and developers can easily augment its functionality, since the IoT is designed to be extensible. Therefore, it is not a far-fetched expectation that the IoT is going to be all over the place and users will get all types of data from it. According to a recent study by the Biometrics Research Group, biometric sensors are being projected as the next big step in providing the necessary security for accessing that data. That is good news for the biometrics industry – by the year 2018, IoT users alone will need nearly 500 million biometric sensors.
As against the normal practice of identification via a username and a password (which can easily be stolen), a biometric sensor identifies a person using unique physiological or behavioral traits, such as his or her fingerprints or his voice. Not only does this save time, the identification method is inherently more secure, making it more valuable. There is nothing like a password or a key to be misplaced, lost or forgotten. The best example of a biometric sensor in use is on Apple devices, with their Touch ID sensor for unlocking the device. In general, such sensors are typically used in security applications and in high-end access controls.
However, the consumer world is slowly making increasing use of biometric sensors, especially after the Fast Identity Online Alliance lent their support for these devices. The Alliance is a conglomeration of some of the biggest names in the technical and financial industry, and their aim is to create a roadmap for using different types of biometric sensors, policies and systems. Most of the use will be similar to the traditional systems, but the sensors will be linked to the Internet.
The Alliance is promoting the use of biometric sensors because of the real security benefits that consumers will get when they use them; the foremost benefit being the inability of losing your access capability. Although you could lose your key, forget your password or misplace your codes, there is only a very slim chance that you will lose your biometric access capability. And, the method is fast and convenient; you will never be locked out of your home or office.
The biometrics method of identification is also more secure than other methods. Even though attackers could cut off the thumb to use its fingerprint, it may not be of much use to them as biometrics can differentiate between living tissue and dead ones. In the same way, it is impossible to completely duplicate the retina pattern of the user’s eye or mimic the voice to fool the biometrics sensor.
With the IoT focus being strong on biometric sensors, the quality and reliability of the sensors is steadily improving. As consumers become increasingly more educated, affiliated technologies are becoming more popular, and that includes wearable devices with biometric sensors. As the popularity grows, so does the response speed of these biometric sensors. Coupled with falling prices, expect the use of biometrics sensors to go up in more and more devices.