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What is biometrics anyway?

Published: January 29, 2016

While many of us might already have come across the term, ‘biometrics’ or ‘biometric technology’, and have some idea of what it is, there are still many others among us who perhaps don’t yet have a full understanding of what it means (beyond fingerprint scanning).

Essentially, biometrics is measuring something physical from our person to determine who we are. It could be a fingerprint, a hand scan, the face, an eye, or even the gait (the way you walk), as that is also unique from person to person. These physical characteristics are not easily faked and thus provide an excellent means of identifying a person and enhancing security.

Recently published research indicates that biometrics is growing quickly in popularity and ubiquity, particularly as employers grow more familiar with the benefits of using it to measure time and attendance, and employees alike become more accustomed to finding them in the workplace.

A study from Juniper Research predicts that more than 700 million biometric authentication apps will be downloaded each year, citing Apple Touch ID as a high profile example of biometrics in action. Similar studies from Acuity Market Intelligence predict increased demand for smartphones with biometrics to drive the worldwide market to reach 2.5 billion people by 2020.

The key benefit of Mitrefinch biometrics for time and attendance is often summarised as enhanced security. Physical cards or key codes can easily be lost, stolen, traded among colleagues, or even outright forgotten. Further, employee privacy is preserved as the system doesn’t save fingerprints – it just works from a digital representation of the fingerprint measured from a few different points. Click here to learn more about how biometrics can improve your workplace time and attendance procedures.

 

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