Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people’s physical and behavioral characteristics. It is usually used in physical security, relying on unique physical characteristics such as fingerprints, irises, faces, etc. to identify a person. Combining this technology with IoT devices could lead to a number of innovations from a security as well as convenience standpoint:
Mobile communications security: fingerprint identification is already in use for smartphones, and iris scanning may soon also be used.
Securing banking: biometrics can be applied to reduce ATM fraud and to secure online banking through mobile and payment transactions without passwords.
College campuses: dorm access management, along with test taking, shop purchases, attendance management are all possibilities for biometrics on the campus.
Cars: biometrics can be used to making driving a safe and personalized experience, using face and eye detection for driver identification, to manage passenger preferences, and to set safety standards and limits such as driving speed.
Home security: biometric locks are becoming popular, since they allow home dwellers, and even external people such as contractors, key-less access without having to worry about someone breaking in.
Healthcare: patient identification is one of the most important applications of biometrics for the future – accessing medical records, prescriptions, patient preferences, and other tasks can be made accurate and easier.
There are concerns to be addressed with the use of biometrics, however. The most obvious is data privacy – how can the individual control what data is being sent and to whom? A second big problem is scale. At present, services are typically delivered by individual data collection providers and via stand-alone apps, and tend to focus just on the individual. A rapid expansion of the commercial market and scope of data (i.e. collective, not individual) needs to happen if biometric and other smart data are going to take off and deliver relevant social value.