Not even a week back global media – including leading publications and news websites – carried the news that of humans becoming ‘god-like’ cyborgs within the next 200 years to come. While we may not be in the cyborg era yet, scientists have already found evidence of liquid water on Mars. The first human embryo has been cloned. Oh, and, biometric technology is being implemented by organizations across the world! Now that is stuff right out of sci-fi movies!
Here’s a little detail: the term biometrics has been derived from the words bio and metricos, which mean ‘life’ and ‘measure’ respectively. Simply saying, biometry is used for authenticating the identity of an individual. It does so by checking the measurable physical features of the person. These features include, but are not limited to the loops and whorls in fingerprints, the patterns in irides and voice tones. An example of use of such characteristics is fingerprint recognition in biometric attendance systems, installed in offices. Though can these technologies be used at home? Let’s discuss!
I am reminded of an incident which took place the last year. I was invited along with my family for a get together. Since I had to go elsewhere, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it. I also knew that I would reach back home before my parents, and that the party would only get over by late night. Inconvenience ensued. We had only one set of keys, and if I were to leave before my parents, how would I enter the house upon reaching back? The keys would be with them! Only if my house had an access control system!
The fact of the matter is that home security involves door keys, key cards and passwords, all of which cause hassle. Door keys can be lost, or worse, stolen, jeopardizing safety and security. Passwords can be forgotten. On the other hand, access control systems are convenient. A touch of finger is all it takes. Most can store several approved fingerprints, allowing all family members to be able to unlock the main door, without having a door key each.
Like all modern day technologies, biometrics has its share of disadvantages. Studying the surface of a finger is difficult if it’s wet – a possibility if you are soaked in rain. The common joint disorder, arthritis poses the same challenge. Also, remember, irrespective of how safe your main door is, if the windows of your house can be easily opened by an outsider, your home security is still vulnerable. Don’t forget, we are not in the age of cyborgs yet!