The future of biometrics technology

We’ve all heard the saying, “The future is in the palm of your hand.” With the proliferation of biometric technology, it has never been truer. The future really is in the palm of your hand, but did you know it’s also in the pattern of your iris, the minutiae of your fingerprint, and the structure of your face?

What does this mean to us and the future? Imagine walking straight through airport security without waiting in line or being able to quickly and securely get money from an ATM without having to remember a personal identification number (PIN.) Picture accessing your workplace without using an identification or access card. These innovations are quickly becoming realities as our world shifts from using access cards and PINs to the new digital age of secure identification and access control based on biometrics.

The global biometrics technology market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of about 21.6 percent, with the iris, vein and face markets leading the growth, according to MarketsandMarkets’ Global Biometrics Technology Market (2010-2015) report.

This biometric technology is making access control and identification systems more accurate and secure. PINs, passwords and the like are easily hacked, and cards and badges are easily stolen. These access control mechanisms are based on what we know or possess, which can be easily compromised to steal our identities or access our homes or bank accounts. However, biometric identification accurately analyzes a unique biometric feature that is nearly impossible to replicate. For example, an iris recognition system can analyze an individual’s unique iris pattern and compare it against a database of biometric information to match (or disprove) someone’s identity. Access control and identification systems that integrate this technology are experiencing reduces levels of fraud and are easier to access. 

Digital signal processing is at the core (pun intended!) of biometric-based access control and identification applications. First and foremost, DSPs enable real-time analysis of computationally intensive functions. This enables biometric systems to compare against thousands of stored user identities in a second or less. DSPs are also easily programmable, enabling OEMs to customize and differentiate their system and to update their system as increasingly cutting edge algorithms become available. Last but not least, TI’s DSPs offer a variety of security features to safeguard proprietary algorithms and sensitive user data. Need more information on our biometric technology offerings? Check out our new white paper .

TI has a variety of DSPs ideal for biometric applications, from the TMS320C5515 ultra-low-power DSP to the power-efficient TMS320C6748 DSP. Members of the TI Design Network also offer some great software and tools for these applications, including a new IriShield™ iris recognition module from IriTech. The module is powered by TI’s C6748 DSP, which accelerates computationally intensive functions in the module to enable real-time iris recognition. The DSP enables IriTech’s embedded algorithms to complete a matching query against 1,000 stored user identities in just 750 milliseconds.

Our team at TI is excited about where biometric-based access control and identification applications will take us in the future. We’re already seeing them on smartphones and laptops, at the mall and at the gym, but where will we see them next? Leave us a note and let us know the new places you’re seeing biometrics-based access control and identification applications in your daily life.