When a human finger touches anything, it leaves an impression which is known as a fingerprint. Initially, its use was restricted to the sphere of forensics but now with the advancement in the technology and biometrics gaining recognition, fingerprints have a wider scope. Fingerprint readers are widely used these days for identification purposes. Even your laptop can recognise you by reading your fingerprints.

Biometric methods of distinguishing people

Unique physical characteristics of a person are measured by the use of automated methods in biometrics. It is a scientific way of distinguishing one person from another by the use of some human attribute like fingerprint, voice, face or even iris. A fingerprint reader is the most common and popular device for identifying an individual. It is widely used for security purposes.

Mass market biometric systems

Nowadays different biometric systems are available in the market for the use of common people. They are made with the intention of general bulk usage. Fingerprint readers are no longer huge and bulky; rather they are small and sophisticated. They are even fitted in the laptop for identifying the owner. It helps in maintaining the security of the information stored in the device.

The principles they are based on

It is important to understand the principle on which it works. A fingerprint consists of the different patterns of the furrows and ridges on the tips of the finger and also those at the minutiae points. These patterns are unique for each person and this knowledge is used for the purpose of identification. When the scanning of the fingerprint is done, it identifies a person by acquiring and recognising these patterns which are unique to him.

Methodology of operation

The process of scanning varies slightly with different products and different systems. But the basic principle involved in the process of identification is the same. There are three things which are essential for using this – a sensor which can scan the fingerprint, a processor for storing the fingerprint database and software for comparing and matching the fingerprint with the one that is stored in the database. A fingerprint is stored at a particular reference number or PIN number in the database. Fingerprint readers match the name of the person with this reference number and identify the user. These devices can be programmed to allow or disallow the user in the instance of a mismatch, as it can lead to security issues.

Use in large organisations

These biometric devices play a huge role in large organizations especially ones with security concerns. They are used for the identification of employees in places which are highly sensitive. Although they are quite effective, the cost of installing them is still pretty high. Perhaps in the years to come, with further advancement in technology, they can become affordable and hence can be widely used by the common man. Maybe then you could install a fingerprint reader at the entrance of your house also. Fingerprint scanner devices are still the least expensive out of all the other biometric devices.

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