The concept of biometrics might sound like something still far off or obscure to many of us. However, the fact is that with the rise of technology it has already been integrated into many aspects of daily life, all because of the advantages it offers.
It’s a growing trend due to its great usefulness in different areas and sectors such as our own, for example: events. But just what is biometrics? What is it for? How is it used? Let’s decipher what it’s about and run through some possible applications in the events world.
What is biometrics?
We’re talking about an identification technology based on recognizing a physical, nontransferable characteristic of each human being, a trait that’s unique in each one of us like a fingerprint or the shape of our ears. It’s an identification system just like the one the human brain uses to recognize and distinguish one person from another.
Here it’s interesting to differentiate two types: physiological biometrics and behavioral. The former refers to things like iris color, hand geometry, odor, fingerprints, and facial recognition; while some good examples of the latter are handwriting, walk, and signature recognition.
What are its main advantages?
1) Exclusivity: each concrete individual has their own unique biometrics. No unauthorized person can make use of your gait or odor, for example.
2) Convenience: you don’t have to remember a pattern or password—you always have your iris or fingerprint on you.
Although biometric means are not infallible, their security is highly fraud-resistant.
All of these advantages are illustrated in a specific case: hotel keys. With the installation of biometric systems, physical keys disappear. That eliminates the inconvenience of losing your key or locking yourself out, and the security risk is significantly reduced as the lock is replaced by an iris scanner, with our eye being a uniquely occurring access pass. Sound familiar? It ought to, of course, because many of the current Smartphones are equipped with this technology.
Biometrics applied to the events world
As it happens, last year during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, many visitors were able to access the event through a facial recognition system that was installed at some entrances, without having to show their credentials every time. And then we have payments by digital fingerprint, which are already possible. What if we were to apply this aspect of biometrics to our event? The attendee would set up an account, deposit in it the allocated amount to spend at the event, and having done so, that person wouldn’t have to take their wallet out again as the associated finger with its print would be all they need to pay.
On another note, biometrics and facial recognition can also be used to identify the emotions of the attendees: by installing cameras it’s possible to monitor individual visages and facial expressions to measure and analyze the interest, enthusiasm, or boredom the speakers or specific stands produce in the audience. Moreover, the use of wristbands would allow measuring heart rate and/or perspiration, further indicators of enthusiasm or emotional state.
We’ve seen that biometrics can be of great benefit in a variety of ways, such as providing precise access and attendance control, as a payment method, authentication means, and helping fight fraud. For your company, all of this translates into savings, as it will reduce the number of personnel required, and into increased efficiency thanks to the precise monitoring of the above mentioned applications.
Biometric technology is still evolving, also within the events world. However, its implementation entails that companies keep a client physiognomy database, which will most likely lead to polemic and controversial issues in the way of security and data protection, and image and privacy rights of individuals.
In any case, it’s always good to keep up with the latest developments and tools that can facilitate our job.
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