The 1960s saw the birth of modern biometric technology at a time when scientists began to study and identify the physiological components in phonic and acoustic sounds, which paved the way for the development of modern voice recognition technology. In 1969, the Federal Bureau of Investigation started pushing for automated fingerprint identification leading to the analysis of minutiae points in mapping unique patterns and ridges of fingerprints.
In 1975, the FBI funded the first fingerprint scanners, and the National Institute of Science and Technology began to work on algorithms and compression because digital storage costs were prohibitive. The FBI used the M40 algorithm to reduce its human search, producing a smaller number of images that trained and specialized human technicians can use for evaluation.
During the 1990s, biometric science was a growing field, especially when the Department of Defense (DoD) funded face recognition algorithms in biometric identity verification for commercial markets in partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA). The introduction of biometrics was made possible by West Virginia University’s first Bachelor’s degree program in Biometric Systems and Computer Engineering around the 2000s. Along with this, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which promoted international collaboration in biometric research, helped pave the way for standardizing generic biotechnologies.
In addition to this, the biometric stage also saw the introduction of the palm print biomarker tech. To address fragmentation and adoption barriers in biometric technology, the European Biometric Forum was established. Face recognition has been accepted as a global biometric authentication for passports and other Machine-Readable Travel Documents.
Biometrics were also used by the United States Immigration to improve security and allow legitimate travelers to travel to the country. Biometric data, such as fingerprints, voice, and DNA swabs, were used to track and identify national security risks.
One recent advancement in biometric technology’s history is Apple’s introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s in 2013. Touch ID, an integrated feature in iOS phones and other devices, allows users to unlock their devices using fingerprint authentication. Apple released iPhone X after millions of people adopted biometric fingerprint scanners on their smartphones.
The future of biometric technology is predicted to be 5G that can make big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) more accessible in one’s back pockets. In line with this, FIDO and W3C have been established to regulate biometrics, which is especially important at a time where access barriers are falling away. Biometric-based security and technology are paving the way for digital identity verification in ensuring data security.
If you want to learn more about the history of biometric technology, here is an article from LoginID.