Biometric devices

What are biometric devices?
Biometric devices measure biological elements (such as human characteristics) to perform functions such as recording health / fitness data and authenticating users. There are many different uses for the technology and a variety of methods for implementing it. Biometric data includes visual, acoustic, spatial and behavioral data.

During the 1960s, the United States government sponsored a significant amount of biometric technology research, including facial and fingerprint recognition. In the decades that followed, much advances were made to improve biometric scanners by government institutions such as the FBI and NSA, as well as the US military.

In 1992, the NSA initiated the Biometric Consortium to facilitate research and discussion on the development and expansion of biometric technology between government, industry, and academia. In 1999, an influential essay entitled 'Biometrics Personal Identification in Networked Society' was published which identified seven key factors in biometric authentication:

- universality
- uniqueness
- durability
- measurability
- performance
- acceptability
- bypass

Biometric technology continues to make significant contributions to human-computer interaction, including the measurement of brain waves and even the body's own microchips. Voice and fingerprint recognition are also common forms of biometric scanning. A speech recognition device must use an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to translate sound waves into digital data, which the device then processes to perform a specific function (such as speech transcription). Fingerprint recognition and other biometric authentication methods often compare and compare input data with information stored in virtual or remote storage to verify its authenticity.

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