The success of a biometric system often depends on choosing the right biometric modality, but it isn’t easy. Careful research that includes rigorous comparisons of modality strengths and weaknesses is an important element to help select the right hardware. Factors to consider in the comparison may include: specifications, convenience, usability, acceptability, effectiveness, and budget.
There are many biometric modalities available including fingerprint, finger vein, facial recognition, iris, voice, signature, gait, and more. It’s important to understand that not all biometric modalities have the ability to meet the requirements of every organization, it depends largely on the industry application context.
It’s important to realize that there is not one biometric modality which is best for all conditions and implementations. Many factors must be taken into account when implementing a biometric device including location, security, acceptability, and ease of use. However, performance and cost may vary when taking into consideration deployment requirements and environment. At times deployments may require combining two biometric modalities (i.e. “multimodal” biometrics) to ensure optimal accuracy. Choosing the right modality is important to maximize the full benefits from a biometric system.
There are some important factors which should be considered before choosing a biometric modality. These include:
Accuracy is one of the most important aspects to assess when choosing a biometric modality. It is based on several criteria including error rate, false acceptance rate (FAR), identification rate, false reject rate (FRR) and additional biometric system standards.
- Anti-spoofing capabilities
As biometric recognition systems become more widespread, more attention has been given to possible direct attacks, where potential intruders may gain access to the system by interacting with the system input device. Such attempts are commonly referred as spoofing attacks. Strong anti-spoofing protection is a must have capability for the right biometric modality.
User acceptance is the linchpin of biometric identification management deployment success. Certain biometric modalities may have a stigma associated with them (e.g. – fingerprint biometrics and criminality) which can negatively impact user perception in certain cultures. Understanding which modalities are acceptable versus those that may cause user acceptance issues is important.
- Cost effectiveness
Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing the best and most effective biometric hardware modality. Depending on the underlying technology and hardware characteristics, certain modalities may be more cost effective than others. It’s important to recognize that an initial investment in biometrics can and is quite often recouped in a short amount of time to achieve fast return on investment (ROI).
Contact dependent biometric hardware is an important factor to consider before making an investment. Many new deployments in industries that pay close attention to infection control prefer to use contactless biometric modalities for hygienic reasons.
These are some of the top factors to consider when selecting the right biometric modality for your next project. If you need any assistance to determine which biometric modality would be best suited for your projects, please feel free to consult with us!