Biometric Authentication: Leaving Passwords in the Dust

in Technology

user interface user experience

Innovation and technology effect design, when it comes to the function and human interaction. Designers have to be aware of the needs of technology and the needs of the user. The resulting considerations of these two spaces determine the User Interface and User Experience, UI/UX. Lets take a look at some emerging technology.

We now live in a time where convenience and time saving are of utmost importance and where cool new gadgets are constantly being introduced to help us out in that endeavor. The very items we may have only imagined or spotted in movies just 10-15 years ago are finally becoming a reality. One of those is the use of biometric authentication. In theory, it’s something that’s been around for quite some time. Pop in any Mission Impossible movie, and you’ll probably see some type of impressive fingerprint or voice recognition technology being used to gain clearance into a secret place. We hear Batman is quite the fan as well.

With this technology come useful devices that are necessary to unlock its power. With this power also comes risk. Samsung introduced its Galaxy S5 smartphone several months ago that uses fingerprint technology as a device locking mechanism. The technology sounds amazing and futuristic, but it isn’t totally secure. Within a week or so after the phone was pushed out to the public, tech gurus figured out how to get a picture of a fingerprint, mold the image using wood glue and use it to unlock the device. Scary, huh? Apple is no stranger to this breach either, and is continuing to work on the security of its Touch ID fingerprint technology, first introduced on the iPhone 5s. Security has been a longstanding issue in biometric technology, and with the increasing level of digital identity theft that we have experienced over the past year in retail, it’s no wonder we are not willing to leave ourselves vulnerable to potential security breaches by means of our trusted smartphones.

One device that may actually have the whole biometric security thing figured out is the Wocket. It acts as a digital wallet that eliminates the need for multiple credit, debit, and other payment and loyalty program cards, as all can be stored on the device. It only works when multiple forms of biometric identification, such as voice recognition, are bypassed. The difference between this and other biometric authentication is that a single Wocket Card must still be scanned in order to authorize a purchase.

Wearable devices, such as smart watches, are another area in which biometrics are next most likely to appear later this year, according to Goode Intelligence. This technology could eventually spread to a universal system of recognition that could be beneficial for gaining access in all kinds of scenarios.

Using long, complicated strings of letters, numbers and symbols to authenticate our identities may seem slightly annoying (just one more thing to remember), but for now, they may be a necessary evil until technologists can figure out how to eliminate, or at least lessen, the potential for biometric security breaches. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go change my password.

Do you like or use biometric technology on your smartphone? Do you think this nifty technology needs more fine-tuning before it’s used more widely? Let us know!

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