History of Biometrics


Looking into the history of biometrics we can see that the concept of biometrics is not a recent phenomenon. Automated biometric system however have only become available recently and more reliably due to an increase in computer processing power.

In fact the first systematic use of biometrics for personal identification was documented in the mid 19th century. During this time a handprint was recorded on the back of a contract for each worker to differentiate between employees and those who claimed to be employees on payday. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that the most well known use of biometrics came into effect, the identification of criminals.

Fingerprints_taken_by_William_James_Herschel_1859-1860 Fingerprints taken by William James Herschel 1859-1860.

In 1936, an ophthalmologist by the name of Frank Burch proposed the concept of using iris patterns as a method to recognise a particular individual, introducing the start of facial recognition. Greater developments to…

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