What Are Biometric Safes and How Do They Work?

Biometric safes are on of the most hi tech ways to protect your valuable property. They’re becoming more and more popular as the technology gets better and better. Only 10 years ago, biometrics were the thing of movies and science fiction for most people, although biometric identification like retinal scanning did exist in super secure installations, like military bases or government buildings as far back as 1981. What are biometrics exactly? It’s methods for uniquely recognizing people based on an intrinsic physical or control biometrico behavioral trait. Examples would be recognizing people by fingerprint, voice, iris (of the eye), face recognition, etc. The strength of biometric methods to identify people is the uniqueness of individual, much like snowflakes no two people are exactly alike. Let’s take a look at some of the other advantages and disadvantages of biometric security, and what applications biometrics have.

Advantages of Biometric Security

When using biometric methods characteristics need to be used that are unique and universal. For example, eye color is not unique, there are many people that have the same eye color. The pattern of the iris is unique to each individual. In fact it’s one of the most universal traits, it has the fewest number of people that can’t use it of all biometric identifiers. Because it’s also something that doesn’t change it’s one of the identifiers that seldom needs updating. This uniqueness of humans is one of the strength of biometrics, it’s basically impossible to make one persons iris pattern look like someone else’s. That isn’t to say that a biometric security system can’t be fooled. One of the easier systems to trick is one of the most common.

Some Disadvantages of Biometric Security

Fingerprints are unique to individuals just like their iris, and it’s simple to take a fingerprint – no hi tech equipment needed. In fact we all know that law enforcement has been doing it for years. However it’s easy to trick a biometric fingerprint system. The television show Mythbusters fooled a fingerprint recognition security system by using a high quality scan of a fingerprint. In fact many biometric systems can’t distinguish between the real living tissue and a high quality photograph. That is actually one of the biggest failings of a biometric system, the fact that they can’t determine between real and a photo. Another disadvantage that has been mentioned by experts is that the danger to the biometric user is increased. There was an 2005 incident in Malaysia in which thieves cut off the finger of a Mercedes owner to use it to start his biometrically protected car.

Uses for Biometrics

So what applications would a biometric safe have? Protecting valuables is obviously one use, but consider what happens if the user is somehow incapacitated. If family need access to vital papers or belongings will they be able to access it if the owner dies or is unable to open the safe? In that case the biometric measures along with other security features make more sense. A good application for biometric measures are where the contents of a safe have to be accessed quickly. Many manufacturers of gun safes are adding biometric measures to them. A can keep firearms away from children or unauthorized users yet still allow quick access.

 

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