Biometric recognition was once a concept found in dystopian science fiction films, with The Minority Report being a famous example of one in which everyone was tracked by their eye scan. Now, the futuristic idea is creeping into everyday life, usually as a way to enhance safety and security.
The notion of face and fingerprint scans is now changing the way some countries like China approach security and authentication. Many people are now beginning to wonder how widespread the influence of biometrics will be in the UK and Ireland.
Enhancing airport security
Biometrics have already started to infiltrate UK airports, with eye scans being used in certain airports already. Iris image capture technology can be found at Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester among others, but it is currently in a trial phase and only being used for passengers travelling to UK destinations. In the USA, the technology is only in place in 16 airports in cities including Los Angeles and Miami.
It only seems like a matter of time before facial recognition technology will spread across the country, as it represents an excellent security measure. Along with ensuring that there is a record of everyone flying, it will be a useful tool for police who are trying to track down criminals fleeing the country. It could also reduce the risk of terror attacks in airports, as facial recognition could instantly trigger silent alarms if suspects enter an airport.
Biometrics can also be used to smooth the boarding process, and it could just be a matter of time before tickets and passport checks are scrapped altogether. If travellers could simply walk into an airport and go through the security checks based on their facial scans, it could make flying a more enjoyable and seamless process.
There are various ways that biometrics are likely to come in and improve retail over the next few years. Face and fingerprint scans are already being used on mobile apps, especially when users have to provide payment details.
For example, more people than ever are turning to online lottery options because of the enhanced security and the fact that they never have to risk losing their tickets. They also provide more draws than state lotteries, thanks to the way they use a random number generator to imitate EuroMillions draws. Players in the UK and Ireland can play these games every hour and be in with a chance of winning life-changing sums of money.
Physical retailers will soon have to replicate the online world using biometrics. Lottery retailers could benefit, as it means all tickets from a draw can be tracked. Biometrics could also be used for payments in supermarkets, with people simply having to scan their faces to have money taken from their account for the payment.
All this may sound quite futuristic still, but it’s not a long way off. Biometrics are already becoming widespread, and the technology should be mainstream by the end of the decade.