Biometrics is making great strides. A Hunsville company (Alabama), called Idair, is developing a new security system for access control. This new system is indeed based on fingerprint recognition, but unlike other similar devices, it needs no physical contact with users, as it recognizes the prints even at a distance of twenty feet.
And this brings many advantages, not only because it would avoid damages that can be caused by contact, but it would also avoid losing time to enter the rooms placed under surveillance.
The new technology works much in the same way satellites process the images of the ground, using a lot of edge detection and image sharpening to turn a fingerprint captured at a distance into an increasingly precise usable and identifiable image.
This technology is currently being used only for military purposes, but the company wants to extend its use to civil contexts. The fingerprint recognition system, in fact, is already in beta testing at a large chain of gyms (no more using your roommate’s gym ID to get in a free workout ) and the manufacturer is already working to find other possible uses. In the near future you will probably enjoy shopping biometrically, using fingerprints and iris identifiers, no credit card numbers or data contained in magnetic cards to swipe or RFID chip (the latter already considered cutting edge), which might be lost or get damaged with wear.
This device, combined with other biometric recognition tools, such as facial recognition, will constitute a much more robust security system. However, there are those who have already started to ask early questions about the privacy of the individuals who will use them, despite the relatively low cost and ease of use make this tool really appealing.