“BIOMETRIC traits are unique, universal, permanent, and easy to measure. It is for these reasons that they make an ideal identifier,” says S...

“BIOMETRIC traits are unique, universal, permanent, and easy to measure. It is for these reasons that they make an ideal identifier,” says Sujeet Menezes, CEO, IBI Detectives Pvt Ltd.The traits include fingerprints, facial features, retinal vein patterns, hand measurements, iris patterns, tone and timbre of the voice, DNA, gait, dental structure and an individual’s signature.


“The scope of the technology is infinite - it all depends on the user and how he chooses to employ the tool,” says Vinit Bhasin, Country Manager, Ingersoll Rand (India) Ltd. Biometric technologies are mainly identity-verification technologies. Earlier, they were primarily used for access control in secure and sensitive zones, and used exclusively in military and other government applications, but now are finding their way into a number of everyday applications.“There are an endless
number of applications to which biometric technology can be applied,” says Dr Kumud Sarin, Programme Director, Bioinformatics Institute of India.“With computers and the internet penetrating almost every essential service today, there is a need to check and verify whether the user of a service is authorised to do so or not.”
In India, biometrics has a wide scope in banks, defence installations, research laboratories, etc, where high security and secrecy is required. Considering the vast population, it has a very useful application in elections, where the authenticity of a voter is very difficult to ascertain.The devices can also be used to provide confidential financial transactions and personal data privacy. Enterprise-wide network security infrastructures, government IDs, secure electronic banking, investing and other financial transactions, retail sales, law enforcement, and health and social services are some fields that are already benefiting from biometric technologies.


Of the various branches of biometrics that exist currently, only six are
used in India.These are fingerprints, hand geometry, iris and retina scanners, voice recognition systems, and facial recognition systems. Of these, the major technologies are fingerprints (about 80 per cent of the Indian market), hand geometry (about 10 per cent), iris and retina scanners (about 5 per cent) and voice recognition systems (about 5 per cent). Facial recognition systems are still in the preliminary stages of development in India.


“Career opportunities exist in abundance in biometrics,” says Dr Sarin. Research and Development is one of the promising areas. Newer devices are being developed and companies are looking to reduce the error rates of the devices. Software development is another area that is on the rise as newer algorithms are being designed to improve the accuracy of the devices. Retail, product application and security consultancy are also areas where there are promising job prospects.
Manufacturing is not a major career option in India at present, since the field is still in the nascent
stages.“The majority of the manufacturing is done abroad. The devices are manufactured in USA, China, Korea and Japan and then exported to India where they are sold,” explains Bhasin. However, Ankur Patel, Director, Market Research and Development, Orange Web Technologies says, “Manufacturing sectors are coming up in Gujarat and West Bengal now.”


Biometrics as a field is constantly evolving and the future looks promising.“As the level of security breaches and transaction fraud increases, the need for highly secure identification and personal verification technologies is becoming apparent. The answer can be found in biometric technologies, which are becoming the foundation of an extensive array of highly secure identification and personal verification solutions. We have to create a methodology that will give the user privacy,” says Dr Sarin.
“Newer technologies are being developed and its applications are growing,” says Bhasin. These new technologies include the veins of the hand, ear shape, body odour and palm print identification. “Where these technologies get used, you never know!” he adds.
“The increasing demand and need for identification of an individual has created a very positive outlook to push India ahead in technology as well as maintain security. Very soon every house, vehicle, and office will integrate the biometric technology to maintain a specific and unique record,” reasons Menezes.“ Keeping all this in view, India shuld become the second biggest market for biometrics correlated to the vast population of India,” he predicts emphatically



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