Biometrics Software Information

Biometrics softwareBiometric software is used to confirm or determine a person’s identity based upon physiological or behavioral characteristics such as fingerprints, retinas or irises, voice and facial patterns, and hand measurements. These feature vectors are stored in a database or recorded on a smart card or other device for verification and identification purposes. Biometric verification involves comparing the person’s actual characteristics to stored information about that user. Biometric identification compares the person’s biometric information to all of the biometric characteristics stored in the database. Biometric software that supports both biometric verification and biometric identification is commonly available.


There are many different types of biometric software. Choices include:

  • fingerprint recognition software
  • voice recognition software
  • eye retina or iris recognition software
  • facial recognition software

Fingerprint recognition software is designed for use with fingerprint scanners, solid-state devices that use electrical capacitance to sense the ridges of a person’s fingerprint and produce a digital image. The fingerprint images are then compared to a database with biometric information about authorized users.

Voice recognition software is also available. There are two types of products: automatic speaker verification (ASV) and automatic speaker identification (ASI). Both types of biometric software compare a person’s actual voice characteristics to stored information.

Retina recognition software and iris recognition software confirms or determines a person’s identity based upon eye characteristics. With retinal recognition, a person looks through a lens at an alignment target. With iris scanning, the person remains several feet away from the biometric device. Retina recognition is one of the most secure and reliable biometric techniques, but iris recognition systems are usually more cost-effective.

Facial recognition software is also commonly available. Some types of this biometric software uses the location and shape of specific facial features such as chin, eyes, eyebrows, lips, and nose. Other facial recognition biometric software performs an overall analysis of the face image.

Some biometric systems are designed to detect and analyze the pattern of heat radiated by the human body. Others are designed to recognize and verify a user’s gait, computer keystrokes, odor, ear size, hand geometry, or palmprint. Biometric software for signature recognition and DNA verification are also available.


In terms of applications, biometric software is used in computer security and electronic banking, and with mobile phones and credit cards. Uses also include autocapture and compliance assurance, biometric matching, biometric authentication, access control, and identity management.

Related Information

Electronics360—Raising the Bar on Mobile Biometric Security

Engineering360—Biometric Security: Your Body as Your Password


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