The world is steadily starting to feel like a science fiction movie, isn’t it? The rise of biometrics is just another feature of our catapult into the future.
To quickly dispel any confusion, biometrics are measurements of a person’s distinctive characteristics. When it comes to corporate events, they’re used primarily for identification and access.
From security to commerce, biometrics can make your event more seamless while reducing costs. Additionally, they’re just cool to have. They add another layer to an experience for your attendee. Keep in mind, though, that this only applies when you’ve done your job right. Don’t use tech for the sake of tech!
Now, let’s dive into the uses of biometrics and their rise to fame.
Biometrics for Identification
First of all, Biometrics can make the registration process much simpler. They make access control more effective and this improves the event security.
Here are the biometrics many corporate event producers are already utilizing:
- Fingerprints or Thumbprint
- Voice Analysis
- Facial Recognition
- Retina or Iris Scan
Fingerprints or Thumbprint
Fingerprints are uniquely individual and remain the same over a person’s life. Some devices, such as expensive smartphones will not operate without biometric identification of the authorized user. To use one of these devices, a person must give the proper biometric identifier that matches the one held in the device’s memory. For example, on the iPhone software called Sticky Password uses both fingerprint and facial recognition to unlock the phone.
For most event applications, a thumbprint or the fingerprint of the index finger would suffice as identification. Consider using inexpensive fingerprint readers for access control at the event site. These can provide gene1al access to the event and to private areas, such as backstage.
A fingerprint or thumbprint collected by a fingerprint reader is compared to the database of previously collected prints. Each set of prints can be given authorized access only to areas approved for their entry.
Voice analysis and voice recognition provide only modest levels of security because this may be defeated by using a recording of another person’s voice.
Defeating voice analysis is made more difficult by asking random challenge questions to the attendee trying to enter by voice recognition. Voice analysis is more secure as an identification method when combined with another biometric such as facial recognition.
There are two different types of facial recognition. One uses an image of the full face that is scanned by a camera and then measured by software. The person is aware that their face is being scanned.
The other method is to scan images of the faces of people in a crowd. In this case, the people are under surveillance. They may not know that their facial image is being scanned for identification purposes. You probably won’t need this type of application since it applies more to law enforcement.
However, if you’ve got extra security concerns, you may benefit from this. At corporate events, using crowd scanning by surveillance cameras along with facial recognition software is helpful for increased security.
Retina or Iris Scan
The retina and the iris in a person’s eye are distinct. Like fingerprints, everyone has a unique retinal and iris pattern. This type of biometrics is very difficult to fake by an impostor. There is a drawback when using these methods for identification purposes, in that it takes up to ten seconds for equipment to make an effective scan. The person must be able to hold still for that length of time. Elderly people and children may have difficulty with this method.
Retinal and iris scans are usually used at very high-security facilities. These scans are usually not used at general events because of the complexity of the procedure and the cost of the equipment.
Use of Biometrics at Events
For companies that already use biometrics for access control at their regular facilities, using biometrics at an event location is a natural extension of the company’s internal security processes. Employees who have previously submitted their biometric information will already be in the company’s database. They can be given approved access at an event according to their level of authority.
For companies that are using biometrics for the first time, the biometric information must be collected. This should be done as much as possible before the event occurs to build up the security database that will be used for the event. Here are some popular uses of biometrics.
Ease of Registration
Registration provides an opportunity to quickly register attendees and grant access to them if they are preregistered and have already supplied their biometric information. This process can be fully automated and achieved in a self-service way by attendees using kiosks to give their information.
For those attendees who have not given their biometric information as part of preregistration, they should be able to give this biometric information as a part of the in-person registration process. For these attendees, human registration clerks need to help them with this process. The clerks help with the collection of the biometrics. The clerks also verify a person’s identity from regular identification documents such as a driver’s license or a passport.
Event Access Control
Biometrics can be used to restrict access to certain parts of the event space. An obvious access control needed is to restrict access to the workers’ areas only to the event staff. With biometrics, access control can be granted in broad strokes to categories of people and individualized down to a specific person based on their biometrics.
Another thing, which is helpful when using biometrics is that it provides an audit trail of entry that was granted to controlled areas. Multiple layers of biometrics can combine to more effectively restrict certain areas.
An example of multi-layer security would be this four-step process to gain entry to a particularly sensitive area:
- Swiping an identification card through a card reader
- Entry of the correct passcode
- Facial recognition using video surveillance
- Checking a fingerprint
Food, Beverages, and Merchandise Sales
When attendees give a credit card during preregistration to pay for event fees that can choose to allow their biometrics to be used for charging items that are for sale at the event.
For example, attendees enjoy using a thumbprint to pay for things at the event. In this way, they do not have to use their credit card every time they wish to make a purchase.
Event producers who offer this biometric payment ability enjoy a significant increase in purchasing behavior from attendees. The ease of making a purchase using biometrics increases the amount of food, beverages, and merchandise that they buy at an event.
Biometrics used for identification at events will continue to increase because of its usefulness for corporate event producers and the convenience that it offers to attendees. Consult with us about how to use biometrics for your next corporate event.