Biometrics refers to the technology used to identify a person based on some aspect of their biology. IOS and Android have built-in systems for FIDO2 passwordless authentication such as fingerprint and face recognition in today’s mobile technology. This technology might sound new to some people, but they do not know that biometrics has already been in use for a long time.

Fingerprint recognition was one of the first and original biometric technologies. However, it was only utilized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI for digital forensics. The exploration of this technology started in the 1960s, when scientists began identifying the physiological components of acoustic speech and phonic sounds. This prompted the development of modern-day voice recognition. And in 1969, the FBI pushed for automated fingerprint recognition.

In 1975, the FBI funded the first fingerprint were prototyped. The National Institute of Science and Technology, or NIST, was involved and got to work on the compression and algorithms. Apart from this, the NIST also led the development of the first operational algorithm used by the FBI, the M40 algorithm, which helped a lot in narrowing down the human search.

Later on, biometric technology continued to develop with the help of the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA). Soon enough, CODIS was born and used as the FBI’s forensic DNA database.

In the year 2000, biometric technology has rolled out and was started to be used by other government sectors. Among which includes the immigration department of the United States. It was used to assure the safety, security, and legitimacy of the travelers.

In 2010, that was when biometrics became part of the mobile phone’s systems and was introduced not only as a government tool but also for public utilization. And in 2013, Apple introduced iPhone 5, the first mobile phone to have a Touch ID system. Today, people can use biometrics not only for accessing their mobile phones. They can also use this system for payment authentication and other online transactions.

Indeed, technology never stops improving. And that is evident with how biometric science is continuously enhanced. And if you are curious about how much more it has evolved throughout the years, you can read this infographic from Login ID.

Biometric Technology: a brief history