Biometrics: Ancient History
The concept behind biometrics goes back thousands of years, even more if you consider that humankind has almost been hardwired with it since the dawn of evolution. The ability to see, categorize and store unique personal features in order to recognize other humans is key to our entire civilization.
We have relied on our innate ability to differentiate people by height, weight, skin tone, hair color, eye color, even seemingly imperceptible differences in symmetry and shape, to help us make sense of the world, make friends, do business, even recognize danger. It was only when villages grew into cities and populations began to boom that we needed to stretch beyond these natural abilities and create systems and procedures to keep track across large swaths of people.
To truly understand how we got to the technological advancements we enjoy today, we need to go back to our roots. This is where we will begin, in Part 1 – “Biometrics: Ancient History.”
The term “biometrics” comes from the Greek words “bio” (life) and “metrics” (measure). It incorporates any method of identity verification based on measuring a person’s physical characteristics. Many of our modern, computer-automated processes are based on ideas that originated eons ago. Here’s how they developed.