Biometric access solutions: a comparative summary

Biometric access solutions: a comparative summary

Defining biometric data

According to Kaspersy, biometrics are biological measurements, or physical characteristics, that can be used to identify individuals. The most commonly known biometric technologies are centered around fingerprint, face and iris recognition. However, even the shape of an ear, body odor or the way of walking can be used to identify individuals.

Types of biometric modes

There are two main types of biometrics. Physiologic biometrics refer to physical measurements of the human body. Behavioral biometrics relate to a specific behavior while performing tasks.

1. Physiological biometrics examples:
  • Fingerprint: finger lines, pore structure
  • Face: distance of specific facial features
  • Retina: eye background (pattern of the vein structure)
  • Iris: iris pattern
  • Hand: vein measurements of fingers and palm
  • Finger-vein: vein structure of the finger
2. Behavioral biometrics examples:
  • Voice: tone or timbre
  • Calligraphy: writing with pressure and speed differentials
  • Movement: walking or gesture motions

Biometrics in security: comparison

At the moment, almost all biometric access solutions focus on physiological biometrics. This comparison will focus on the five most common biometric traits in security: fingerprint, face, iris, hand and finger-vein.

Physical onboarding needed: do visitors or employees need to go through an offline physical onboarding or can it be done digitally?
Security level:
what's the level of security the biometric layer adds to the access control system?
User acceptance:
how willing are people to use the biometric method?
Ease of use:
how easy is the solution for the end user?
Processing speed:
how accurate and how quick is the verification process?
do the users need to make contact with a physical device?


Taken all metrics into account, face recognition will be the preferred biometric security layer in the future for a number of reasons. Firstly, in contrast with all other biometric methods, face recognition does not require a physical onsite onboarding. This results in ease of use for the end user. Secondly, the user acceptance rate is very high. Face recognition is less intrusive than obtaining finger, hand or iris data. After all, most people have uploaded their pictures online before. Lastly, face recognition is contactless, which makes the solution COVID-19 proof.