Fingerprint biometrics, though originally conceived as a forensic tool for identifying and recognizing suspects, has -during the last seven years or so- «invaded» the commercial field, together with other forms of biometric technology, with the goal of replacing (sometimes complementing) our traditional keys, cards and passwords in security systems. The weakness inherent to those traditional ways of protecting information or assets is that the access tools can be lost or, even worse, stolen and used by someone who is not the rightful «owner». But by making use of biometrics -face, iris, fingerprints, hand geometry- and using our unique features as an identification key, we could eliminate this problem.
Laptops, smartphones and tablets with built-in fingerprint readers have become commonplace today, as well as a diverse range of peripherals that restrict access to private information, assets or places. As years go by, these biometric readers are being improved to minimize errors, make usage easier and overcome weaknesses. For instance, «Live Finger Detection» technology had to be invented to prevent people from using fake fingers made of rubber, wax or silicone.
Besides from obvious places where it can be used such as lockers, briefcases, and handbags, fingerprint readers are already appearing in unexpected places like wallets, fridges, vending machines, coffee makers (to brew it just the way you like it) and TV remote controls.