But fingerprint scanning, as we know it today, didn't come of its own until the late 1960s, with the development
of live scan technology that received fingerprints without ink. It's not clear who invented this "dry" fingerprinting technique, but it was eagerly adopted by the FBI, as well as an unnamed Wall Street security corporation in 1968.
Since then, biometric technology permutated beyond fingerprint readers and into iris scanners and voice recognition tools. Dozens of companies and inventors were involved in these efforts.
Biometric devices, which began as large devices that provided physical access to military installations, have also gone more lightweight. In the past five years, companies such as Authentify, Aladdin, IBM and DigitalPersona have developed pocket-sized biometric tokens, the same size as one-time password tokens that can be plugged into a USB port.
But the field is still evolving, with many traditional authentication vendors jumping on the biometrics bandwagon. Devices are smaller, more portable and easier to use. They have become a standard feature on some new laptops.
For more information:
Dig deeper on Biometric Technology
Related Q&A from Joel Dubin, past SearchSecurity.com expert
The security of RFID chips and smart cards may not be fully mature, but there are best practices to keep facilities safe. Identity and access ...continue reading
Picture passwords for mobile device security aren't a new idea, but they have been recently improved. Identity and access management expert Joel ...continue reading
Hacked smart cards are a large potential threat to enterprises that utilize them. Learn how to thwart smart card hackers.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.