ClockedIn Limited

What Is Biometric Technology All About?

August 30, 2019

You may be thinking ‘I’ve heard of Biometrics but what is it?’ well, read on and I will take you on a journey deep inside your fingerprint groves! Biometrics is basically a measurement and statistical representation of an individuals physical and behavioural characters. Human fingerprints are used in the most common biometric technology, fingerprint readers.

Firstly, did you know there are 3 main types of fingerprint patterns, Arches, Loops and Whirls. These groups were invented by Sir Edward Henry in the early 19th century, which England first adopted as an official fingerprint categorisation system. The 3 primary patterns are then sub categorised into:


  • Plain arch
  • Tented Arch


  • Radial loops
  • Ulnar loops
  • Double loop


  • Plain whorl
  • Central pocket loop whorl
  • Accidental whorl

Loop fingerprints appear in between 60-70% of the worldwide population and therefore is the most common pattern. Closely followed by whorls making up 25-35%. Finally, the most infrequent fingerprint pattern is an Arch, making up only 5% of encountered fingerprints. Do you have the rare arch pattern on your fingers?

Fingerprints can appear to look very similar to the human eye, however this is not the case. Infact, your fingerprints are a lot more useful than you think they may be! So why are fingerprints superior when it comes to technology? Other forms of verification and identification methods, such as passwords and identification documents can unfortunately be lost. Furthermore, they can be shared and altered illegally. These methods of verification are not as reliable as using unique fingerprints for identification and access control.

So why is a biometric fingerprint solution extremely popular?

    1. Universal – The majority of the population have all their fingers, this allows users to enrol multiple fingerprints on fingerprint identification system.
    2. Uniqueness – Every person’s fingerprints are unique, therefore this creates a high accuracy system ideal for time & attendance, as well as access control. Fingerprints cannot be shared in comparison to pass/pin codes which is secure.
    3. Accurate – fingerprint readers cannot be cheated by the end user. Optical and capacitive readers will only take an image of a real placed finger.
    4. Efficiency – Fingerprint readers can match a placed finger quicker than alternative methods, such as entering a pin code, or placing an NFC tag. This is advantageous in many working environments for quick access to doors, and a slick method of clocking in to work through time and attendance systems.

Government research suggests that the global market for biometrics is estimated to grow to £21 billion by 2022 (a 130% increase on 2016). There a many factors that have caused this positive grow in the industry. Such as, the vulnerability of passwords due to sharing, and growth in the mobile device market with advanced biometric features.


Andrew CI-8

Andrew Blackwell

Part of the ClockedIn family since: 2017

Favourite quote: “Winners use words that say ‘must’ and ‘will’.”