Which biometric players didn’t make the final XI?

tl;dr: not all biometric players are right for the team | fingerprint, iris and palm vein all in the relegation zone | best for adoption and cross-channel experience will be those not linked to specific hardware or bound to single devices
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Image courtesy of SPORTbible

Part one of this blog saw me liken the AimBrain biometric modules to the squad of current Premier League leaders, Liverpool F.C.

For part two, I’ll investigate three biometric modules AimBrain that never made the lineup, explaining how they work and in turn why they’re not part of the AimBrain team. And most importantly, I’ll illustrate with some analogies using football players of the last 15 or so years.

Pointing the finger at poor Mark Noble

A reliable biometric with a solid track record which is still used often today is the fingerprint. At the time of its release, it was brilliantly popular and a significant step forward for mobile user experience. People said goodbye to passcodes and began authenticating with their thumbs, which also coincided with the release of Apple/Google Pay allowing people to authenticate for payments simply and swiftly with their fingerprint.

However today, mobile phone manufacturers are leaving behind the fingerprint in search of something more secure, additionally something that isn’t device-dependent, so that it can be used in an omnichannel scenario. The fingerprint will be around for a while yet, although I feel it’s the beginning of the end as the biometric is phased out by key manufacturers.

As a result, the first analogy I will draw here is the similarity between that of the fingerprint biometric and West Ham’s captain and central midfielder, Mark Noble. Week in, week out for many seasons, Mark has consistently performed (to a half decent standard). Reliable, motivated, 31-year-old Noble has been a key member of the West Ham squad for 10 seasons or so, and there are a few more seasons in him yet. Unfortunately, at this later stage in his career, an England call up is now out of the question, more likely perhaps 5 years ago.

“The fingerprint will be around for a while yet, although I feel it’s being phased out…just as Mark Noble still has a few seasons left but won’t be making the England team at this stage of his career.”

However, in Noble’s defence, the midfield position in the national squad has been busy with top-tier footballers, meaning he has been overlooked. Although who’s to say things couldn’t have been very different if Steve had taken Noble to the Euros, if Fabio had taken Noble to South Africa or Roy had taken Noble to Brazil? It pains me to say it, but these are questions that will remain unanswered.

Keeping a watchful eye on Alexis Sanchez

I know we’re upset about Noble, but let’s get back to today’s blog goal. Our next biometric/footballer analogy, iris recognition, is a method of identifying people based on unique patterns within the ring-shaped region surrounding the pupil of the eye. The complex patterns that are visible upon close inspection are unique to you and thus iris recognition is considered a strong form of biometric verification.

A high-resolution digital camera is required to capture a detailed image of the eye which can then be compared against the stored template, and to date, typically it’s this requirement for such an advanced camera that has put manufacturers off deploying this biometric.

Typical smartphones today don’t offer such advanced camera technology especially in the front-facing camera which is a shame as this is an accurate methodology. As technology becomes cheaper and more readily available, who’s to say this won’t change, but for now this is the case.

One of Manchester United’s key signings in 2018 and their highest-paid player, introducing Alexis Sanchez. Despite the high price tag, since joining the Red Devils the Colombian Sanchez has played a total of 32 matches, scoring only four times. For any Manchester United fans out there this is frustrating, to say the least, taking into account Sanchez’s proven accuracy through a strong track record at previous clubs Arsenal F.C. & FC Barcelona.

Small injuries throughout 2018 have not helped, and another direction in which to point the blame would be that of recently dismissed manager Jose Mourinho. The Sanchez and Mourinho relationship never blossomed, the most recent scandal between the two accusing Sanchez of placing a £20,000 bet with team-mate Marcus Rojo concerning the date of the inevitable sacking of Mourinho. The Colombian maintains his innocence.

“Wildly expensive, often unavailable however on his day, he’s a great finisher, it’s only too fitting that I liken Alexis to iris recognition.”

To summarize on Sanchez then; wildly expensive, often unavailable however on his day, he’s a great finisher. It’s only too fitting that I liken Alexis to iris recognition. Caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stepped in to steady the ship and see out the season, and as a result, perhaps a new chapter is on the horizon for Sanchez.

And allowing this brilliantly thought up analogy to continue for a moment longer, perhaps as the technology for more advanced cameras becomes cheaper and more widely available, there’s another chapter in iris recognition yet? Do you see that cliff over there? You’re hanging from it.

Palming off Victor Anichebe

For my final analogy between a biometric and a footballer; palm vein recognition. This works using a palm vein scanner that emits near-infrared rays that are absorbed by deoxidised haemoglobin present in blood flowing through a user’s palm veins. This causes an image of the palm to be captured as a vein pattern, which is then verified against the user’s pre-registered template.

This is a comparatively complex authentication method than with facial authentication for example, and it is also entirely dependent upon the hardware. The hardware is wildly unpopular and I’m not confident a majority of people, if faced with the scanner, would know what to do with it…

Victor Anichebe spent 12 seasons as a Premier League striker with Everton, West Brom and Sunderland. Between 2005 and 2017 the Nigerian scored 27 times in 197 appearances, which means he scored roughly once every seven or eight games. In 12 years.

“Anichebe’s career began a year after Hitachi and Fujitsu launched their first vein biometric products. Both are soon to be lost in the history books.”

The now 30-year-old most recently played for Beijing Enterprises (11 apps, 2 goals) and is currently a free agent. Anichebe’s career began with the Everton Youth Team in 2003, a year earlier Hitachi and Fujitsu launched their first vein biometric products.

Both have been similarly disappointing in their achievements; rarely scoring or deployed, rarely receiving any recognition and soon likely to be lost in the history books.

Relegation zone

In summary, fingerprint, iris and palm vein recognition have varying levels of negatives, all of which outweigh any potential positive. The modules AimBrain offer today are software-based, they’re available in any channel, on any device and provide any organisation with both passive and active authentication options. We have road-mapped future modules but for the digital applications of today, we cover the bases thoroughly.

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