The Biometric Evolution

Microsoft’s Windows Biometric Framework represents the first integrated approach to biometric identification and security

Article published in The Spring Review 2010
Author: Tamsin Oxford

Biometric technology uses an individual’s unique biological traits, such as fingerprints or facial characteristics, to determine identity. The most common form currently in use is fingerprint identification, with tens of millions of devices now shipping for PCs, laptops and peripherals.

However, until recently there wasn’t a consistent set of components upon which developers could build fingerprint biometric devices for the Windows® platform. They had to provide their own drivers, software development kits and applications, and this led to a wide variety of proprietary solutions that didn’t have common management platforms. Many devices had incompatibility issues with applications and were inconsistent in terms of reliability and quality. In a white paper published in December 2008, Microsoft also stated that “the differing nature of application stacks and driver models for biometric devices complicated servicing and maintaining these proprietary solutions."

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