How wearable biometric devices are changing individual identification

Updated 17 January 2015

How wearable biometric devices are changing individual identification

What exactly are “wearables” and why are they becoming so popular? Wearable biometric devices refer to electronic physiologic tracking technology incorporated into items of clothing and/or accessories that can read, record, and store individual biometric traits such as your heart rate, blood pressure, calorie intake, monitoring sleep, measuring steps, or charting any type of physical activity, and most wearables communicate data through wireless Wi-Fi or near field communication (NFC) technology. The future of individual identification in consumer based industries will be led by the integration of wearable technology with authentication and identification in both physical and virtual environments. Examples of potential wearable devices that could be included in this integration are smart watches, bands, ear-pods, jewelry, eyeglasses, contact lenses and clothing.
Many wearable devices now include biometric identification capabilities and have the potential to influence how we identify ourselves in the fields of health and medicine, fitness, education, transportation, finance, gaming, and music.
The burgeoning field of biometric identification uses physiological features such as fingerprints, finger vein and palm vein patterns, as well as iris and facial recognition to verify individual identities by comparing a live person’s biological credentials with a previously stored biometric template. Biometrics are used as a high level identification mechanism offering strong security in many government and commercial settings including border control, voter registration, public safety, workforce management, financial services, and more. There are many types of wearable biometric devices used in different industries in different scenarios, each of them playing a vital role to bring security and convenience to consumers. Here are some top wearable devices with biometric identification capabilities that are used in industries for various purposes:
Google Glass: Google Glass is a wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). This wearable device is compatible with voice and facial recognition and has the capability to perform individual identification. Google glass opened a new era of reliable identification methods for law enforcement agencies to identify criminals, banks to verify customers, and in health care for accurate patient identification.
The applications of Google Glass for identification are far reaching. For example, Dubai police will soon use Google Glass for field operation purposes with a custom-developed facial recognition software platform. Dubai police will now be able to capture photos of people around them and search their faces in a database of people wanted for crimes.
According to the Financial Times, a number of banks, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Ukraine’s PrivatBank, are developing so-called augmented reality apps to use with Google Glass to verify customers with added information about their physical surroundings in real time using voice and facial recognition.
Smart watches: ”Smart watches” are getting smarter, containing operating systems that can now perform multiple tasks such as calculations, translations, functioning as media player, making or answering phone calls, and a host of other functions that extend their utility far beyond keeping time. On the horizon are smart watches with biometric authentication capabilities that promise to accelerate their adoption for individual identification.
Samsung Electronics, together with global financial transaction service PayPal, is preparing to install a mobile payment function into smart watches by using a biometric identification sensor including fingerprint verification that will enable end users to quickly sign into PayPal and easily make secure mobile payments. This would increase the ability to simplify payment authentication on a device with limited space for a long PIN or password that will lead the retail industry to adopt wearable biometric devices for individual identification in payment systems.
Wristbands: Wristbands are very comfortable to use and now offer end users — biometric authentication capabilities using their heart rate, blood pressure, or body temperature. These types of wristbands are capable of individual identification for different purposes such as health care for patient identification and monitoring, financial services for customer and employee identification, in retail for fast transactions, and for use in the ”Internet of Things” for virtual authentication. The Royal bank of Canada is trialing lower risk biometric banking payments using a wearable biometric wristband device for customer identification with the tap of a wrist at the point of sale.
Wearable biometric devices connected with smartphones or computers using wireless Bluetooth, WI-FI, or NFC bring a convenient way to identify individuals in different industries. Healthcare, banking/financial services, and the Internet of Things are examples of settings that stand to see huge benefits in different identification scenarios such as patient identification, mobile payments, banking transactions, employee identification, digital authentication, and more. Here are some key benefit of using wearables for individual identification:
Accurate Identification: Wearable biometric devices help perform accurate identification when speed and higher accuracy are needed. Industries such as health care, banking, and retail can benefit using this technology for convenient transactions and access control authentication.
Fast, Accurate Retail Payment Identification: Wearable biometric devices allow end users to quickly pay for point of sale and online goods and services. Payment services like AliPay, Apple Pay, and PayPal are planning to move from smart mobile devices to wearable devices to offer convenient, biometrically-authenticated payments.
Increase Productivity and Accountability in Workforce Management: Enterprises can use wearable biometric devices to identify employees for access control purposes, to record time and attendance, and automatically allow access to sensitive information. This can help businesses to increase productivity and accountability and implement secure access control systems.
Unique Security Features: Consumers are concerned about security when using mobile based payments. Wearable biometric devices provide unique and secure identification features that increases faith and trust among consumers to engage in mobile transactions.

Author bio: Arifin Hussain is the SEO Specialist with M2SYS Technology, an award-winning industry leader in biometric identity management technology.

What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

Updated 16 June 2019

What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

  • Some of the gifts have either gone missing, were stolen or destroyed over the decades

HOUSTON, Texas: US President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill.
While some hold pride of place in museums and scientific institutions, many others are unaccounted for — they have either gone missing, were stolen or even destroyed over the decades.
The list below recounts the stories of some of the missing moon rocks and others that were lost and later found.
It is compiled from research done by Joseph Gutheinz Jr, a retired NASA special agent known as the “Moon Rock Hunter,” his students, and collectSPACE, a website which specializes in space history.

• Both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks presented to perpetually war-wracked Afghanistan have vanished.

• One of the moon rocks destined for Cyprus was never delivered due to the July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the assassination of the US ambassador the following month.
It was given to NASA years later by the son of a US diplomat but has not been handed over to Cyprus.

Joseph Gutheinz, an attorney known as the "Moon Rock Hunter," displays meteorite fragments in his office on May 22, 2019 in Friendswood, Texas. (AFP / Loren Elliot)

• Honduras’s Apollo 17 moon rock was recovered by Gutheinz and Bob Cregger, a US Postal Service agent, in a 1998 undercover sting operation baptized “Operation Lunar Eclipse.”
It had been sold to a Florida businessman, Alan Rosen, for $50,000 by a Honduran army colonel. Rosen tried to sell the rock to Gutheinz for $5 million. It was seized and eventually returned to Honduras.

• Ireland’s Apollo 11 moon rock was on display in Dublin’s Dunsink Observatory, which was destroyed in a 1977 fire. Debris from the observatory — including the moon rock — ended up in the Finglas landfill.

• The Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks given to then Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi have vanished.

• Malta’s Apollo 17 moon rock was stolen from a museum in May 2004. It has not been found.

• Nicaragua’s Apollo 17 moon rock was allegedly sold to someone in the Middle East for $5-10 million. Its Apollo 11 moon rock ended up with a Las Vegas casino owner, who displayed it for a time in his Moon Rock Cafe. Bob Stupak’s estate turned it over to NASA when he died. It has since been returned to Nicaragua.

• Romania’s Apollo 11 moon rock is on display in a museum in Bucharest. Romania’s Apollo 17 moon rock is believed to have been sold by the estate of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed along with his wife, Elena, on Christmas Day 1989.

Spain’s Apollo 17 moon rock is on display in Madrid’s Naval Museum after being donated by the family of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, who was assassinated by the Basque separatist group ETA in 1973.
Spain’s Apollo 11 moon rock is missing and is believed to be in the hands of the family of former dictator Francisco Franco.