What Sci-Fi movies predicted for biometrics

Science fiction has long been a predictor and inspiration for real-life invention. The genre’s predictive track record stretches millennia, with authors writing about the lunar landing as far back as 175 A.D. And biometric technology is certainly no exception. To revisit the Hollywood archives:

  • Star Trek (1966): Voice ID was used on the ship for voice commands and Kirk uses a retina scan to access Project Genesis data. Facial recognition was used in 2013 to enter the archives in Star Trek Into Darkness.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Computers could authenticate voice, understand speech and even interpret emotions.
  • RoboCop (1987): Facial identification was used to identify a villain in a photo database.
  • Back to the Future Part II (1989): Fingerprints were used to unlock doors and validate digital payments – in the year 2015.
  •  Then there’s Demolition Man, The Fifth Element, Alien: Resurrection, Starship Troopers, Minority Report, Terminator – the list goes on!

But these Sci-Fi security systems are no longer just a thing of futuristic dreams – they are the reality of mainstream security. Everyone has the ability to access their own personal Spock, aka Alexa, Siri and Google. And fingerprints and facial recognition are the go-to methods for unlocking devices.

Despite this, you only need to see MD Blair’s recent interview on ausbiz TV (watch here) to understand that people outside the industry continue to view biometrics as Hollywood fiction, or quite literally Mission Impossible.

So what does this mean for biometric identity providers?

While government and enterprise are in dire need of passwordless and cardless authentication – and they know it – we’ve still got some work to do when it comes to educating end users. This includes explaining what biometrics is and how it works, as well as the benefits to both users and their organisations. Importantly, we need to ensure they feel confident that providers like Daltrey can protect their data and privacy. And, as ausbiz jokes, we need to explain that liveness detection ensures no one will cut their finger off to gain access!

Learn how Daltrey’s liveness detection works.