Technology has risen to newer heights over recent years. It has brought on miraculous advancements in industries and has set amazing trends among consumers. With no signs of stopping, technology will continue to grow in its influence, accuracy, efficiency, and power among buyers, industries, etc.
Biometrics hopes to authenticate one’s identity when it comes to security. This proposed technology also hopes to help marketing teams statistically analyze physical and behavioral characteristics.
But what about privacy? What if people don’t want technology to track and validate their identities or other personal information? Understandably, this is an obstacle that can halt the implementation of biometrics, especially for public events.
- The uses of biometrics at events
- The industries that might use biometrics
- The concerns for privacy
Definition of biometric technology
Biometrics, or biometric authentication, refers to technology that dives into a person’s unique, identifiable attributes as a means to identify and authenticate him, her, or them. Human attributes that biometrics is expected to look into are the face, fingerprints, hands, voice, eyes, and others.
These attributes would be used to identify someone without the person having to pull out their identification card and or receipt. Based on its concept, someone will need to be scanned biometrically, in order to get into a restricted area or secured place like an airport, a stadium, or elsewhere.
So, where did biometrics start developing in the consumer sphere?
- Heart rate
- Sleep patterns
- Blood pressure
Now, biometrics-enabled wearables might be used to attend events and keep track of energy levels.
Uses of biometrics at events
Biometrics, as it stands currently, has potential. In fact, there are many possible uses for biometrics, should it move forward in public events. While some uses are no-brainers, other uses can be never-before-seen until now.
First, registration is imperative for access to an event. Traditionally, attendees would need to do all (or some) of the following.
- Sign-in (print or digital)
- Show an ID card
- Show proof of purchase (of a ticket or admission), etc.
But with biometrics, event registration is streamlined for both event organizers and attendees. Similar to having a kiosk set up in the venue, biometrics only requires certain human attributes (i.e. face, fingerprints, etc.) in order to get into the event. This technology can be implemented during preregistration or during in-person registration.
Normally, consumers would pay for tickets (print or digital) to an event. But what if a physical ticket gets lost? What if a digital ticket gets corrupted or compromised by hackers?
The good news is, biometrics hopes to change all that. By eliminating physical or digital tickets, there’s no need to worry about losing an entry into an event. Biometrics can also help prevent fake event tickets from circulating in public or on the black market. Plus, this helps in reducing paper waste from having to create physical tickets, only for them to be thrown away and or wasted away somewhere.
There’s no doubt that people will buy things (i.e. food, merch, etc.) at an event. Normally, people would pay with cash, debit, or credit. However, pick-pockets still exist, and so do cybercriminals. There has to be a way to prevent such things from happening at an event, right? There is!
With biometrics, guests can opt to provide credit card information at preregistration, and then pay for merch with their biometric data. This makes it easier for people to buy things without having to worry about pulling out a physical credit card or cash in front of unsuspecting and or would-be thieves. This is also beneficial for marketing teams since their aim is to look for ways to market their products and or services to more consumers.
Crowd control and restricted access
Events can draw in many people, depending on the theme and situation. Regardless, large crowds can create confusion for both event-goers and organizers. This is especially an issue for restricted-access areas, because sometimes, unauthorized persons may slip through the cracks, which can cause a security risk.
The good news is, biometric authentication ensures that the right people get access to certain places. This is especially great for VIP sections and restricted areas. Biometrics also prevents unauthorized individuals from entering restricted sections.
Tracking guests’ biometrics
Since wearable biometric tech (like FitBit) already tracks specific vitals, wearables can also play a role at events. Biometrics has the potential to keep track of people reacting to stimuli in real-time. This allows companies guests’ emotional and physical responses to certain situations during an event. As a result, event runners can improve attendee experiences for future events, based on what the wearables show.
Facial recognition has been growing more and more in today’s technology. This form of biometrics involves scanning one’s face, as they request access to a place, such as an event. This adds an extra layer of security since facial recognition puts… well, a face to someone, rather than just allowing them to simply show an ID card.
Facial recognition also allows for security cameras to better identify people, should someone try to commit fraud, thievery, vandalism, and so on during the event. The technology also makes creating accurate heatmaps possible for both event organizers and marketers by looking into foot traffic. This also makes it possible for first aid personnel, law enforcement, etc. to tend to an emergency situation if need be.
Likely industries that will use biometrics
So, now that we know how biometrics can be used in an event, what types of industries are already looking into this technology? Or what industries are concerning using biometrics?
Although biometrics might still be fairly new, certain industries are already considering the prospect of authenticating people’s identity with the technology.
- Biometrics can tap into people’s preferred music playlist, and play “the right music.”
- Biometrics can monitor how people are feeling, and how they’re responding to certain songs, genres, and situations. In other words, what types of songs and music will they dance to? What songs or music make them feel good.
- Biometrics can create a heatmap of people, based on the music that’s playing. In other words, how many people are leaving because they didn’t like the song? How many people are staying because they love the music?
- Biometrics can help out during the event admission phase. When people enter a stadium or center, they’ll be asked to provide human attributes (i.e. fingerprints, facial recognition, etc.), instead of print or digital sports tickets, in order to receive entry into a game or other event.
- Biometrics can be used by consumers whenever they shop for food, merch, etc. at the event. Instead of cash or a physical card to pay for purchases, vendors can scan human attributes to verify card payments.
- Biometric badges or wearables can grant attendees access to a conference.
- Biometric heatmaps can track foot traffic, such as what events and topics are successful. This information, in turn, can be used to make events much better.
What about privacy?
It’s important to note that people are often concerned about their privacy, whether in public or online. “Nowadays, consumers live in a connected world, where the Internet and social media reign supreme when it comes to technology. So, it makes sense that users will want privacy whenever they use technology.
So, where does biometrics stand, when it comes to privacy?
In order for biometrics to legitimately work for everyone, there needs to be a stable balance between privacy and security. Overall event participation requires that not only everyone is safe, but also that a person’s privacy is respected. With that said, personal information needs to be handled responsibly to ensure both identity validation and privacy.
Using the right biometric tech
Now, it’s important to note that while some people might be skeptical about allowing biometrics to be a part of events, there are still some that desperately want better security. The good news is, when biometrics is executed properly – meaning that they won’t force people to share personal and biological information if they’re not comfortable – it can be a godsend for security in event venues.
As you can see, biometrics is still being considered, if not 100% implemented yet. As this overview has shown, there is still more ground to cover before all events take advantage of biometrics. With more improvements underway for this rising technology, security and privacy would soon go hand-in-hand, when it comes to making events safer and more attractive to guests, organizers, and marketing teams alike.