Biometrics Your Body and the Science of Security by Maria Birmingham, Illustrated by Ian Turner
My, What Unique Eyes You Have!
In BIOMETRICS, Maria Birmingham gives an overview of all the different ways to uniquely identify a person. I found the book to well-written, with all kinds of fun and wacky biometric possibilities. Although the book is aimed at children, I enjoyed reading the book, and I learned a lot about the field.
The author first gives an overview of the field:
“Biometrics focuses on who you are. Since your body and its specific traits are a part of you, they can’t be misplaced or taken, and they’re extremely difficult to duplicate.”
The point is, two different people will never have identical features:
“Biometrics takes advantage of the fact that no two people are exactly alike.”
Of course, there are simple methods like signature recognition, or the classic fingerprints; but that’s not all. There are also some weird ones, like odor or vein recognition.
The author briefly explains the possible downside of Biometrics—i.e., privacy. Opponents of biometrics “Worry about the fact that ID can be collected without a person’s knowledge.”
The author identifies some really far out biometric research. Just when you think you’ve heard about all the novel ways to identify a person, there’s yet another one. In Japan, “engineers are working on a car seat that identifies you by your bum. Yup, bum recognition!”
So all in all, I found BIOMETRICS to be a fun book. Well-designed and easy to read. I thought the illustrations by Ian Turner were especially fun. I confess I was laughing so hard at some of the illustrations that I had trouble focusing on the text. I’m pretty sure, however, that Ian did NOT include an illustration of the “bum recognition” method.