New this year is a palm vein reader that will identify you using the pattern of blood vessels just under your skin, saving customers that use the recharging station the hassle of wearing wristbands and showing proof of identity. According to Vodafone, it will even work if your hands are caked in festival mud.
Think of all the ways business keep track of their customers for short periods of time by issuing some sort of token: a bracelet, a hand stamp, a slip of paper with a number on it, or asking for ID for proof of age when they don’t really care who you are, etc.
For many of these cases, the business is only interested a relationship between two things, one of which is a person. In this example, the relationship is between a person and the mobile phone they leave recharging while they rush back to the Garden Stage to hear Suzanne Vega sing Tom’s Diner. But dry cleaners, coat checks, and valets all do something similar.
In other cases, the business is interested in who can go where or do what so they can administer VIP areas, determine who can use the subway, consume alcohol or see an R rated movie.
Many types of business have processes in place that are at least in part about identity management. It’ll be interesting to see if, when and how some of them look to biometrics to make things easier.