Biometrics in the Era of COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities
Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on many aspects of daily life. A range of different measures have been implemented worldwide to reduce the rate of new infections and to manage the pressure on national health services. A primary strategy has been to reduce gatherings and the potential for transmission through the prioritisation of remote working and education. Enhanced hand hygiene and the use of facial masks have decreased the spread of pathogens when gatherings are unavoidable. These particular measures present challenges for reliable biometric recognition, e.g. for facial-, voice-and hand-based biometrics. At the same time, new challenges create new opportunities and research directions, e.g. renewed interest in non-constrained iris or periocular recognition, touch-less fingerprint-and vein-based authentication and the use of biometric characteristics for disease detection. This article presents an overview of the research carried out to address those challenges and emerging opportunities.