Many of the activities in our everyday life depend on an array of cards and passwords that we need to provide to confirm who we are. But lose a card, and your ATM will refuse to give you money. Forget a password, and your own computer may not let you login. Allow your card or passwords to fall into the wrong hands, and what were intended to be security measures can become the tools of fraud or result in loss of privacy. Biometrics — the automated recognition of people via distinctive anatomical and behavioral traits (e.g., fingerprint, face, iris, gait) — has the potential to overcome many of these problems with cards and passwords. This talk will introduce the origins of biometric recognition, a snapshot of state of the art capabilities, and opportunities and challenges for research in this exciting technology that is permeating our society.