Ever since fingerprint identification capabilities were added to the Apple iPhone in 2013, biometrics has been heralded as the next secure and convenient method of identification and authentication.[1]

While smartphones aren’t the only devices adding biometric authentication, they are indicative of how ubiquitous biometrics has become. Biometrics is moving from limited use in high security government and business applications to widespread use in both the office and the home.

New biometric technology is being developed to recognize the physical and behavioral characteristics of an individual based on unique facial features, voice, speech patterns, signature and DNA.[2]

Analysts predict the global biometrics market will reach $41.5 billion by 2020.[3] Governments and businesses like the reliability of biometric security, as authentication is very hard to fake. In addition, the internet of things is hastening the adoption of biometric security for a wide range of applications.

Industry experts see 2017 as a turning point for widespread application of biometric technology on smartphones, tablets, PCs, peripheral devices, touchscreens, keyboards, audio speakers, automobiles, doors, home security systems, luggage and other consumer devices.[4]

Some of the business areas where biometric security technology is being applied include:[5]

  • Online banking and mobile payments – Banks are moving beyond fingerprint sensors to iris authentication on smartphones.
  • Electronic government services – Government agencies using ecommerce applications are considering biometrics to improve information security and assure user identity.
  • Immigration and law enforcement services – Fingerprint authentication is considered reliable and cost effective for identification purposes.
  • Workforce management – Businesses are beginning to use biometrics to reduce employee time theft (i.e., arriving late or departing early) and increase reliability of identification protocols.
  • Internet of things – Biometric applications are quickly moving into smart manufacturing, corporate security, smart home technology and home security systems.
  • Multifactor identification – As security needs increase, more companies are moving to identification and authentication using multiple methods. Biometrics combines seamlessly with other traditional methods of verification.
  • Retail – Biometric point-of-sale applications eliminate the need for PIN codes or pricing barcodes, making the shopping experience easier for customers.
  • Health care – Applications can monitor patient vital signs and medical conditions, on site or remotely. Biometric sensors in wearables help patients manage chronic illnesses, weight and exercise levels.

[1] “Biometric Trends for 2017,” by Alan Goode, Veridium blog, Dec. 15, 2016. Available at: https://www.veridiumid.com/blog/biometric-trends-for-2017/

[2] Biometric security systems: a guide to devices, fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, access control,” IFSEC Global blog, Oct. 28, 2016. Available at: https://www.ifsecglobal.com/biometric-security-systems-guide-devices-fingerprint-scanners-facial-recognition/

[3] “10 Biometric Technology Trends to Watch in 2017,” by Danny Thakkar, Bayometric blog, Feb. 8, 2017. Available at: https://www.bayometric.com/biometric-technology-trends/

[4] “Biometric Trends for 2017,” by Alan Goode, Veridium blog, Dec. 15, 2016. Available at: https://www.veridiumid.com/blog/biometric-trends-for-2017/

[5] “10 Biometric Technology Trends to Watch in 2017,” by Danny Thakkar, Bayometric blog, Feb. 8, 2017. Available at: https://www.bayometric.com/biometric-technology-trends/

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