March is Mobile Biometrics Month 2017 at FindBiometrics, and what a time to take an in-depth look at one of the most rapidly evolving areas of identity and authentication technology. To get things started on the right foot, we have put together the following primer to provide you with a snapshot of mobile biometrics today.
The View From Mobile World Congress
As of this writing FindBiometrics and our sister site Mobile ID World are in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress: the most important mobile industry conference of the year. Biometrics and authentication are a major theme at MWC this year, with fingerprint sensor innovation sharing the spotlight with contactless modalities as the mobile industry as a whole prepares for the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G networks in only a few years time.
FindBiometrics president Peter O’Neill caught up with GSMA’s head of Applications & Services, David Pollington, at the Innovation City exhibit to talk about the important role biometrics is playing in enabling the next generation of connectivity. Listen to the interview at the link bellow:
The Mobile Biometrics Market
We are on track to see full biometric proliferation on mobile devices by next year, according to new research from Acuity Market Intelligence forecasting that every smartphone shipped in 2018 will sport biometrics. That sort of ubiquity is important for a number of reasons, but a key factor that comes with it is accessibility. Acuity’s research has highlighted that of the 500 biometric smartphone models currently on the market, a sizable amount are in affordable price ranges. This low price point plays an integral role in putting biometrics in the hands of users, familiarizing them with biometric technology, and inevitably enabling them to use the growing number of biometric authentication options available for banking, payments, online login, enterprise mobility, government services and more. Take a look at some of the recent mobile biometrics research we’ve reported on:
Next Generation Mobility
Mobility is not just smartphones anymore. Innovations in Internet of Things (IoT), connected cars, augmented reality, virtual reality, wearable tech, and artificial intelligence are all spaces where biometrics are finding a foothold. The following news stories collected form the past few months will help illustrate how innovations in connectivity are expanding the definition of mobility, and how biometrics are finding themselves along for the ride.
While Touch ID on the iPhone kick-started the biometric revolution in smartphones, starting the trend of handsets shipping with embedded fingerprint sensors, today there is nary a biometric modality that isn’t available on some kind of mobile hardware. Face and voice recognition—thanks to their software-based nature that takes advantage of standard cameras and microphones—are being built-in to mobile apps. New flagship phones are shipping with iris scanners. Behavioral biometrics are able to measure how users interact with and hold their devices, while wearable tech is becoming the medium to carry cardiac signal authentication. Even modalities that have traditionally been too expensive or demanded too much design space to be feasible on mobile devices are coming to mobile, with palm vein biometrics now featured on some tablets.
The following news stories will provide an overview of the increasingly diverse range of modalities available on mobile devices:
Fingerprint Sensor Evolution
Even with that shift to multimodality, Fingerprints are far from passe. Now that fingerprint sensors are all but standard features on smartphones and tablets, the biometric technology has reached the next step in maturity: it must evolve with the design demands of the mobile industry at large. At the moment, this relationship is manifesting as a race to develop in-display fingerprint sensors that enable efficient button-free design by OEMs, and have potential as a smartwatch authentication solution. Meanwhile a focus on improving the technology’s efficacy and functionality via liveness detection and other invocations is becoming a priority in this space. Read about the latest fingerprint innovations below:
Payments and banking have long been the go-to use case for mobile biometrics. Banking apps and mobile wallets embraced biometric authentication early on, and as such gave users and service providers something to do with all the sensors and identity software available to them. Fingerprint and iris are the modalities of choice by the leading mPayment platforms, but financial services providers and banks lean toward software solutions that are flexible enough to serve customers regardless of the unique hardware on their handset. Check out some of the latest news stories about biometrics, mobility, and money.
The days of FinTech dominating the biometrics conversation are slowly coming to an end now that mobile biometrics are being embraced by a wide range of vertical markets. Enterprise mobility management, applications in healthcare, enrollment in national ID programs, law enforcement identification and booking procedures—these are just some of the spaces mobile biometrics are enabling strong authentication and identity.
The Mobile Conversation
Mobile biometrics are in a state of perpetual development and innovation, so the dialogue surrounding the technology is always changing. At FindBiometrics we are consistently engaging industry experts in this conversation so you can keep your finger on the pulse of the latest thinking in strong authentication and identity tech in the mobile sphere. Here are some recent interviews that will give context to the market as we start Mobile Biometric Month 2017.
Stay posted to FindBiometrics throughout the month of March as we continue to focus on the rapidly evolving mobile biometric market. Be sure to sign up for our Mobile Biometrics Month 2017 Webinar, and follow us on Twitter to stay on top of all the most important identity management news.
March 3, 2017 – by Peter B. Counter