What is mobile biometric technology?
Mobile biometrics solutions live at the intersection of connectivity and identity. They incorporate either one or many biometric modalities for authentication or identification purposes, and take advantage of smartphones, tablets, other types of handhelds, wearable technology, and Internet of Things devices for versatile deployment capabilities. Thanks to the versatility brought to the table by modern mobile technology, as well as the proliferation of mobile paradigms in the consumer, public, and private worlds, mobile biometrics are increasingly important.
Whether software based or hardware enabled, whether they match on device or on a secure server, whether they protect smartphone lock screens or identify wanted persons in the field of duty, mobile biometrics solutions account for an increasingly essential aspect of the overall biometrics landscape. There is nary a biometric modality that can’t be integrated into a mobile form factor, and as we have explored in our FindBiometrics webinar series, mobile biometrics are likely to hold the key to how we view and interact with identity as a whole in the near future.
Where can I find mobile biometric technology?
The first answer is obvious: your smartphone likely supports at least one biometric modality, be it fingerprint or iris courtesy of an integrated sensor, or face, voice, or vascular via biometric software the leverages the device’s built-in microphone and camera. Indeed, recent research has predicted that within only a few more years, every single smartphone will ship with built-in biometric technology for authentication purposes.
But consumers aren’t the be-all-end-all of mobile biometrics. Mobile biometrics got their start in law enforcement, and they still play an important role in fighting crime, allowing for the identification of persons of interest in the field. In healthcare, mobile biometric kits can be used to bring electronic health records to makeshift vaccination clinics in remote areas, and in India, mobile finger and iris readers are used to enroll rural citizens in its ambitious Aadhaar national ID program.
How are mobile biometric solutions making a difference?
The leading mobile wallets, which allow users to pay for goods and services at point of sale with their smartphones, use fingerprint and iris biometrics to authenticate transactions.
The growing popularity of mobile biometrics for consumers stoked the demand for integrated biometric security on smartphones so much that, in 2015, a fingerprint sensor manufacturer was the best performing stock in Europe.
Mobile biometric readers were used in the wake of the AsiaAir flight QZ8501 crash to help identify victims, cross referencing biometric traits with national ID databases so that surviving families could be notified.