August 23, 2013 – by Peter B. Counter
This week in biometrics we see fingerprints, face recognition, videogames and air travel: as the industry moves well into the second half of 2013 it looks like the market is only expanding its reach. As time’s march brings us closer and closer to the expected iPhone 5S announcement this autumn, it’s an exciting time to be connected to the world of biometrics as it edges on closer to a full-on boom.
The wave of fingerprint fanaticism we saw last week hasn’t subsided yet, with Precise Biometrics and Fingerprint Cards AB (FPC) in mobile identity news, this time in a joint capacity. On Tuesday FPC selected Precise Biometrics’ fingerprint algorithm to be used in its sensor technology. The solution, dubbed BioMatch Mobile, received an official launch on Friday, supports all types of sensors and is currently able to integrate with devices running Android operating systems.
Fingerprint Cards didn’t just license an algorithm from a new partner this week, it also made some noise in Japan, starting with the launch of its first ever smartphone: a Disney-themed device by Fujitsu that features FPC swipe sensors. Made available in DoCoMo stores across Japan, the launch is indicative of the company’s focus on the Asian markets in terms of mobile biometrics. To this end FPC recruited a new country manager, expanding its Tokyo office just after receiving its largest production order in company history.
With all of the hustle and bustle about human digits becoming the security solution that breaks through to the consumer, kills the password and brings biometrics to the people, it’s easy for other technologies directed at the general public to get buried. The Xbox One, for instance, despite initial controversy surrounding the videogame console’s potential invasive nature, stands to bring biometrics based gaming into living rooms across North America this November. Recent product demonstrations have revealed that the next generation console will sport novel and entertaining biometric controllers that operate through facial recognition and gamepad tracking via the system’s Kinect peripheral.
On the topic of facial recognition, the camera-based biometric solution goes from playful to serious and speedy when considering the security applications in the news this week. Opening things up, CLEAR announced Monday that its express security gates will be launching this September in San Jose as it focuses on bringing its security systems to Silicon Valley in the near future.
Meanwhile in Europe, the German Border Police awarded the largest security contract of its kind in order to bring Cognitec facial recognition into airports across Germany. The ten year agreement brings a number of players into a commitment to supply 90 eGates, with the option of adding an additional 180. The initiative will work in conjunction with the distribution of smart passports containing the face data required for authentication.
Finally, fingerprints didn’t stay completely out of security verticals this week, as MorphoTrak continued to bring Arizona’s law enforcement up to biometric standard, introducing its BIOGUARD system to the Maricopa County sheriff’s office. BIOGUARD will now require incoming offenders enroll two fingerprints that must match their profile upon exit.