February 9, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter
If this is the year that biometrics go full-on mainstream – just as experts and analysts have been predicting – then nothing quite underscores it like their involvement in this year’s Super Bowl. I’m not talking about in terms of players having vital statistics measured in real time, or palm-vein scanning footballs used to keep track of fumbles (though that one would be really neat), I am talking about the facial and vital recognition used last weekend to measure the effectiveness of the commercials aired during one of the most watched television events of the year.
The mainstreaming of biometrics is making Fingerprint Cards AB optimistic about 2014, having just this week released its fourth quarter financial report for last year. Announcing it as the best Q4 the company has ever experienced in regards to sales, FPC is pointing a thankful finger at Apple’s iPhone 5S and its nifty little Touch ID feature for putting biometrics in the hands of mainstream consumers. A quarter or collaboration, innovation and major design wins, FPC’s Q4 2013 added up to make the year a record one for the company as well.
Speaking of revenue, MorphoTrust USA (Safran) signed three major contracts across as many states this week to the projected tune of $25.2 million. The biometric services provider will be providing the necessary fingerprint based background checks for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the New Jersey Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police and the Nevada Department of Public Safety. If served to the full possible terms (five to six depending on which one) MorphoTrust will be raking in the above figure while properly vetting workers in various fields who regularly interact with children or require special licensing (firearms, etc).
This week biometrics as child protection was the most shared topic on findBIOMETRICS. In addition to the background checks mentioned above, the past seven days also had us talking about preventative measures in child abduction. The healthcare division of M2SYS launched its KinderGuardian service in order to thwart kidnappers and rescue children on their subsequent visits to the doctor’s office or hospital. Leveraging the RightPatient iris based biometric patient tracking technology that already helps reduce fraud and keep operations efficient, children who are voluntarily opted-in to the KinderGuardian program will be identified upon sign in and flagged if reported missing by their parents.
Moving to less grave topics, biometrics can also protect through limiting access. When it comes to data, generally conversations turn to logical access control solutions, but this week news came in that the Switch SuperNAPs data centers in Nevada will be using Suprema fingerprint readers to physically protect the buildings that facilitate information transfer, cloud computing and other services provided by the already geographically secure infrastructure hubs. The security upgrade is being facilitated by Suprema’s US operating partner, EnterTech Systems, who will also be providing technical support (somewhat of a company specialty).
Finally, this week guest blogger Denise Myers took a look at the terrifying alternate reality of biometrics as illustrated by mainstream Hollywood entertainment. Examining movie versions of eye-based security, Denise debunks the sci-fi horror of biometric locks while exploring the Eyeprint – vascular patterns on the side of an eyeball measured by EyeVerify technology – as an authentication factor.