Biometrics Industry News Roundup: A Truly Multi-Modal Week

This week at findBIOEMTRICS we brought Multi-Modal Month to a close, but you wouldn’t know it taking a look at the industry news section. For a month dedicated to the diversity of biometrics, identity management solutions and their applications, the final week of June was truly emblematic of the theme.

We started the week with a novel application of biometric software from SpeechPro. A forensics expert in Los Angeles used the company’s SIS II Voice ID module to match audio samples and uncover the identity of Mr. Hidden Cash: a formerly anonymous man who was hiding money all over California.

Though that seems like a less than critical use for biometrics, the ease with which Mr. Hidden Cash’s identity was revealed safely (and entertainingly) demonstrated a great application in law enforcement.

Biometrics don’t just help catch criminals, strong authentication technology is promising to also keep better track of them once they’re doing time. On Wednesday, a new patent was filed by Telmate, an inmate communications provider in the United States, that describes a technology that uses biometric authentication to track the locations of the incarcerated.

Border control – a market that has recently been identified as on the rise – also kept itself prominently in the news this week. MorphoTrust USA (Safran) opened six new biometric enrollment centers in airports across America, supporting the TSA’s pre-screening initiative, Pre✓.

Morpho (Safran), meanwhile, announced that it will be upgrading the Dutch ID documents for similar purposes. The company has been working closely with the Dutch government developing next generation secure biometric travel documents and identity cards. The new IDs incorporate the latest in secure document technology features and are valid for ten years.

This week also saw the release of a report showing that citizens from across the globe are ready to submit their biometric information in order to have a more convenient travel experience. The research was conducted by Accenture, who surveyed 3,000 people from Australia, France, Germany, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. The research shows overwhelming support for biometric border control, with 89 percent of the respondents in favor.

Combining the two above markets, border control and law enforcement, we saw the announcement of the Department of Homeland Security’s 2015 funding and its allocation. For the coming fiscal year, $249 million will be going to the Office of Biometric Identity Management and $10 million has been allocated towards what was described in the bill summary as, “maintaining trusted traveler programs such as additional Global Entry kiosks, more mobile document readers, expanding the integrated traveler process and expanding activities at existing preclearance locations”.

Speaking of which, Research and Markets released a report this week naming the government sector as a key driver in the global facial recognition market. According to the research, the market will grow at a CAGR of 26.6 percent over the five years between 2013 and 2018.

In fingerprint recognition, the Workers’ Credit Union has implemented a DigitalPersona biometric solution in order to provide logical access control to online applications and websites. The organization’s 240 employees (across 15 branches) are using the company’s DigitalPersona Pro with U.are.U fingerprint readers to authenticate, a development that is winning the Union back some of its employees’ time.

Finally, turning to the realm of physical access control, we had a chance to talk about iris recognition this past week with the announcement that Anviz Global has launched a new biometric system. Named UltraMatch, the new solution can scan user irises from distances between 18 and 25 centimeters – even in complete darkness – and features a dual-functioning algorithm that can extract employee biometrics and also match scanned irises with stored templates.

Stay posted to findBIOMETRICS as we enter July and introduce the next monthly focus. Be sure to follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss a beat.

June 29, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter