Biometrics Industry News Roundup: Apple Pay Gets Launched and Biometric Lunch Lines Get a Pass

This week at FindBiometrics we entered week two of Mobile Biometrics Month, so it was appropriate that Apple took center stage in identity management news with its highly anticipated September keynote. In addition to new biometrics powered products and services out of Cupertino, we also reported on analysis concerning the global facial recognition market, stories on the topic of student biometrics and new biometric launches and contracts.

Mobile Biometrics

September is Mobile Biometrics Month. Get caught up on the topic with our FindBiometrics Primer

Starting with the big consumer biometrics news, Apple execs took to the stage in California to introduce two new iPhone models, a mobile wallet and a smartwatch, all of which prominently feature biometrics. While Mobile ID World reported on the announcement itself, FindBiometrics took a look at how the iPhone 6 models, Apple Pay and Apple Watch all work together, adding up to a robust personal identity ecosystem.

Still on the topic of strong mobile authentication, a new report from Goode Intelligence underlines the crucial role that biometrics are playing in the current mobile device landscape. The new white paper titled Mobile Voice Biometrics – Meeting the Needs of Convenient User Authentication focuses specifically on voice recognition for mobile devices.

Another new report, this one analyzing the global facial recognition market, cites restrictions on users’ sharing of personal details as a hindrance to market growth. Specifically using the example of the covert monitoring of an individual, the report – which covers the period between 2014 and 2020 – doesn’t seem to paint a negative picture of the market by any means, predicting that it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.5 percent between 2014 and 2020.

Privacy concerns have lead to a number of speed bumps in the biometrics industry. This year, with the passing of Bill 188 in Florida, misplaced privacy concerns lead to the banning of student biometrics throughout the state. This week, it looked like Massachusetts might have been headed down that same anti-technology road, with parents sent into an outrage with the announcement that schools in North Adams will be using fingerprint scanners to streamline lunch lines. Cooler minds prevailed in the Massachusetts situation, however, and the biometric system is expected to go live by the middle of next week.

One of the key factors in the biometric acceptance in North Adams is the fact that the next generation lunch line technology is optional. If parents are still uncomfortable with the technology, they can opt that their child not use it. The same can’t be said of the student biometrics system being deployed in Saudi Arabia.

Over the next two years it will become mandatory for all public school students in Saudi Arabia to record their biometric details with the government in support of a new attendance monitoring system. According to Arab News, the project comes after school principals lobbied for the installation of cameras in classrooms to monitor teacher and student performance. The Saudi Arabian school biometrics attendance system will be rolled out in three phases over the projected two year period.

Aware, Inc. released its newest software development kits this week. Named INQUIRE (an acronym for INformation QUality and Identity Resolution Engine), the SDK compliments biometric search and match operations, featuring its own text-based filter, search, match and link algorithms.

Fujitsu’s palm vein recognition also made the news this week, with PalmSecure having been chosen to protect Bitcoin accounts on Robocoin kiosks. Now having committed to biometric authentication, Robocoin ATMs require three factors of authentication – phone, PIN and palm vein – that, once submitted, allow for automated 24 hour service to Bitcoin accounts and cash withdrawal needs.

Finally, LaserLock Technologies announced this week that it has signed an agreement to license its VerifyMe Identity Services platform to a major financial services advisory firm. At this time, the firm is unnamed, but according to LaserLock it consolidates hundreds of billions of dollars in assets for around 100,000 investment banking clients.

Stay posted to FindBiometrics throughout this coming week as we bring you from-the-event coverage of Biometrics UnPlugged and the Global Identity Summit in Tampa, Florida. Be sure to follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss a beat.

September 14, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter