November 3, 2013 – by Peter B. Counter
This week the Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance announced that it has gained over 50 members in the past eight months. This rapid growth is indicative of the industry’s need for strong authentication standards as the mainstream world is pulled into the post-password paradigm of the near future. FIDO started in February of this year with only six founding members and now boasts a membership over eight times that with major members such as MasterCard and Google.
According to an interview with Frost & Sullivan senior analysts Ram Ravi and Nandini Bhattacharya, policy makers like FIDO will have a major role to play in the emerging opportunities that are starting to show up in the global biometrics market. I had a chance to speak with them about some possible applications that we might be seeing in the not too distant future in the areas of education, health care, mobility and gaming.
It should be no surprise to readers of this site that the interview spends a lot of time discussing access control solutions, which have the major application of biometrics in the verticals for a very long time. Viscount Systems, suppliers of physical access control solutions that are powered by biometrics, announced a number of contracts this week. The US Federal Government selected the company’s Freedom access control offering to protect the buildings of an unnamed agency in Puerto Rico. This news came on the heels of another promised deployment, this time in Canada, to supply not only Freedom, but also its MESH and Liberty access control solutions to a municipality in the Great White North. Once the contracts are completed Viscount expects the Canadian deployment to be worth upwards of $2 Million.
The financial sector is one that has been benefiting from the better than PIN authentication that biometrics has to offer for some time, thanks largely in part to fingerprint sensors in ATMs. A big market for biometric banking like this has been present in African nations for some time. In an effort to offer protected baking services while expanding the reach of its financial services, Crane Bank signed an agreement with Temenos (recently acquired by DigitalPersona through its purchase of Identity Stream) to provide its scalable banking platform that features fingerprint sensor security.
Fingerprint sensors in banking serve as an easy to use method of access but they also help in fraud prevention, which is really the main reason for increased security when it comes to finance. In the expanding world of multi-factor authentication “invisible” biometric solutions are being employed to passively verify a user identity. Victrio is a company with a passive voice recognition system that works in exactly this way. The company was acquired this week by call center solutions provider Verint Systems so that the voice biometrics solution will be bolstering the real time call security for customers of both organizations.
Finally, Aware Inc.released its financial results for the recently closed period of Q3 2013 this week. The revenue for the quarter was reported at $4.5 million, which is down 15 percent from the same period in 2012. The decrease, according to Aware, is a result of its shutting down of its previously offered DSL assurance business and is independent of its biometric offerings which remain unaffected.