How Will Mobility Change The Automated Border Control Kiosks and eGate Market?

February 27, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter     

The Automated Border Control (ABC) kiosks and eGate market is poised for a dynamic growth period between now and the end of the decade. According to a recent deep-research report from Acuity Market Intelligence the global forecast in this vertical is primed and positive, with worldwide revenue expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.5 percent between 2014 and 2018, reaching over $752 million. By 2020, Acuity extrapolates that the market’s annual revenue will hit the stratosphere, raking in $1.2 billion, with Europe dominating the market share.

ABC Acuity Chart

It marks an exciting time for everyone involved. Border control agencies will benefit from increased efficiency, passengers gain peace of mind when traveling by air, land or sea, and vendors win with increased adoption and a number of major deployments.

There is, in addition to the eGate and kiosk technology at work in this market, an exciting factor at play here too: mobile technology.

During the first public presentation of this market research, in a findBIOMETRICS webinar hosted by Acuity Principal C. Maxine Most, the question was raised as to how mobility will fit into the ABC market.

“What I think is so interesting about this – and it’s kind of an interesting conundrum if you will – as I mentioned earlier: there is sort of this tension between fully automating this immigration process and what’s happening particularly in the airport word with trying to move all of their check in to self service,” begins Most. “They want to push that outside the airports. So you have the immigration and border control people going ‘Oh, we’ve got to put kiosks in the airport’ and you have the airport people saying ‘No! We need to get kiosks out of the airports.’ The link there is mobile.”

Maxine has been deeply immersed in the market for four months, drawing an immense amount of data from significant market and technical developments, tests, pilots and deployments, as well as public domain and private data sources, research and reports, surveys, and interviews with  everyone from vendors, integrators, intermediaries, customers to privacy and civil liberties advocates and other relevant technology and leading industry experts.

According to her this mobility-link that will solve the kiosk debate can manifest in a number of ways.

“I think this is going to be an evolution, but at some point I can imagine either passports are embedded in our mobile phones, and so rather than necessarily doing what we would consider a full kiosk check in, perhaps you’re just picking up your phone and just flashing it by a reader that just picks all that information up, or we’re using the mobile phone as the secure document which we’re then linking: Maybe we are checking in at the airport and it’s accessing the mobile phone for the secure document.”

“Ultimately I imagine what the airports would like to see is some way to biometrically check in, maybe even prior to getting to the airport. But I think that those things are going to evolve over time, and I think that in certain places if you look at the United States and in European countries, and some of the Middle Eastern countries – you know, of the six billion phones in the world, two billion of them aren’t even smartphones – and what we’re going to see is more movement of people cross-border across the socio-economic landscape.”

Most is an industry authority on mobile authentication as well, having modeled the new biometric market landscape, published in November of 2013, and successfully predicted the emergence of strong authentication on smartphone devices.

“So,” concludes Maxine. “I think that mobile has a place, and that it’s just not clear yet because there are so many unanswered questions about how the mobile phone as a biometric authenticator and a secure document holder evolve versus how this stuff is going to evolve in the airport.”

Acuity’s newest offering, titled The Global Automated Border Control Industry Report: Airport eGates & Kiosks is available for preview and purchase at the firm’s website. To watch the full webinar, visit our sister site Mobile ID World.