January 12, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter
This week, the eyes of everyone interested in the near future of technology had their eyes on the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014) in Las Vegas. The exhibition ran from Tuesday to Friday and even though it showcased new and exciting technology from across all industries, from television to e-cigarettes, there was one specific aspect that shone through the ambitious demonstrations, launches and award ceremonies: strong authentication, specifically enabled by biometrics.
The biometric solutions on parade ranged from all across the spectrum of modalities. Fingerprints, vascular, iris, voice and vital biometrics made it into the show and will therefore be hitting the shelves (and hopefully homes) later on this year. Mobile authentication, on its own had quite a presence at CES 2014, with FIDO Ready products being introduced and EyeVerify taking home two mobility awards. That can be explored in more detail at Mobile ID World.
Payment protection has been a large target for biometrics, and with the coming mobile money solutions coming for smartphone devices, it’s most common to read about transaction security -at least in terms of point of sale interactions – in the context of mCommerce. One of the exceptions over the past few months has been the Fujitsu PalmSecure powered PulseWallet. The terminal-based POS solution was on display at CES this week and it had attendees asking if they would be alright with paying via palms.
Where the PulseWallet brings up questions of convenience versus feasibility, many solutions on display just offered feelings of anticipation. EyeLock’s Myris is one of these technologies. Expected to be available in the next six months, Myris is a USB dongle that allows users to replace the tiresome username/password login process with an easy and secure iris authentication process.
Of course, the biometrics industry is not solely based around consumer electronics. The mainstream popularity of post-password tech is quite recent in the long history of strong authentication. This week, the vertical markets made the news as well.
Biometric access control is coming to California and Vermont Federal Government buildings courtesy of Viscount, who announced it has received orders to supply its Freedom security solution for the purpose. Meanwhile, thanks to a partnership with Millennium Group, EnterTech Systems (U.S. operating partner of Suprema, Inc.) will be breaking down the most common barriers in biometric adoption. In joining forces, the two companies are targeting the luxury condo and healthcare markets.
DigitalPersona announced this week that its fingerprint sensor technology has been selected to enroll biometrics for Chinese resident ID cards. In compliance with a law that was passed in January 2012, Chinese citizens are now required to submit biometrics for application, renewal and replacement of the China Residency Identity Card required for a number of essential services. Two partnerships with biometric reader manufacturers are putting DigitalPersona technology literally at the end of residents complying with the law.
Finally, Cross Match Technology has continued hiring in the wake of the resignation of former CEO David Buckley, aggressively building its global sales team. Three new members were hired and appointed to various international and federal sales positions and internally promoting long-time company man Greg McConnell in preparation for a year that, as has been seen throughout this jam-packed week, will certainly be dynamic in the field of biometrics.