Mobile Identity Month: The Primer

Mobility and biometrics are at a mutual point of transformation thanks to a perfect alignment of factors. To celebrate the resulting boom in biometrics, FindBiometrics is pleased to announce that October is Mobile Identity Month. Throughout the next four weeks we will be taking a featured look at how biometrics and mobility are converging, the innovations that have emerged from their meeting and the hottest topics of discussion in the realm of digital identity.

To get started, here is a primer to get you up to speed on the current state of the mobile biometrics landscape:

The Mobile Landscape

Mobile Identity Month: The PrimerA report from Research Capsule released earlier this year examining 2014 from a biometrics standpoint called it a watershed year for mobile fingerprint sensors. If that certainly is the case, then 2015 is  carrying that trend forward with incredible numbers of smartphone fingerprint sensor integrations. Of course, fingerprint sensor phones are only part of the picture. With biometric hardware finding itself into new flagship handsets on a near weekly basis, our smartphones have become sensor machines. In addition to that, the number of apps featuring biometric authentication features is growing too, with Acuity recently predicting that in the year 2020 over 5.5 billion apps using biometric features will be downloaded and that there will be over 800 billion transactions authenticated to some degree by biometrics technology.

Acuity: Huge Growth For Mobile Biometrics Market

This Market Firm Predicted The Mobile Biometrics Revolution

2014 a “Watershed Year” for Mobile Fingerprint Sensors

Introducing “Mobile Biometrics & The Next Generation of Digital Identity”

The Mainstream

HNCK1308-1300x866It seems like only yesterday (though it was actually two years ago) that Apple was the only major smartphone manufacturer that could boast fingerprint authentication on its handsets thanks to its Touch ID feature. Nowadays, that advantage doesn’t seem quite so unique. All the major names in smartphones sport built-in biometric authentication. Samsung’s line of Galaxy devices followed suit shortly after Apple’s starter pistol and just last month we learned that Google’s new Nexus handsets feature  Fingerprint Cards sensors and Precise Biometrics software, combining to produce the Nexus Imprint security feature. Further cementing biometrics in the mainstream, and expanding their scope too, Microsoft announced just this week that its next Lumia smartphones will have infrared iris scanners.

New Windows Smartphones Feature Infrared Iris Scanning

New Patent Teases Advanced Touch ID Biometrics

Faster Biometrics For iPhone 6S

Nexus Imprint: Google’s Phones Go Biometric

Samsung Improves Galaxy S6 Biometrics With Software

The Modalities

rp_62157982_thumbnail2-e1434567624147-300x176.jpgWhile fingerprints have a history of stealing the mobile biometrics spotlight, that has been changing with high profile deployments of other modalities in the mobility sphere. Iris biometrics has entered the scene in a big way, while facial recognition and voice have also found traction thanks to their minimal hardware requirements. Even kinds of vascular recognition, like EyeVerify’s Eyeprint ID, is being built into apps and smartphones.

Here’s a look at just some of the many ways you can authenticate using a mobile device:

SRI’s Iris Biometrics Coming To Samsung Mobiles

OmniVision Introduces Iris Sensor for Mobile

NTT DOCOMO Extends FIDO Certified Mobile Lineup

FacialNetwork Brings 3D Facial Recognition to Smartphones

EyeVerify Accuracy Demonstrated by Studies

New Huawei Phone Has Fingerprint Sensor on The Side

Qualcomm Integrates Sensory’s Low-Power Voice Recognition

TrulySecure Lets Devices Distinguish Between Speakers

The Methods

Biometric Authentication BannersAs biometrics become mainstream the question of where to authenticate – in a secure element on a device, or on a server behind a firewall – has arisen. Each method has its benefits, and some vendors offer solutions supporting both. The following links will give you a glimpse into both sides of the authentication location question

BIO-Key’s Mobile Biometrics Solutions Give Tier One OEMs Options

Interview: Jeff Harris, SVP, ImageWare Systems

Apple Takes Strong Pro-Privacy Stance

FIDO Certification Extends to 62 Products

The Money

cashPayments is a major driving factor in mobile biometrics adoption. Mobile wallets from major players like Apple, Android and Samsung all depend on biometric authentication. But that’s not all, financial service providers like MasterCard and Visa have embraced biometrics in-house, while relying parties have picked biometric security for transactions on their apps and sites.

It’s not all payments either, banking has emerged as a viable application for mobile biometrics with USAA’s banking app leveraging Daon’s biometric software to make transactions easier and more secure for customers.

Take a look through the links below to see the various ways mobile biometrics is changing the way we interact with finance.

Apple Pay Launches in UK

Android Pay Gets US Launch

MasterCard Embraces Tokenization, Biometric Authentication

Samsung Pay Joins Android Pay, Apple Pay in US mPayment Market

Online Auction Site to Implement Biometrics for Users

$30m in Transactions in Samsung Pay’s First Month

Daon Highlights Success of Biometrics in USAA Mobile App

Whitepaper: How Voice Recognition Fits With mCommerce

American Express Developing Facial Recognition

Biometric Wearable Called The Future of Payment

The Markets

Mobile WorldWhile the consumer mobile biometrics market is incredibly prominent, and the financial use cases are commonly customer facing, there is also a great deal of activity in the vertical markets. From law enforcement, to government, and from disaster response to healthcare, the applications of mobile biometrics technology are widespread and numerous. Here is a look at just some of the diverse ways mobile biometrics are bringing efficiency and security to the verticals:

ImageWare Systems Seals Major Deal With Lockheed Martin

ImageWare Partners with Extenua to Offer Secure Enterprise Cloud Storage

Verifier Sentry Named Biometric Identification Device of 2015

NEC’s New Mobile Biometric Device Bolsters Public Safety

Mobile Biometrics Herald Disruptive Change in mCommerce

New South Wales Police Seeking Mobile Biometrics Solution

VAMPIRE Handheld Brings Mobile Biometric Tech To Crime Scenes

Swedish Healthcare Workers Trial Tactivo

Mini Fingerprint Scanner Aims to Extend Healthcare in Developing World


Stay posted to FindBiometrics throughout October as we continue to bring you a featured examination of mobile identity. Register for our upcoming webinar and be sure to follow us on Twitter. Tweet using the hashtag #FBMobile during Mobile Identity Month to be a part of the conversation.

Mobile Identity Month is made possible by our sponsors ImageWare Systems, Inc. and Precise Biometrics.

October 8, 2015 – by Peter B. Counter