Year in Review: The Key Question about Top Applications

With the year coming to a close, the annual FindBiometrics Year in Review survey has just opened. It has been an eventful year in the biometrics industry (but then again, what year in recent memory hasn’t?), and looking back, there’s a lot to take in. But one particularly interesting question that this year’s survey should shed some light on is the matter of which application areas have been most interesting to industry watchers and professionals.

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Last year, financial services was the clear winner, taking 26 percent of the vote, with the runner-up – enterprise – accounting for only 14 percent. For those who are familiar with the biometrics industry as a whole, this won’t have come as much of a surprise. Financial services has become a driving sector of the larger industry in recent years, with banks implementing biometric authentication systems for employees and end customers alike, and a growing amount of activity taking place online and through mobile devices.

One of the biggest trends in the industry, selfie-based authentication, has been enthusiastically embraced by the financial services sector in particular over the last couple of years, and in terms of deployments it has stayed strong over the course of 2019; so it seems a fair bet that financial services will once again be a top application area in our latest Year in Review survey.

The key question is more likely to be which application areas take second and third place in this year’s results, and to what degree. Enterprise deployments have continued; but the area that took third place in 2018 – consumer device access, at 11 percent – has seen an uptick in the use of facial recognition on some high-profile smartphone brands this year, which could help to make that application area particularly interesting in the eyes of many survey participants. Meanwhile, border control, which took only three percent of the vote in last year’s survey, has seen growing interest thanks to US Customs and Border Protection’s escalating program of facial recognition at airports and other border checkpoints.

Which of these applications are most interesting is, of course, a subjective question, and there will be some varying views on the answer. Be sure to make your voice heard by filling out this year’s short survey, and stay tuned to see the final results in early 2020.

December 5, 2019 – by Alex Perala