Year in Review: Will Fingerprint Recognition Take Back Some of the Spotlight?

The 2019 Year in Review survey is officially open, which means it’s time to start thinking about some of the biggest questions, issues, and themes in the biometrics industry. And one thing that’s on pretty much everyone’s mind as the industry approaches its year-end is which biometric modalities have had a big 12 months.

There’s good reason to expect that this year’s top modality will be the incumbent from FindBiometrics’ 2018 Year in Review survey. Facial recognition really exploded onto the consumer scene last year in the wake of Apple’s launch of its Face ID system toward the end of 2017, and 2018 saw a number of Apple’s rivals in the smartphone world pivot to face scanning as the primary method of user authentication on their devices.

Meanwhile, government authorities continued to ramp up their use of face scanning at airports around the world, and in the US, controversy erupted last year over Amazon’s sale of facial recognition technology to police agencies. That all helped to keep this modality top of mind well into 2019, with all of these trends still playing out.

The big question, then, will be to see whether fingerprint recognition can claw back any of the attention that face biometrics stole from it last year. 2018 saw the introduction of the in-display fingerprint sensors on smartphones, and in 2019 we’ve seen a number of smartphone makers embrace this technology as a means of helping their devices to stand out from the competition. Fingerprint recognition was the second-most popular modality in last year’s survey, taking 14 percent of the vote compared to facial recognition’s 37 percent; will these proportions shift for 2019?

Meanwhile, other modalities like behavioral biometrics could also see a growing share of the spotlight as deployments continue to increase. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how the overall modality landscape has evolved in 2019, but getting the most accurate reflection of the industry will require the participation of as many its professionals, experts, and enthusiasts as possible – so be sure to fill out this short survey today and make your voice heard. You could help your favorite modality to get a little extra buzz in the process.

December 3, 2019 – by Alex Perala