In December of 2017 FindBiometrics surveyed over 200 members of its informed audience – including executives from the world’s leading biometrics companies – on topics relating to the identity technology industry over the past 12 months. The results comprise the 15th Annual FindBiometrics Year in Review.
There were some surprises in the responses to FindBiometrics’ latest Year in Review survey, but this wasn’t one of them: Asked to select the most interesting area of application for biometric technology over the last year, a large proportion of respondents chose “Consumer mobile device access”. That proved to be the third most popular response (14.3 percent), ranked third after “Other” (20.2 percent) and “Financial services” (26.6 percent).
Fingerprint scanners are now more or less standard features on premium and medium-range smartphones, and for that reason, they probably weren’t the driving force that made this application area so interesting – indeed, they’re so prominent now that they’re almost boring. Instead, other modalities have generated the most excitement in the mobile sector over the course of 2017.
Samsung kicked things off at the start of the year with the launch of its Galaxy S8 smartphone, which featured a built-in authentication system based on iris recognition. It wasn’t the first smartphone to support iris scanning – it wasn’t even Samsung’s first iris scanning device, in fact – but it proved to be the most prominent such device that the market had seen by far, putting aside the fiasco that was the recalled Note7 of 2016. And Samsung kept that momentum going with the launch of its iris-scanning Note 8 in late summer.
And then, of course, Apple made its move. While consumers got excited to use the iPhone X’s face biometrics technology to play with animated emojis, Face ID became something of a sensation in the mobile biometrics industry as various OEMs and other firms paused to consider whether they should follow Apple’s lead in going with facial recognition for biometric authentication on their mobile devices. Many already have, and LG even anticipated the trend, embracing Sensory’s TrulySecure biometrics for its V30 handset prior to the Face ID announcement. It was a disruption, and while it wasn’t a positive one for every player in the industry, it was certainly interesting across the board.
And while more Year in Review respondents were more excited about what was going on with biometrics in financial services last year, there is actually quite a lot of overlap with what was happening in the mobile sector. Banks and other financial services organizations were increasingly adopting smartphone biometrics to add security and convenience to their mobile apps, and some were even embracing Face ID before the end of the year.
To a great extent, the mobile sector has driven the broader biometrics industry over the last few years as its applications have helped to familiarize the mass market with biometric technologies. And the results of FindBiometrics’ Year in Review survey for 2017 suggest that there is still a lot of excitement in this area as technological evolutions and revolutions in mobile biometrics continue to keep things interesting.
Stay posted to FindBiometrics as we continue to analyze the 15th Annual Year in Review survey results.
The 15th Annual FindBiometrics Year in Review is brought to you by Leidos.
January 31, 2018 – by Alex Perala