According to Acuity Market Intelligence, 2017 is characterized as a breakout year for biometrics and digital identity. There has been a rapid increase in the adoption of biometric technologies as customers now understand the potential benefits that these can offer. 2017 will be a tipping point where cloud-based biometrics and secure mobile credentials coalesce with upcoming biometric innovations to offer previously unattainable levels of security, accessibility and individual control over personally identifiable information.
Here are the five biometric technology trends to watch out in 2017:
Lock/unlock devices and apps
Today’s smart phones are no longer the devices that were used only for making calls or sending texts. They have evolved into much more powerful devices almost acting as pocket PCs. They are used for dealing with a variety of complicated tasks such as shopping, paying for goods and utilities through mobile payment facility, sending and receiving e-mails etc. It is therefore imperative to prevent these devices from any unauthorized use. Apple and Android phones are able to lock themselves automatically after being idle for a short period of time.
The idea of using fingerprints to unlock phones has been around for quite some time. But it wasn’t a reality until Apple’s implementation of the Touch ID in iPhone 5s. After its success, several other smartphone manufacturers have integrated fingerprint recognition technology into their devices.
Now, Touch ID can unlock the phone at start and then can be used for payment and also identification on iTunes. For app-specific use, companies and users no longer need to have the device locked. Instead, only specific apps and data can be locked requiring simply a finger touch to set them free. This makes it easier for BYOD organizations to protect corporate data without inhibiting the personal experience. The bottom line is that users can access their personal apps right away without needing a password. Their fingerprint acts as the password that is also much more secure and convenient.
The use of biometric sensing and the ability to unlock the world through mobile device is only just getting started. In a few years from now, it will seem as commonplace as signing your name is today.
Payments via mobile devices
The increasing usage of smartphones has made mobile banking really popular. If banks want to remain competitive, they should be able to anticipate customer’s expectations and take care of the client’s convenience and payments safety. Therefore, biometrics is an absolute must-have for mobile banking as it is able to provide fool-proof authentication. Apple’s Touch ID is now being used for accessing mobile banking services and it has already been adopted in the mobile banking apps of major providers such as ING Bank, American Express and Deutsche Bank. Apple Pay is also making POS payments through smartphones much more secure by using fingerprints to verify a user’s identity as well as simplify the mobile payment process.
Smart home integration
Smart homes enable its owners to remotely control and monitor their homes from anywhere around the world with an internet connection and a combination of mobile devices and connected smart home appliances. Now, these homes can be made even more useful and more secured with the integration of biometrics into smart home solutions. The potential benefits of such integration are fascinating and convenient at the same time. For example, you can walk up to your front or back door and it can automatically unlock for you after a scan of your iris or face. Another instance could be your smart TV getting turned off automatically after the eye tracker detects that you dozed off.
A facial recognition home camera can be used to determine if the members of the family are the ones that are present at home. Fingerprint biometric devices can be used to activate audio equipment, lights and other connected appliances with the touch of a finger. Voice recognition can also enable home owners to interact with connected devices just by speaking. The owner can control TV, music, thermostat, shades, lights or get alerted when a sensor trips or there’s an unusual change in the temperature.
Authentication to internet of things
The integration of biometrics to authenticate the internet of things (IOT) is definitely one of the biggest biometric technology trends to look out for in 2017. IOT basically refers to the interconnected network of devices, systems, sensors and their ability to gather data and leverage its use. It is an emerging concept and reliable security is crucial for its success in the consumer, manufacturing and enterprising worlds. The number of devices connected to the internet is growing at an exponential rate and one of the greatest concerns is to provide reliable security to remotely access the devices.
A report by Cisco states that 50 billion devices will be connected via the internet of things by 2020. Forecasters also estimate that almost 500 million biometric sensors will be deployed for IOT by 2018. The integration of biometrics will provide guaranteed security and improved user experience as it is the only way to verify the true identity of users with 100% certainty.
Automotive biometrics is set to become the next big thing in 2017 due to its immense potential in offering enhanced safety, security and personalization to car owners. The implementation of biometrics can enable key-less entry and ignition start for car owners thereby freeing them from worries about their car getting stolen or about remembering their car keys. Though it might seem very futuristic, car manufacturers around the world are working on ideas on how to make biometric technology a standard in cars.
Ford Motors was granted a patent in 2015 for a biometric device that uses fingerprints, voice or retinal scan to gain entry to and start a vehicle. Ford cars can authenticate the identity of the driver using a biometric capture device. The device sends a signal to the car controller to unlock the door. The data gets collected and stored on the smartphone which is then later transmitted to the car. More drivers can also be added to the database for authorizing access or it can be configured to allow users specific privileges for a certain amount of time. For example, allowing a family member to get an item from the car or restricting teenagers from driving the vehicle after their curfew. Thus it removes the dependence on using a physical key to access and start the vehicle.