The consumerisation of biometrics is making mobile device protection and identity verification more convenient. Alan Goode, Founder of Goode Intelligence said "Apple has shown the market how to deploy biometrics into consumer electronic devices with its Touch ID fingerprint solution on the Apple 5s. Apple's flagship smartphone has proved a very popular device with consumers, outselling the less expensive iPhone 5c that ships without Touch ID. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, believes that the Apple 5s has proved so popular because Touch ID is a 'major feature that has excited people'."
Goode Intelligence believes that this is just the start of the trend for embedding biometric sensors and services into consumer electronic devices and it will have a transformational effect on how we interact with technology and digital services.
These trends are explored in a new series of Market Intelligence reports[ii] that Goode Intelligence is publishing on a monthly basis; Fingerprint Biometrics and Mobile and Wearable Biometrics.
The next stages of consumer biometrics will create solutions that are more intelligent and seamless with the technology that they are being deployed to. This includes embedding fingerprint sensors within touch screens and touch pads; the next generation of consumer fingerprint sensor – Invisible Touch.
Next generation consumer fingerprint sensor – Invisible Touch
The next stage in the evolution of mobile device-based fingerprint sensors is driven by the need for greater user convenience combined with a trend to remove physical buttons from smart mobile devices.
Positioning the fingerprint sensor underneath, or within the touch screen enables mobile device Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to remove physical buttons. It also retains the convenient method of touching a finger on the front of a mobile device for identification.
'Invisible Touch' is not only suitable for smart mobile devices. Any consumer electronic device that uses a touch screen and a touch pad has the potential to integrate a touch fingerprint under or within the screen. This could include smart TVs, single-use gaming handhelds, tablets, touchscreen monitors, smart watches, hybrid notebooks and touchscreens integrated into domestic appliances and smart house control technology.
This is potentially a huge market and is part of the wider consumerisation of biometrics that will revolutionise how we interact with technology.
Alan Goode said, "Biometrics will continue their push into mainstream life by being placed in consumer electronic devices and products. Initial growth has been on smart mobile devices but is now starting to appear in other electronic devices including smart cards, Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices including connected cities and buildings, smart TVs, household appliances, gaming systems and wearable computing (watch, glass, band, jewellery). This enables our identities to be conveniently proved across a wide range of connected devices to access cloud-based services."
Risks of isolating the biometric sensor or service
There is however, an important caution that Goode delivers. "The market needs to learn from previous failures in attempting to deploy biometrics into electronic devices, such as laptops and notebook computers.
"Our experience proves that it is one thing having access to biometric sensors but, these sensors must be connected to services that are in demand. Unlocking a device is simply not a compelling reason to equip it with a biometric sensor or biometric software service."
Goode Intelligence reports that the growth in biometrics, especially in the consumer space, will be limited if services are not successfully linked to the biometric sensor. It believes that this can be achieved and there are positive signs that the enabling underlining infrastructure to support biometrics is being prepared for large-scale adoption.
A combination of standards initiatives, The FIDO Alliance and Natural Security, a secure and trusted platform, ARMs TrustZone secure hardware and individual ecosystems like Apple's Touch ID, will play a pivotal role in making sure that users can conveniently identify themselves across a wide range of devices and services.
"Biometrics is an exciting growth area," said Alan Goode. "We'll be continuing to monitor and report on this in our new monthly reports, Fingerprint Biometrics which launched in December and Mobile and Wearable Biometrics which is launching in late February."
Further information about the monthly reports and subscription options can be found at www.goodeintelligence.com .A free sample download of the first edition of Fingerprint Biometrics is available by emailing [email protected] .
About Goode Intelligence
Goode Intelligence is the leading research, analysis and consultancy organisation for the mobile security industry; providing services to global technology and telecommunications organisations. For more information about Goode Intelligence please visit www.goodeintelligence.com