M-Enabling Summit participants predict biometrics will become default authentication scheme

June 5, 2015 - 

Security processes can be a daunting barrier to accessing secured digital contents and services for persons with disabilities, seniors or persons with impairments limiting their interaction with devices. The latest generation of mobile handsets and operating systems are breaking this barrier by offering various biometric and bio-recognition solutions.

A recent conference session held this week at the M-Enabling Summit looked at the technologies and applications available in the marketplace today, what lessons can be learnt, and also explored how secure mobile devices may leverage Near Field Communications (NFC) allowing persons with disabilities to interact in a secure manner with secured access systems, electronic kiosks, payment terminals and other types of digitally controlled devices.

The summit, which was a joint initiative of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and E.J. Krause & Associates (EJK), took place June 1-2 in Washington, D.C. at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. The event was designed to promote mobile accessible and assistive applications and services for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities using new operating systems, handsets and tablets based technologies.

The session was chaired by Puthukode (Ram) Ramachandran, program director of advanced technologies at IBM. He was joined by a panel comprised of Katie Haritos-Shea, senior accessibility SME, standards QA architect at JP Morgan Chase; Elham Tabassi, biometrics expert at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Andy Foote, strategist at Wells Fargo; and Steve Tyler, head of innovation and development at Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Key themes that emerged from the session, identified by Steve Tyler of RNIB, included that conceptualizations of biometrics will be accepted into everyday environments, including by persons with disabilities, if the technologies are non-threatening and easy to use. Katie Haritos-Shea of JP Morgan projected that biometrics will become the default mode of authentication in the near-to-mid future, replacing passwords. Andrew Foote of Wells Fargo however cautioned that biometrics, especially through mobile devices, will only be leveraged by financial institutions for risky rather than everyday transactions. Elham Tabassi of NIST noted that the continuing evaluation of biometric technologies would ensure their increasing dependability.

BiometricUpdate.com was a key supporting organization of the M-Enabling Summit. BiometricUpdate.com is published by Biometrics Research Group, Inc., a leading research vendor and publisher in the biometrics space.

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About Rawlson King

Rawlson O’Neil King is a contributing editor at BiometricUpdate.com and is an experienced communications professional, management consultant, trade journalist and author who recently published a book about control and electronic networks and who has written numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals about smart home and building technologies. Follow him @rawlsonking2.