Biometrics stocks update: NEC positioning, SuperCom warning and a wild ride for BrainChip
Three NEC divisions have made announcements related to biometrics and digital identity, while SuperCom has issued notification about a stock-price warning and BrainChip is progressing more steadily than its recent stock price would suggest. The intersection between biometrics and policy is also seen in items involving Vodacom and Huawei.
NEC busy in APAC
NEC is contributing its biometric identification and video analytics technology to a new emotion analysis service jointly developed with Realeyes.
The companies say they intend to capture the largest share in a market estimated to be worth up to $3.4 billion, based on NEC research.
Realeyes emotion analysis technology has already been deployed for more than 180 customers worldwide.
Possible use cases for the service include monitoring company meetings and training sessions, and online education.
Meanwhile in India, NEC Technologies India has rebranded as NEC Corporation India, IANS reports.
“The year 2020 marks an important year in the execution of our future business strategy to drive global growth trajectory for the NEC Group. The name change is a result of a rebranding effort designed to mirror the focused approach and our commitment to the Indian market,” said Aalok Kumar, president and CEO of NEC Corporation India.
A new organization has been launched in New Zealand to promote digital identity and the opportunities it can create, counting NEC New Zealand as a founding member.
‘Digital Identity New Zealand’ brings together more than a dozen organizations, including tech giants, financial services companies and public service organizations. Initial activities are expected to include identifying scenarios where digital identity helps to solve key problems and improve people’s lives, collaborating on projects and giving input to the government’s Digital Identity Trust Framework.
SuperCom receives another Nasdaq warning
SuperCom has received a letter warning of its non-compliance with the Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirement, after its common stock finished below $1.00 for 30 consecutive business days. The company expects to meet the requirement by reaching the $1.00 threshold within the 180-day compliance period and retain its status.
The company’s share price fell below $1.00 just as it announced its results for the first half of 2020, which showed some positive signs, but SuperCom also received a minimum bid price warning one year earlier.
BrainChip position comfortable after bubble passes
BrainChip is reporting a comfortable cash position as it engages with potential customers in the aerospace, storage and automotive industries through its Akida Early Access Program. The company has US$17.6 million cash in hand, as of September, and only expects capital expenses of around $1.3 million in Q4 2020, according to an earnings presentation.
The company’s stock price had already increased substantially in 2020 when it went from AUD 31 cents on September 1 to 73 cents a week later in rally fueled by speculation on online forums like Reddit, as summarized by Bloomberg Quint. The stock closed trading on the ASX at 36.5 cents on Tuesday, a healthy gain from below 10 cents in late-June.
Akida development and validation of the device is now complete, CEO Louis DiNardo said in the earnings call, and the company is moving into manufacturing and EAP customer engagement.
Regulation and policy side-effects felt
A new regulation requiring biometric identification for SIM registration, which came into effect in Tanzania early in 2020, has hit Vodacom’s results by knocking 2.9 million users off its subscriber base, The Citizen reports.
Vodacom says 736,000 customers have been reconnected, leaving 2.5 million customers who have not biometrically registered, though this seems to suggest that closer to 3.2 million have been blocked at some point.
Huawei is increasing its investments in China’s tech sector, including semiconductor-makers, to address supply chain pressures, Reuters reports.
The company set up Habo Investments in 2019, and it has taken stakes in 17 technology companies based in China already. Huawei’s Chairman said the company plans to use technology and investment to help its supply chain partners mature. Commentators suggested it will take time for the efforts to fully address the significant gaps in technology supply that are threatening Huawei’s business.
One of the company’s Huawei has invested in according to the report is Vertilite, which makes VCSEL sensors which support facial recognition in cameras.