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Biometric consumer gadgets neat, but key growth areas tied to banks, autos, government

Biometric consumer gadgets neat, but key growth areas tied to banks, autos, government

Numerous products with biometrics integrated for security and convenience were on display last week at CES, but the trend towards mass-market adoption is seen most in some long-developing market areas. Zwipe and Fingerprint Cards were each in headlines this week with votes of confidence for their biometric payment card technologies, while Precise Biometrics and Infineon partnered on automotive fingerprint applications. Big developments are also afoot on the public services side of the market, with Tata Consulting picking up a $1 billion passport biometrics deal, Clearview AI securing another foothold with U.S. law enforcement, government digital ID schemes considering private sector involvement, and the ongoing saga of Apple’s digital wallet plans.

Top biometrics news of the week

The year ahead could be a big one for biometric payment cards, and Iraq’s central bank is encouraging the country’s financial institutions to use Zwipe technology to bring them to market this year. The latest market forecast from Mordor Intelligence pegs the market at $1.69 billion by 2026 on 155 percent compound annual growth.

Fingerprint Cards’ second-generation T-Shape sensor module has been certified by Mastercard’s Fingerprint Sensor Evaluation Process. Approval for the updated security standard sets up the module, which is slated to be found in many of the biometric payment cards on the market, for faster, lower cost commercialization.

The Canadian province of Quebec’s digital wallets, scheduled for launch in 2025, could hold not only government-issued identity documents but also those issued by the private sector, such as for insurance. The Global Government Forum, meanwhile, warns that senior government officials often lack the technical understanding they need to advance digital transformation, though they are seeking improvements they can achieve through digital ID.

The implications of Apple’s digital wallet and mobile driver’s license plans, which include using proprietary technology to provision the government documents, are examined in Heather Vescent’s latest column. The ISO/IEC mDL standard does not cover provisioning the ID document into the wallet, which could be an opportunity to leverage open technologies in development, or possibly to exert corporate influence.

India is ready to launch its delayed biometric passports, following a successful pilot of 20,000 of the travel and ID documents, with officials suggesting processing times will stay the same. Tata Consultancy Services has struck a massive service deal to support the submission of biometrics for passports, worth up to $1 billion over the next decade.

The South African Department of Home Affairs is touting the benefits of a planned digital ID system backed by biometrics and known as the NIS. The system is expected to improve both government digitization and private sector transactions. The government is also planning to upgrade the nation’s driver’s licenses with digitized cards.

Liminal sees regulations like the Age Appropriate Design Code and eIDAS 2.0 will boost digital ID markets and advance interoperability in 2022. Consumers will increasingly notice biometrics providers like Jumio and Onfido in their customer journeys, and digital ID providers like Experian and ID.me will seek brand recognition as a growth strategy. The consultants also graded their forecasts from last year.

CES 2022 featured a wide range of biometric products, from smart home locks and enterprise networking hardware to ‘invisible’ headphones and weapons. The biggest segment of all those at the tradeshow for the industry, however, will likely be automotive applications. Just as several different solutions biometric systems for drivers were being demonstrated, Precise Biometrics and Infineon were unveiling a partnership to put fingerprint sensors into cars for vehicle settings and application access.

Clearview AI has been contracted by the FBI for forensic facial recognition searches in a one-year deal. Though for only $18,000, the deal indicates the growing reach of the company in all levels of the U.S. law enforcement market.

Infrastructure to support social credit systems, which include biometrics as a small piece, are forecast to be a $16.1 billion global market within three years by a Georgetown University study. China is the leader in both demand and research, but who else is buying? Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, apparently.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is signaling a more aggressive approach to regulating facial recognition, in an environment where many organizations using the technology are woefully unprepared. Attorney David Oberly of Blank Rome reviews the FTC’s guidance for businesses to minimize liability and shares some of his own.

If you spot any content we should share with the people in the biometrics industry and broader digital identity community, please let us know in the comments below, or through social media.

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