over the next few years. IHS cites the smartphone industry as driving bio-
metrics use. According to the firm, fingerprint scanners in mobile devices
and consumer familiarity with access-control devices may translate to
greater adoption of biometrics in areas such as the workplace.
Biometrics Research Group Inc., at Michigan State University in East
Lansing, Mich., reported that the market for automated fingerprint identification systems and fingerprint biometric technologies account for the
greatest share of the global biometrics market and is forecast to continue
to be the main source of overall market revenues from 2015 to 2020.
In particular, certain vertical markets are driving biometrics use. Research
by Biometrics Research Group stated that the financial sector has emerged
as a primary end-user market for biometrics worldwide. Healthcare is also
a significant market, where biometrics are used for access control, identification, workforce management and patient record storage. The report
also notes that information technology (IT) consumerization will act as a
catalyst for mainstreaming of biometric specifications.
It’s all about familiarity. Consumers accustomed to opening their
phones with fingerprint recognition can see the ultimate convenience
factor in other applications as well.
In the past, biometrics were selectively used in data centers, laboratories or other high-risk spaces. As it becomes more fully entrenched in
the marketplace and prices continue to drop, widespread deployments
throughout the enterprise will occur. New form factors are also emerging
and may encourage greater adoption of the technology.
SRI Identity, a business line of SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif.,
recently introduced its Identity on the Move (IOM) access-control tablet for mainstream access-control applications. The tablet integrates an
access-control reader, biometrics, keypad, intercom, camera and other
capabilities in a seamless, cost-effective solution. The product was unveiled in March 2016 and entered the Security Industry Association’s New
Product Showcase 2016.
Mark Clifton, president of products and solutions and vice president at
SRI international, said the tablet “brings the convenience and capabilities
of iris-recognition technology to mainstream access-control applications.”
The form factor is simple and recognizable, and the IOM access-control
tablet can extend its usability into other data applications within the protected premises. Built on a scalable Android computing platform, the tablet
can be used for human-resources applications such as time and attendance. It also permits two-way video communications, provides employee
alerts and fosters scheduling without additional equipment. Because it’s a
single, seamless device, it simplifies installation and support and reduces
Wireless and portability are also within the realm of today’s biometrics. Anviz Global, Milpitas, Calif., a worldwide provider of biometric and
radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions, recently introduced the M
Bio stand-alone optical fingerprint sensor module. The small form factor
provides fingerprint data collection and authentication in a portable device.
Brian Fabio, director of global sales, said the Federal Aviation Admin-
istration (FAA) deploys the compact biometric reader in some airports to
verify pilot credentials.
“It’s a mobile fingerprint and card identification terminal in one for
dual credentialing applications,” Fabio said.
The device offers optional Bluetooth communications.
Traditional cards may also be headed the direction of biometrics.
Zwipe, Naperville, Ill., recently released Zwipe ID, a card with fingerprint
authentication capabilities targeted toward the global access-control mar-
ket, according to Kim Kristian Humborstad, chief executive officer.
The future is now
Zwipe ID technology is based on open global standards for RF interface
and cryptographic methods.
“We believe biometrics has already become mainstream,” Humborstad
said. “All the major mobile-device makers have fingerprint scanners on their
products, and the rush to adopt biometrics in everything from banking to
access control to government identification can be seen most every day.”
Biometric authentication operates under the basic premise that individuals are unique and can be identified more fully by their physical
characteristics. Today’s most convenient biometric modality is touch-free
or facial recognition.
“That’s real convenience: unlocking a door by simply glancing into a
camera,” Reed said. “Long-range facial recognition will be readily adopted
as it allows quicker access to the building. I strongly believe accurate, reliable, fast-matching facial recognition will be the pivot-point in the global
adoption of biometrics.”
O’MARA is a journalist with more than two decades experience
writing about security, life safety and systems integration, and
she is the managing director of DLO Communications in Chicago. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
What’s Driving Biometric Use?
Many factors are encouraging greater biometrics
deployment in physical and logical access-control
applications, beyond single-door use, including the
• Lower implementation cost
• Easier installation and training
• Faster throughput and enrollment
• New form factors that equal convenience
• Consumer familiarity
• Demand by high-risk markets such as financial
institutions and healthcare