Mobile biometrics on the rise?

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07/12/2011

So I was reading through my SIA Update dated 7/7/2011 and came across an entry on biometrics. I thought it looked pretty cool, so I checked it out. I've been writing about biometrics for a while, covering smart building company FST21's solution SafeRise, which took awards at both ISC West and ESX for its converged use of facial recognition (See our upcoming source book on access control and biometrics), voice recognition and other technologies. I also wrote a while back about biometrics company Hoyos, which was speculating about the imminent arrival of facial recognition analytics built into smart phones. I even speculated about about whether or not biometrics would have any place in the future of the security industry.

Interestingly, I just picked up a tweet from GCC, Inc. president George Cohen pushing a story in the Wall Street Journal about police forces being outfitted with smartphone-based facial recognition apps.

The entry from SIA references a report from the Homeland Security Newswire, which itself if referencing a report from Goode Intelligence. The report says that the market for biometrics-based access control technology on smartphones and other smart mobile devices is set to see some growth over the next four years, growing from $131 million to $161 million by 2015.

The story talks about onboard fingerprint sensors and voice recognition software. That's pretty cool and I have to assume a whole lot more secure than simply dragging the little "locked" icon up to the top of my touchscreen.

I have to admit I found a some aspects of the math in the Homeland Security Newswire story a little wonky... That report claims in the headline that the market will grow 500% by 2015... I'm not sure how growing from $131 to $161 million is 500% growth, but arithmetic was never my strong suit.

The Homeland Security Newswire story does reference another story from June from infosecurity.com, which doesn't mention anything about 500% growth. Nor does Good Intelligence's site say anything about percentages.

Regardless, biometrics on my phone would be pretty nifty.