Mobile ID Industry News Roundup: P2P mCommerce and Kill Switches

This week at Mobile ID World we continued to join our sister site findBIOMETRICS in the celebration of diversity in identity management. While it examined four vertical markets ready for multi-factor authentication, we took a broad philosophical look at how mobility is changing the very concept of identity.

It was an appropriate featured topic for the week because it is becoming quite apparent that the industry isn’t slowing down in its march towards human identity integration. According to research released by Goode Intelligence, in fact, biometrics are on the verge of becoming mainstream on mobile and wearable tech. Goode’s newest report says that by the end of 2015, biometric authentication will be a standard feature on mobile and wearable gadgets and by 2019 5.5 billion users will be using the technology world wide.

Speaking of the near-viral spread of mobile trends, it looks like the PayPal-owned commerce app Venmo is taking off at an impressive way. Barely two years old, Venmo, the software that allows users to wirelessly share money with their phones, is already channeling as many cash transactions as the Starbucks mobile money app.

News out of Korea has even more speculation starting to buzz around how Samsung is going to be integrating biometrics on its future smartphones. CrucialTec announced this week that it has developed a new algorithm for area-based biometric sensors.

CrucialTec is the current supplier of fingerprint sensors to Samsung, who currently features the biometric technology on its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. A new area-based algorithm means that future sensors can be thinner, smaller and come in a variety of shapes, opening up the design space when it comes to the next generation of fingerprint smartphones. Additionally, the sensors will be able to authenticate prints taken at any angle.

Though talk of any inclusion of biometrics on future Samsung smartphone models falls firmly under the classification of speculation, a new security feature has been confirmed for all Android phones with the next version of the Google-made OS. This week, the company that brought you GMail announced that the next iteration of Android will have a “factory reset protection solution” – otherwise known as a “kill switch” – in place to deter theft.

Finally, WebMD launched a new iPhone app that can leverage user vital biometric data in order to encourage healthier living. The app, called WebMD Healthy Target,  uses data pooled from activity trackers, wireless scales and glucose meters and promises contextually relevant info that is not just tailored to the user’s needs, but is physician reviewed.

Stay tuned to Mobile ID World this coming week as we start to wrap up Mobile Multi-Modal Month in our featured articles section and be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with the latest in mobile identity.