Mobile Biometrics To Reach Maturity by 2019, Says Frost & Sullivan

A new report from research and analysis firm Frost & Sullivan titled Biometrics Go Mobile: A Market Overview outlines the projected growth of biometric smartphones, which are on track to reach an early maturity phase in 2017.

According to the firm’s analysis, in 2013 the number of biometric smartphone users around the world was totaled at 43.23 million. By 2017 that number is expected to grow massively as biometric smartphones exit the early adopter phase and reach 471.11 million users. Two years later, Frost & Sullivan predicts that biometrics will have reached a level of full maturity, having by then naturally migrated to mobile devices.

Frost & Sullivan’s Jean-Noel Georges explains, “Due to existing hardware capabilities across devices, most of the growth is expected from facial and voice authentication technologies. While the uptake of biometric technologies will get a boost from the proliferation of new devices with fingerprint authentication capability, their acceptance will be tepid until the market develops more sophisticated and accurate authentication software.”

Major obstacles that smartphone biometrics face on this road to maturity are identified as privacy concerns, sensor and infrastructure investment and competition with other convenient identification tech like NFC. Citing moth Apple’s Touch ID and the Samsung fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S5, Frost & Sullivan states that consumer confidence in smartphone biometrics is low thanks to the non-optimized false acceptance and rejection rates.

Despite these concerns, the report finds that the biometric revenue from smartphones is expected to grow at a CAGR of 39.6 percent, increasing from $53.6 million in 2313 to $396.2 million in 2019.

Georges continues, “Biometrics solution providers should have a regional strategy in order to specifically adapt the product or service to local privacy rules. A respect for global standards, or at least a common set of rules, will have a strong impact on their uptake all over the world.”

Just yesterday, Apple unveiled two new iPhone models featuring Touch ID fingerprint sensors. In conjunction with the announcement, the company also introduced Apple Pay: an NFC enabled mobile wallet made possible through partnerships with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and six major banks.

Frost & Sullivan’s report mentions payments as an ideal application fro smartphone biometrics.