Mobile ID Industry News Roundup: Biometric Clothing and The Evil Within

This past week at Mobile ID World marked the end of Mobile Multi-Modal Month: a celebration of identity management diversity done in conjunction with our sister site, findBIOMETRICS. As such, we gathered together the June highlights that best embody the variety inherent in the current discussions of mobile identity and biometrics.

ImageWare systems announced this week that its has been granted a contract to implement a multi-modal biometric driver license system to the state of Baja California, Mexico. The contract is valued at $1.0 million and will see the company aiding in the deployment throughout the state.

In the realm of smartphones, this week we had some speculation and spookiness. A German telecom was reported to allegedly have been calling customers in an attempt to extend their contracts, dangling the iPhone 6 release date as an incentive. Apple’s next flagship smartphone is expected to feature Touch ID fingerprint biometrics, and now, thanks to the sales tactics of a German call center, is speculated to launch on September 19, 2014.

Turning to the spooky (but staying in Germany), German security firm G Data Software discovered built-in spyware on a Chinese-made smartphone. The Star N9500 handset, a cheap smartphone model available through online retailers, was discovered as having shipped containing code that can allow hackers to place rogue calls, steal personal data and even activate the front facing camera and microphone to paranoia-inducing ends.

Moving to the more comforting world of increased security, digital currency and mCommerce provider Alternet Systems announced that it has entered a joint venture with BIOMETRY. The partnership will see Alternet integrating BioME into its payment system’s anti-fraud components, replacing PINS and passwords with dynamic face and voice biometrics.

With the advent of wearable technology firmly upon us, new and exciting applications for vital biometrics are becoming unearthed. Valencell was granted two patents this week both of which open up some interesting doors when it comes to just how far activewear can strech, including applications in next generation marketing.

Finally, staying on the topic of wearables, this week we reported on not one, but two news items concerning biometric shirts.

OMsignal – a company comprised of scientists, engineers, fashion designers and textile specialists – announced this week that is has raised $10 million in a series A investment led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

OMsignal’s first line of Biometric Smartwear included performance tracking shirts that measure health and fitness with sensors embedded in the fabric. An on-shirt module serves as a sort of hub that transmits the sensors data to the OMsignal mobile app, providing users real time access to activity, physiological stress and fitness level readings.

Proving that this exciting next gen clothing is not just for active civilians, the Canadian Space Agency has been testing Astroskin – another biometric shirt – in Antarctica for use on the international space station. Astroskin measures heart rate, breathing rate and respiration volume. It measures footstep biometrics, both in total steps and steps per minute. The biometric shirt even measures you while you sleep, providing an efficiency score.

Stay tuned to Mobile ID World this coming week as we continue to collaborate with our sister site in our featured articles section and be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with the latest in mobile identity.