Mobile Revolution Month: Where We’re Headed

Mobile Revolution Month is coming to a close with August, and after having explored the world of fingerprint sensor phones, the booming app market and an overview of the revolution it’s time to look ahead to where mobile ID is heading.

The Proliferation of Apps and Sensors

Biometric Authentication BannersAs we explored in the featured articles this month, the mobile revolution has been driven by an explosion of fingerprint sensors on smart devices and software solutions that leverage embedded hardware for multimodal authentication. Versatility and accessibility are at the heart of these aspects of modern mobile tech, and as technology advances through constant innovation both will grow proportionately. We are already beginning to see how this is coming to shape the future of identity management.

With the launch of operating systems that feature native biometric authentication support – like Windows 10 and Android M – biometric authentication is becoming a simple option for consumers to adopt. Windows 10 in particular is notable for this because its Windows Hello security platform supports a wide range of surprisingly robust biometric modalities (its facial recognition algorithm can distinguish between identical twins). Combine that with the standardization of the fingerprint sensor on nearly all new smartphones (as well as the emergence of iris scanners on handsets) and what you get is the easiest possible access to biometrics for consumers.

But what is the next step in this arena? Recent patent filings suggest that OEMs are aiming to nix the traditional home button, which on a number of phones is where the sensor is housed, in favor of putting the biometric sensors under the touch screen. One filing from Apple even suggests that the entire screen will be able to authenticate and identify users regardless of where the make contact thanks to biometric-scanning pixels.

In terms of software, what we can expect to see is more integration. Deployments of biometric security on apps have shown that when presented with the option, people will take it. The USAA banking app, for instance, offers Daon’s multi-factor security as a password alternative option and users are flocking to it. The same will go for smartphones, which we are just now starting to see announced with built-in biometric software, like on ZTE’s latest phone which ships with EyeVerify’s Eyeprint ID.

Wearable World

Wearables

While there is a ton of hype around wearable tech, the market is still nascent, and while biometrics are being built into smartwatches, they are mostly being used for fitness tracking and healtchare applications. That said, the ball has started to roll in a positive direction for smartwatches and other connected accessories. As more major companies start to push their Apple Watch competitors on consumers we will likely begin to see some exciting things in this area.

The most high profile use case that we’ve seen so far for wearable biometrics is the Nymi Band, which was used just recently to authenticate a payment via its wearer’s cardiac reading. The device can also be used to bring strong ID to connected Internet of Things applications like door locks and smart cars.

A newly released white paper from Tracica paints an exciting picture of the diverse future of wearable tech. Titled “Wearables: 10 Trends to Watch,” it details, among other things, the role of smart clothing, virtual reality and augmented reality applications, the last of which we’ve already seen biometric eye tracking solutions for.

Internet of Things

IoT ImageAt the heart of mobility is connectivity, and as connectivity increases the Internet of Things grows. As we’ve detailed on Mobile ID World before, the Internet of Things welcomes the prospect of biometric authentication for two major reasons. First, the M2M network is lacking security standards and researchers point to its vulnerability as a key concern moving forward. Secondly, voice biometrics in particular offer an easy and secure user interface options for connected things that might otherwise be difficult to interact with (like smoke detectors).

Deep learning technologies have a bright future in IoT, as we are seeing them deployed alongside frictionless biometric modalities to better know enrolled users. Speech recognition, voice recognition and facial recognition all benefit from this union in the long run, and we’ve already seen an example of it in Sensory’s TrulyNatural integration with the social robot Jibo.

With the Internet of Things, you also find more used for the biometric technologies described in the above sections. Our phones and wearables are powerful devices because they allow us to access information networks. Biometrics allow us to do so with unprecedented convenience and security, and the same can be said for the network of the machines. Mobile revolution has shown us that biometrics have a bright future in the consumer and enterprise world, and the its effects are only now being realized.

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