The mobile biometrics boom was catalyzed by Apple in 2013 with the launch of its first fingerprint-scanning iPhone, prompting a tsunami of copycats and the proliferation of biometric authentication across the smartphone sector. Face-scanning would eventually rival the ubiquity of fingerprint recognition, adding momentum to the ongoing mobile biometrics revolution. And a few recent developments in the industry help to illustrate that this momentum is still going strong in the early 2020s:
A Major Fingerprint Sensor Vendor Hits New Milestones
Fingerprint Cards is one of the largest providers of fingerprint sensors for the mobile industry, and this week it brought news pointing to the strength of its central market segment.
For one thing, the first smartphone to integrate Fingerprint Cards’ optical under-display fingerprint sensor has now launched. The Xiaomi Redmi K60 features the FPC1632, bringing the sensor into the hands of consumers after FPC announced its first design win for the under-display solution last summer.
Fingerprints is also marking another big milestone, asserting that 700 different smartphone models have now integrated its sensors. Haiyuan Bu, the President of FPC’s Mobile, PC and Access China division, says the company has “witnessed accelerated demand for biometrics in smartphones over recent years.”
Meanwhile, in the Selfie Biometrics Segment…
An audit has confirmed FacePhi’s strong performance in fiscal 2022, with the biometric identity verification specialist having seen a 69 percent increase in sales over the previous year, as FacePhi said in a preliminary report in February. Perhaps more notably, its EBITDA for 2022 came in 138 percent higher year-over-year, at €4.44 million.
FacePhi was one of the early pioneers of the use of selfie-based mobile onboarding, and helped to establish it as a key trend for mobile biometrics in the financial services sector in particular. Commenting on his firm’s latest success, CEO Javier Mira credits “a flexible and scalable product accompanied by a solid commercial infrastructure”. FacePhi seems to be carrying that momentum into 2023, and has been forging new business connections thanks to its involvement in a UK-based accelerator program.
The World’s Most Prominent Dating App Swipes Right On Video Selfies
Finally, a development in online dating shows the growing prominence of video selfies in verifying identity online: Tinder has launched a new user verification system based on this particular form of mobile biometrics. Facial recognition is used to verify that the individual in the video is the same person depicted in the user’s uploaded photos, with a Liveness Check feature ensuring that the user is present during the verification process.
The company is prompting all new users to upload video selfies during the registration process, and says it will ask all users to use an updated Photo Verification system that includes the video selfie ‘in the coming months’. Tinder also plans to give users the option of only exchanging messages with other users who are “Photo Verified”.
These developments, all arising in the past week, offer important signals about the strength of the mobile biometrics revolution a decade in, and suggest that there’s still room to grow as more organizations across different sectors come to recognize the value of biometrics in identity verification and convenient yet secure authentication.