As mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous, and simultaneously as personal identification and authentication grow in importance in the connected world, biometric technologies are becoming an increasingly integral part of mobile devices. Biometrics, whether for mobile devices or large stationary systems, typically performs one of two functions: authentication, proving that someone is who they claim to be, or identification, figuring out who someone is. Nearly all consumer-facing use cases are authentication and nearly all identification uses are enterprise-facing, especially government use cases. Somewhere in the middle, financial institutions are offering their users the chance to authenticate to online banking systems with their voices or with their eyes, in place of keying a personal identification number (PIN).
According to a new report from Tractica, the worldwide mobile biometrics market will reach $3.5 billion by 2024, growing from a base of $249 million in 2015. The market intelligence firm forecasts that cumulative revenue for the 10-year period will total $17.5 billion, including revenue from mobile biometric devices as well as software application revenue.
“Biometrics for mobile devices has finally reached a tipping point,” says principal analyst Bob Lockhart. “The march began with the release of the Apple iPhone in 2007 and, later, the iPad, each subsequently matched by Android competitors. These smartphones and tablets finally have enough processing power and hardware capabilities to put biometrics directly into their users’ hands. Many core biometric technologies have been around for a long time, but vendors have had nowhere to use them, and the conditions are now right for mobile devices to provide a path to market. This sector is a classic example of use cases finally catching up to the technology.”
Lockhart adds that the two primary industries that will drive growth in the mobile biometrics market are finance and government. For finance, the online banking use cases are one driver. Another is using a biometric authentication in addition to a PIN for high-value or sensitive transactions. Government applications include identifying people from national fingerprint databases. Other key addressable markets include healthcare, where biometrics can authenticate caregivers and identify patients, and contact centers, where voice authentication of customers can be utilized by just about any industry, including governments.
Tractica’s report, “Biometrics for Mobile Devices”, examines the market trends and technology issues surrounding biometrics for mobile devices and presents 10-year forecasts for mobile biometric hardware and software during the period from 2015 through 2024. Biometric modalities and applications are analyzed in depth, and the report also includes detailed profiles of 25 key industry players. Market forecasts, segmented by world region, include mobile biometric hardware unit shipments, device pricing and revenue, software application licenses, application pricing, and application revenue. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.