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Report: 990 million mobile devices to have biometrics by 2017

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Step aside passwords, make way for biometrics. A new study projected that by the year 2017, more than 990 million mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, will have biometric features, such as fingerprint sensors. This could very well replace passwords as the means for security.

The Google Intelligence study titled “Mobile Biometric Security – Market Forecast Report 2013 – 2018” found that 3.4 billion users will be able to utilize these biometrical functions. Essentially, biometrics will become crucial to maintain the machine’s security, especially as more and more mobile devices have sensitive data stored on them.

The trend will initiate when mobile phone makers implement the fingerprint sensors in their primary devices and then move onto cheaper mobile devices. Indeed, most experts concur this will become the main source of authentication.

“We shall also see an evolution in fingerprint sensors, excluding Apple’s Touch ID, with Android devices, such as the HTC One max, initially supporting swipe sensor technology,” said Alan Goode, author of the report and founder of Goode Intelligence, in a statement. “Throughout 2014 we’ll see touch sensors from manufacturers such as Idex, Fingerprint Cards and Validity Sensors (part of Synaptics) embedded in Android, Windows Phone and potentially BlackBerry devices. The next evolution will see ‘buttonless’ sensors being integrated into the touchscreen itself to make the experience even more frictionless and convenient.”

On top of fingerprint sensors, manufacturers will also eventually install voice and facial recognition as well as eye and behavioral modalities, the report stated. However, fingerprint recognition will remain as the top biometric technology over the course of the next few years for consumer electronics (both for companies and consumers).

Last week, a different study was reported on that discovered that contact centres in the United Kingdom are already employing biometric technology to enhance consumer trust and fight the security weaknesses in their systems, like fraud and identity theft.

The report estimates that mobile device biometrics will become an $8.3 billion industry by 2018.

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