Realistic Need for Fingerprint Sensors in Our Smartphones – A Wonderful Growth Opportunity for the Manufacturers

The Report “Next Generation Biometrics Market Analysis by Type of Authentication (Single Factor, Multi-Factor, Multi-Modal); Biometric Type (IRIS, Face, Fingerprint, Vein); By Application (Banking, Government, Consumer Electronics, Retail) – Forecast (2014 – 2020)” Published by IndustryARC, the NGB Market to Reach $5.9 Billion by 2020

Browse 135 Market Tables & 47 Figures spread through 260 Pages and an in-depth TOC on “Next Generation Biometrics Market”:

Smartphones have in recent times become the most indispensable gadget of our everyday lives and is almost as important to the corporate user as a casual user.

Lot of personal information like contacts, location data, texts, mails and payment details are stored in some kind of encrypted form on the phone. Even if this data is stored in the cloud, once the user gains access to the phone all of the passwords are saved in the phone for different logins and this makes it a free for all once the phone is hacked.

Mobile Phone Security

Mobile phone security in our opinion is more important than any other everyday gadget like desktop or laptop due to the mobile nature of the device itself. There are more chances of a mobile phone getting hacked than any other gadget out there. Hacking by intercepting signals or spoofing an IP is not being discussed in this article.

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Traditional phones before smartphones had pin code or a password for verification. As smartphones arrived, login security has advanced to

  • Pattern Recognition
  • Two step verification involving patterns and pin
  • Facial recognition and now
  • Fingerprint Recognition.

As much as it is seen as a novelty feature, fingerprint verification is an important tool for smartphones and this feature must have been in place long back. We already use fingerprint verification systems already in our daily life at offices, airports and other government locations for verifying if you are the person you claim. The main reason this has not been widespread is that miniaturization and cost of the same were not balanced enough to be integrated in to a phone. Generally an optical sensor or CMOS sensor is used for this purpose and these sensors have to be cheap, durable and small to be integrated into a phone.

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Motorola was the first company which launched the Atrix 4G back in 2011, 2 years before the iPhone 5s showed up with the same technology. But not many phones apart from these two mentioned and Pantech Vega LTE-A, HTC One Max are currently present to show for.

IndustryARC expects this status quo to change sooner than later. The intense competition among smartphone OEMs to be depicted as the best has made a mad scramble for every phone to represent every other one in the market in look, feel and nothing sets them apart even in specifications, features pretty much also. This is good for the market as a much needed security feature will be embedded in our phones.

There is lot of scope for improvement and the future use case scenarios for fingerprint sensors in our phones. Software is as important to this hardware as any other story we heard before. As we have seen, higher picture resolution and clarity was achieved by the iPhone with lesser sensor pixels than its counterparts purely because of the clever software and algorithms in it. The same needs to be applied here.

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Fingerprint sensors, in our understanding will be used for

  • Mobile Based Payments
  • Secure File Transfers
  • Office Logins (BYOD) and also
  • NFC
  • Square and Other Payment Technology Types

The market for fingerprint sensors has been limited to biometrics industry and the smartphone industry will be a huge market for these sensor OEMs. Authentic was purchased for Apple for around $350m and as such this is a good time for a merger or acquisition for the remaining startups also in this space. Established companies like Secugen, Morpho can look forward for more trials with smartphone OEMs and shipments will increase significantly in the next two quarters.

Fingerprint verification in our phones has now become basically a question of when rather than how.

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