Biometrics technology is a real time, automated and non-forensic based technique utilized for identification and authentication of people. It provides greater security compared to traditional techniques such as password, PIN or a token. The unique biometric traits of an individual make it more reliable and efficient as there is no risk of losing and forgetting the PIN or password. Biometrics finds its application in several end-use industries such as healthcare, government, banking, and others. It is also employed in consumer electronics as an enhanced security feature, where the user can unlock the phone by offering biometric factor such as fingerprint, iris, face image, and so on.
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The Next Generation Biometrics (NGB) market report from IndustryARC is a detailed account of the biometric devices and sensors that are utilized across several industries. The biometric factors are of different types, primarily classified into: Single factor and Multi-factor. The single factor type consists of technology such as Iris, Face, Fingerprint, Palm and others, whereas, the multi-factor type includes different combinations such as Fingerprint and Card/PIN, Face and PIN/Card, Face and Palm, Iris and Fingerprint and others. The biometrics market study across various applications such as Banking, Consumer Electronics, Government, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Gaming, Residencies is incorporated in the report.
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The market size in 2014 was worth $5.9 billion, with fingerprint technology being the largest segment accounting 55% of the market share. The fingerprint sensors, fingerprint biometric devices are employed for government operations, physical access, patient management, POS terminals and many others. However, its inclusion into consumer electronics especially smartphones is the biggest driving factor for the market. In 2013, Apple Inc. has introduced fingerprint reading feature in its flagship iPhone models 5s. Since then, the market has gained significant traction and several smartphone makers followed the suit. Today more than ten large smartphone companies possess biometric sensors in their devices. With higher demand from consumer end and the increasing awareness on biometrics, the fingerprint sensors market is estimated to grow immensely in the period 2015-2020. The global sales of fingerprint enabled consumer electronics, by 2020, are forecast to reach shipments value four times from that of in 2014.
Furthermore, the fingerprint biometric devices is employed for emerging application such as patient management in healthcare industry and customer relation management in hotels in hospitality industry. Identification of patient/customer in these industries to provide enhanced services is moving away from a simple identification number of card. These applications are slowly emerging and hold huge potential to improve biometric adoption. Thus, with evolving applications of biometrics, the market is forecast to pace quickly in coming years.
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Apart from fingerprint, other technologies such as face, iris and palm are slowly gaining market share owing to the advanced accuracy and ease of use. To an extent, non-contact nature of these factors is also aiding the growth. However, more technological innovations are awaited for these devices to penetrate into more applications. Similarly, the cost of these devices is high compared to fingerprint. In future, due to higher demand for these devices coupled with product innovations, the prices are expected to fall down. For instance, Fujitsu Inc. in 2015 announced smartphones containing iris scanners which will be commercialized soon. Thus, the biometrics market, with increased applications in consumer electronics, is forecast to touch $19.7 billion by 2020.
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