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Biometrics: Will emerging modalities and mobile applications bring mass adoption?

Some scoff at the idea of emerging biometrics, saying that the identification technology as a whole is still emerging. In reality, however, fingerprints have been used to identify criminals for nearly a century and around the world biometrics are used to gain access to buildings, get cash at ATMs and authenticate online transactions. The days when biometric scanners were merely props in James Bond movies are gone. The North American market appears to be on the precipice of a change. Use cases for secure authentication are everywhere, and the technology foundations to enable biometrics have matured. Re:ID editors spoke with a group of industry leaders to get their thoughts on what’s coming in the biometric market. The individuals deploy and look at biometric systems every day and the emerging trends they identified were remarkably consistent. They include the rise of two formerly outlying modalities and the coalescence of biometrics and mobile devices for two distinct applications. Trend: Vascular biometrics gets under your skin Vein pattern biometrics is a modality that is garnering a lot of interest, says Rick Lazarick, chief scientist at the identity labs for CSC. Some large-scale test results show that both finger vein and palm vein biometrics are extremely accurate, he says, and possess some really important convenience attributes. The modality is being used in ATMs throughout Japan as well as in Brazil and Poland. “The ATM implementations show that they have the capability to be used in large scale and mainstream applications,” Lazarick says. The Japanese ATMs use three-factor authentication for transactions–card, PIN and a vascular biometric, says Walter Hamilton, a senior consultant at ID Technology Partners and chairman of the International Biometrics and Identification Association.

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