Innovations in Biometrics for Consumer Electronics–
Nine Pronged Technology Evaluation
Biometric Technologies offering Digital Identification and Securing
Users Against Identity Theft
Year of Impact
IP Intensity—Patent Analysis
Breadth of Industries
Potential points of Convergence
Size of the Innovation Ecosystem
The Frost & Sullivan Story
Biometric identification is one of the most secure ways for user identity authentication and, while
integrated into consumer electronics devices, it can act as a person’s digital identification. The Technical
Insights division of Frost & Sullivan evaluated key technology trends in the biometrics for consumer
electronics domain from nine strategic perspectives.
The research service offers insights primarily on nine dimensions of biometrics for consumer electronics
The 9 dimensions of the reports are listed as:
• Year of impact
• Market Potential
• Global Footprint
• IP Intensity
• Breadth of Industries
• Megatrend Impact
• Potential Points of convergence
• Size of Innovation Ecosystem
Nine Dimensional Analysis of Technology Assessment
This research service covers key biometric technologies and applications in the consumer electronics sector. Applications
enabled by biometric technologies that are expected to have high impact in the near-term and medium-term are captured in the
research service. It also covers various dimensions that shape biometrics for consumer electronics market such as year of
impact and market opportunities; technology adoption status; and market impact of key innovations. The research service also
covers the breadth of applications benefited by biometric technologies. Funding trends, megatrend impact and potential points
of convergence are analyzed alongside to provide a complete view of the biometric technologies and their impact on the
Year of Impact
Potential Points of
Wide scale adoption expected by 2015
Biometrics is set to emerge as a new source of revenue within the industry in
2013. By 2015, wide scale adoption is expected.
High-growth expected – Mobile phone Will Lead the market
Mobile phone industry is the key growth area of the future and is expected to have
the largest share in the biometrics for consumer electronics market by 2015-17.
Faster Adoption in Asia and USA
USA is a rapidly growing market, though its rate of penetration in the biometrics
for consumer electronics market is currently lower than Asia. Major consumer
electronics market participants, such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, are integrating
biometrics faster. The Asian market is also progressing with wide user adoption
and major mobile phone manufacturers, such as Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, etc.
All the major mobile phone manufacturers are racing against each other to
introduce biometric-enabled phones.
Key Findings (continued)
Fingerprint Technology Leading – All major players Involved
Patents in the Biometrics for Consumer Electronics industry are largely owned by
USA, Japan, Korea, although Europe is not too far behind. Fingerprint technology
dominates the patent landscape.
North America Leading
Venture Capitalists are playing an important role in funding, which are currently
mostly concentrated in the North America region .
Mobile Phone Industry holds the key to success
Biometric capabilities will influence diverse consumer industries, such as mobile
phones, computers/laptops/notebooks/tablets, gaming and television. Biometric
authentication is gaining more traction as corporations focus more on identity
verification, and device security amid the growing trend toward enterprise mobility.
The mobile phones industry is considered as the industry with most potential.
Key Findings (continued)
New Business Models of Tomorrow
Biometrics in consumer electronics products is enabling new business models,
such as pay as u go, mobile commerce, NFC-enabled transactions. Biometrics for
consumer electronics is also perceived to have a strong impact on social trends,
connectivity and convergence, bricks and clicks, health, wellness and well-being.
Mobile Commerce Enabled by NFC and Biometrics
For mass adoption of mobile commerce, consumers must be assured that security
measures protecting their devices are strong effective. Mobile payments is going
to experience explosive growth in near future and security is of paramount
concern here. Combined capabilities of NFC and Biometrics will ensure the high
adoption of mobile commerce.
Active Stakeholders Promoting Growth
Integration of biometrics in consumer electronics is an emerging trend. As
biometrics is an established technology and in use for other applications for quite
a long time, the number of biometrics stakeholders is high. Now these
stakeholders are rapidly identifying the opportunities in consumer electronics and
using their know-how to offer solutions dedicated to tconsumer electronics market.
“Biometrics” allow identification or authentication of a person based on a physiological or
behavioral characteristic. Features such as fingerprint, voice, face, iris, hand geometry,
vein are measured. Biometric technologies have quickly become the foundation of
highly secure personal verification and identification solutions, namely in unauthorized
immigration, visa frauds, border intrusion and so on.
Apart from its use in government security applications, biometric
technologies have found increasing opportunities in consumer electronics
market over the past few years.
As people are increasingly cramming sensitive information into their
computers and smartphones, they are becoming more concerned about
identity theft and financial fraud. As such, the need for highly secure
identification and personal verification technologies is becoming apparent
in consumer electronics market.
Unique: Instead of basing identity authentication on what someone
possesses or what someone knows, biometric identification is based on what
one is, or how one behaves.
Convenient: Biometric sensors eliminate the need for the user to write down
passwords, greatly reduce calls to help desks and ensure that only a preenrolled and authorized user gains access to a PC or cell phone, the data
stored on the device, and the network to which it connects.
Secure: Biometric technology is a measurement of human characteristics
that are unique to an individual. It is this uniqueness that provides unique
identification to each individual and enhances security by eliminating the
chances of identity theft.
Key Biometric Technologies for Consumer Electronics
Fingerprint recognition is the method of identification using the
impressions made by the minute ridge formations or patterns found on the
In Palmprint recognition, palm print features, which are composed of
principal lines, wrinkles, minutiae, delta points are captured as images and
used for identification.
Iris recognition technology uses the black and white image of eye
captured using IR video camera to compare various parameters, such as
rings, furrows and freckles in the cornea, iris and pupil of the eye.
Face recognition uses facial characteristics (distance between the eyes,
width of nose, depth of eye sockets, mouth, jaws, cheek bones) to map the
nodal point on an individual’s face and compares with stored image in the
Voice recognition involves authenticating a speaker based on numerous
voice characteristics such as vocal tract geometry, harmonics, pitch and
Market Drivers and Challenges
The adoption of biometrics has been concentrated on the government sector so far. Over the past
few years, biometric technologies are being integrated into consumer electronic products and this
has created a shift in the biometric market dynamics.
Biometrics for the consumer electronics market is in a transition state currently. The acquisition of
Authentec by Apple has kick-started the market. All the major mobile manufacturers will soon follow
this trend and one can expect mobile phones with embedded biometric sensor by the end of the
Not only to be used in mobile phones, biometrics will also be in use in other consumer electronics
product segments. Initially, it will be the mobile phone market that would drive the biometrics market
in consumer electronics applications.
Key Application Sectors:
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