Introduction

There is an increased buzz about the death of passwords and PINs. Are we really heading into the age of “No Passwords and PINs”? The number of connected devices is rising and they are expected to use some kind of sensing which will eventually replace existing authentication methods. Connected devices proliferate in every aspect of life; an average digital native is expected to have at least 10 connected devices at home, more than 3 enterprise-enabled work devices, and access to over 80 billion devices through the Internet of Things (IoT). Mobiles and tablets are increasingly becoming enablers for fingerprint sensors across applications. Frost & Sullivan believes that fingerprint sensors are expected to grow significantly over the next 5 years.

Industry Trends

An exponential increase in smartphones and smart device applications has resulted in the dawn of the IoT.  IoT is the next big technological trend with considerable revenue potential. Although IoT is still in a stage of infancy, sensing devices will occupy the physical layer of the IoT architecture, thereby, providing the necessary connectivity between the physical and digital worlds.

Among the various biometric modalities, fingerprint is one of the most widely deployed due to its cost-effective nature. Fingerprint sensing is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life. One key macroeconomic trend driving the demand for fingerprint sensors is urbanization, as it has been an important engine driving the need for enhanced safety, security, and convenience. The rising demand for smartphones is a prime example of this trend. Apple’s introduction of a fingerprint sensor in its iPhone product line has resulted in enhancing customer confidence about biometric use in mobile phones.

Need for Security

Rising urbanization results in increased level of fraudulent activities. According to the Verizon Breach Report 2016, phishing, Point of Sale (POS) intrusions, and Web App attacks are among the top fraudulent activities. With today’s phones being a person’s identity and used mainly for banking and e-commerce applications, security takes precedence. Several vendors are currently researching the mobile biometric space. For example, Samsung and PayPal introduced a new biometric feature that allows Galaxy S5 smartphone owners to use fingerprint authentication for mobile payments with PayPal merchants. As customers globally get accustomed to using fingerprint sensors in the devices they use, biometrics is expected to filter into a number of commercial applications.

Let us consider the example of retail. Retailing has increasingly migrated from the in-shop purchase to the Web and mobile devices purchasing model. Customers in this age demand a greater level of convenience coupled with robust security. E-commerce is already prevalent in the US and Europe and is gaining prominence in countries such as India and China. Hence, we believe that a future retail channel strategy will involve mobile apps, Internet retail, virtual stores, and interactive kiosks to name a few. As smart devices are central to the whole application, the role of fingerprint sensors is expected to be more than significant in the coming years.

Challenge and Regional Analysis

Growth of touchless biometric modalities is expected challenge the use of fingerprint sensors. However, the market for fingerprint biometric modality will continue to grow and will co-exist with other biometric modalities in a multi-factor authentication system.

Based on the installed base of smart devices, North America currently contributes the largest share of the pie, with the US contributing the highest. However, emerging economies of Asia are expected to drive the market for fingerprint sensors in Asia-Pacific. From a technology standpoint, although capacitive fingerprint sensors dominate the space, ultrasonic technology is expected to make inroads into the market due to its ability to prevent user impersonation.

Conclusions

With the development of new technology, new materials, smaller form factors, and easy integration into smart devices providing the necessary security in an IoT environment, the market for fingerprint sensors is poised for considerable growth in the coming years. Growing prominence of biometrics reiterates the “You are your password” concept.

About Frost & Sullivan

For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success.

Frost & Sullivan

For six decades, Frost & Sullivan has been world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success.

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