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Biometrics Market Set to Skyrocket to $30Bn

There’s a perfect storm brewing for the global biometrics market, according to ABI Research. Bosltered by smartphone penetration, geopolitical events and the commercial interest of payment giants, the firm expects revenues to reach more than $30 billion by 2021.

That represents an impressive 118% increase from 2015.

Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to boost the biometrics market, with embedded fingerprint sensors like Apple’s Touch ID anticipated to reach two billion shipments by 2021 at a 40% CAGR. As a result, consumer confidence in the technology should start to crest.

"Consumers are increasingly putting their trust behind biometric-based authentication and searching for security, convenience and personalization in multiple layers," says Dimitrios Pavlakis, research analyst at ABI Research.

Meanwhile, rising tensions and pressing identification issues in both the Middle East and Europe will also cause a major increase in biometric technologies, ABI predicted. This will, in turn, motivate the respective governments to push for new legislation and regulations for data management and exchange initiatives that include biometrics.

And also, the credit card industry is leading the way with multimodal technologies and a distinct emphasis on facial recognition. MasterCard for instance is set to extend its ‘pay-by-selfie’ facial recognition technology to 14 countries including the UK this summer as part of its ongoing attempt to crack down on identity fraud.

There are other noteworthy initiatives on the way as well. Industry leaders Gemalto, STMicroelectronics, FPC, and Precise Biometrics recently formed a partnership for the development of end-to-end biometric architecture. And Morpho (Safran) has partnered with Airtel to increase user mobility under the UIDAI project in India.

Going forward, interest from law enforcement, retailers, banks and enterprises will drive part of the market as well as IP cameras start to support new surveillance techniques.

"Surveillance is also gearing up, and by 2021, we anticipate more than one in three surveillance cameras shipped to be IP-connected cameras,” Pavlakis said. “This will undoubtedly open up new pathways for facial biometrics and surveillance analytics."

Facial recognition and fingerprint sensors are just the beginning though. "Companies will move more aggressively toward the adoption of these new biometric form factors and technologies," concludes Pavlakis. "Technologies include USB-connected devices; embedded sensors in consumer electronics and payment cards; four-finger, iris, and facial recognition in smartphones; and vein recognition in ATMs."

While North America and the Asia-Pacific region continue to dominate the majority of the biometrics market share, ABI Research market data suggests that Latin America and the Middle East can also expect a boon in terms of new biometric implementations. This will primarily occur in banking and personal finance, followed by the governmental and security sectors, ABI said.

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