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Biometrics Penetrating Consumer Markets

Long the domain of government and law enforcement agencies, biometric systems are increasingly moving into the market for personal data management and security. Laptops, mobile phones, storage drives and other personal devices will increasingly include biometric options to provide an additional layer of access security.

“Biometrics players increasingly have to support both public and private sector demand. It will be those that leverage the key biometric standards initially developed for the public sector but with scope for private sector deployments that will reap the benefits,” says ABI Research principal analyst Jonathan Collins.

Biometrics move into everyday life will help familiarize a broad population with the concept of using biometric measurements and systems to protect their own data. At the same time biometrics systems will become more and more commonplace in workplaces to protect physical and logical access to key resources.

The combined growth in both government, law enforcement and private sectors for biometrics will drive spending on biometrics systems over the next five years up to $7.3 billion by 2013, up from around $3 billion in 2008.

Although biometrics increasingly pushes into corporate and consumer deployments, traditional government and law enforcement biometrics spending will continue to dominate investment over the next five years. However, the ability to leverage technologies developed for the public sector in private sector and personal deployments will be increasingly important.

“In addition,” notes Collins, “The wide variety of biometrics technologies available including face, fingerprint, iris, hand and speech recognition systems, as well as their differing characteristics, has created opportunities for vendors and systems integrators to help customers select the correct biometric measurement or combination of measurements for any application.

Increasingly the test for biometrics players will be to understand and supply both markets with a range of suitable, secure and trusted products and systems. [ABI Research]

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