The global biometrics technology market is highly competitive with many players vying for a larger share in the revenue pie. The top three players accounted for 42.1% of the market in 2012, finds Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new report. Key players are focused on R&D activities to enable product innovation, TMR says. Established players are making use of aggressive business strategies such as product development and expansion through collaborations and acquisitions. A case in point would be Morpho SA, a company that has expanded its geographical presence in emerging markets in the last few years and has opened offices in South America, Asia, and Europe.
Players are also strategizing on how to leverage their products to increase their market share in various industries, airports, and amusement parks. For instance, the fingerprint sensors from Lumidigm, Inc. are utilized in a number of amusement parks in China and are also used for self-authentication at ticket booths and member kiosks. Some of the leading companies in the global biometrics technology market include: Morpho SA (Safran), NEC Corporation, 3M Cognet, SIEMENS AG, RCG Holding, Fujitsu Limited, Suprema, Inc., and BIO-Key International, Inc.
There are only a few regulations currently affecting how the biometrics market functions. Moreover, the initial capital investment required is low. Thus, there are low entry barriers for new entrants and their threat is likely to be medium in the coming years. The threat of substitutes such as username and password and smart cards being used in small scale industries and shops exists. However since passwords can easily be hacked and stolen, the adoption of biometric technology will continue to rise. Thus, the threat of substitutes will remain low in the coming years.
Growing Applications in Government Sector to Boost Demand for Biometric Technology
Cases of kidnapping and people being held as hostage have increased in the recent past. Terrorist attacks are also on a rise. All these factors have increased the popularity of biometric security systems. The biometric technology is also being extensively used in the government sector. For instance, Aadhar cards and e-passports are making use of biometric technology. This technology has gained wide acceptance owing to their ease of use. Where forgetting passwords is human tendency, the implementation of biometric systems negates the need to remember access codes and passwords. This is further driving their demand.
Unreliability of Biometric Systems Could Fail Consumers, Hamper Growth
Biometrics such as voice or iris recognition is not entirely reliable during sickness. Eye defects can cause a difference to the eye and lead to failure in being recognized by the biometric system. Similarly throat infections altering the voice lead to a failure in identifying a person. Additionally, the biometric fingerprint systems fail to recognize fingerprints of people working in the chemical industry. Due to all these reasons, biometrics technology appears unreliable, hampering the growth of the market.
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Another factor that acts as a restraint and dampens adoption of biometric systems, is the high cost, says a TMR analyst. Small industries cannot afford these systems and prefer user name and password, authentication tokens, and smart cards, affecting adoption rates of biometric technology.
Multimodal Biometrics to Meet High Performance Requirements and Open Growth Opportunities
To improve security, multimodal biometrics is being used. Multimodal biometrics make use of more than one physiological or behavioral characteristic for verification and identification. The use of this technology solves the problem regarding inability of these systems to identify a person in case of any change in voice/iris due to sickness. Multimodal biometrics do not rely on just one area of identification, so even if the fingerprint authentication fails, the iris and voice recognition identifiers can give access to a person.
According to the report, the global biometrics technology market is expected to be worth US$23.31 bn by 2019. By application, the non-AFIS segment is expected to lead and account for 37.6% of the global biometrics technology market by 2019. On the basis of end user, the transport/visa/logistics segment led in the past and is expected to lead in the coming years. The segment is anticipated to account for 26.4% of the global market by 2019. By geography, North America is expected to lead in the market by 2019.
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