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Fingerprint Scanners vs. Facial Recognition: Which Tech Is Winning The War With Consumers?

If you have purchased a new mobile phone in recent years, chances are it features either a fingerprint sensor or some combination of face and iris recognition – if not both. These technologies, which were first introduced in consumer-facing phones earlier this decade, have grown tremendously in terms of popularity and adoption.

But which technology is dominant today? That’s one of the many questions we answer in our Biometric Technologies and Applications market data report.

By The Numbers

Within the consumer market, the number of fingerprint sensor shipments is expected to reach approximately 1.26 billion by the end of 2019 with a moderate, albeit sizable, 10.3.% 5-year CAGR increase.

On the other hand, face biometrics apps are expected to boast an impressive 26.9% 5-year CAGR growth until 2024. The growth is being driven by leading and innovative smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and LG, who are implementing the technology in their devices.

On The Horizon

The biometric tools available to consumers will continue to evolve, with the incorporation of an “invisible, in-glass” fingerprint sensor for smartphones, a more streamlined approach to iris recognition, and more accurate behavioral recognition all slated to become mainstream in the coming years.

However, one particular implementation seems to have hit a snag – biometrically embedded payment cards with fingerprint sensors. This delay comes in spite of the fact that the companies and innovators behind the technology have taken all the right steps – educating the public regarding battery-less fingerprint-embedded cards, technologies that allow energy harvesting from nearby terminals, meticulous conformity to EMV specifications, and even addressing issues like tamper-resistant integrated circuits for additional protection of any biometric data contained therein.

Although most of the supporting technology has indeed reached critical mass there are still a few pricing and operational issues that currently keep many projects in the pilot phase.

However, credit card companies like MasterCard and Visa, market leaders like Gemalto, IDEMIA, and FPC, and innovative market entrants like IDEX, NEXT Biometrics, Zwipe, and Smartmatic are currently some of the main actors expected to lead this biometric evolution in the near future. Fingerprint sensor embedded payment cards are expected to experience significant growth from 2021 onwards.

Driving Adoption In The Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is also ripe for a user security upgrade with biometric applications set to increase significantly through 2024. These applications include merging leading modalities like face, fingerprint, voice and iris with ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), health monitoring, and user customization. Advanced analytics and machine vision coupled with face recognition and surveillance, iris recognition in governmental and civil applications, and even biometrically-enhanced cryptocurrency wallets are some of the enticing new applications expected to keep biometric automotive technologies in the spotlight in the coming years.

Learn More

Take an in-depth look at the future of biometric technologies and applications with our market data report.

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