Gesture biometrics 'to feature on future smartphones'

17 July 2012

Posted by Samuel Couratin

The coming years will see biometric technology that tracks gestures included on smartphones, it has been predicted.

According to a report on the market between now and 2017, ABI Research forecasts 600 million of the devices will have vision-based recognition features that enhance interactions with machines, rising sharply from a handful of smartphones today.

The analysis claims problems such as high power consumption, different backgrounds and varying lighting levels will be overcome by technology firms through new innovations, while voice recognition solutions will also be included on future smartphones.

Josh Flood, ABI Research Senior Analyst, suggested: "Gesture recognition is a very exciting prospect, particularly for smartphones and tablets. These devices are already heavily entrenched into peoples' lives and another communication interface is always very welcome."

This will see biometric technology move beyond security and towards the sort of camera-based tracking capabilities that have already been employed in some games consoles, such as the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360.

However, the effectiveness of some biometric technology has been called into question by experts from the University of Notre Dame, who have claimed there are questions to be asked about the effectiveness of iris recognition systems.

According to the researchers, iris patterns may be susceptible to ageing processes that could mean there is deterioration in recognition performance in systems that are being used for security in facilities such as airports and border entry posts.

The study found that the false non-match rate increases over time, which may mean a single enrolment for lift is ineffective.

"Only recently have research groups had access to image datasets acquired for the same people over a period of several years," noted Kevin Bowyer, Notre Dame's Schubmehl-Prein Family Chair in Computer Science and Engineering, adding similar results have also been published by specialists from Clarkson University and West Virginia University.

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