Strong telecoms future forecast for facial biometrics

09 August 2012

Posted by Satvir Bhullar

Facial biometric recognition technology will experience rapid uptake in the telecoms sector.

This is the forecast made by ABI Research, which predicts that by the end of 2012 almost 20 per cent of annual smartphone shipments will include the solutions.

With an increase in global shipments of tablets and smartphones to 665 million a year anticipated by the analyst within the next five years, it appears that users will become familiar with facial recognition capabilities on their handheld devices.

With the Samsung Galaxy SIII supporting the technology and the Google Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean operating systems geared up for facial recognition, many more handsets and platforms are expected to incorporate the technology over the coming months and years.

Developed by scientists in the 1960s, facial biometrics have undergone rapid changes in the past decade, according to Josh Flood, Senior Analyst at ABI Research, who noted accuracy rates are now almost always at more than 90 per cent.

He added: "Improvements in camera resolution and processing power utilized by mobile devices has helped greatly."

Smart televisions and other devices are also implementing facial recognition technology, using 3D cameras and other developments to process information.

Fingerprint biometrics continue to be popular to identify individuals and a bank in Vietnam has announced it has incorporated solutions into debit cards.

Intended to make paying for goods and using accounts easier for both urban and rural populations, and expand access to bank accounts, the Mekong Development Bank cards have debuted in the countryside.

They enhance security compared with existing systems and have reportedly tripled the institution's current account base since they were launched in June this year.

Temenos supplied the software to support the cards and integrate biometric fingerprint authentication into the bank's systems, with Nicholas Chee, Mekong Development Bank Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Consumer Business, stating: "Preliminary research shows that an overwhelming 91 per cent of customers surveyed after activating their debit card would recommend that their family and friends sign up for the product."

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