Malaysia and biometric ID for foreigners

Biometric identity cards for foreigners studying in Malaysia? (The Star)

“Several countries, namely Saudi Arab, Yemen and several Middle East countries have indicated interest in adopting such a card for their students students here,” he added.

Based on ministry’s records, there were some 80,000 international students in the country last year. The aim is to attract 200,000 foreign students by 2020.

In a related issue, Ahmad Zahid said that a pilot project is currently underway to implement the biometric identity card for the 2.116mil foreign workers in the country by the end of next year.

Market forecast for commercial biometrics applications

FrostSullivan: Global Commercial Biometrics Market to Grow Considerably as Awareness Increases (MENAFN)

Increasing awareness of biometrics across industries will spur the global commercial biometrics market. While historically the adoption of biometrics has been concentrated in the government sector, recent years have witnessed considerable demand for applications such as ATMs, retail points of sale, and finance. Iris and face recognition algorithms have undergone substantial advancements and are gaining prominence, while fingerprint technologies remain the most popular.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Global Commercial Biometrics Market, finds that the market earned revenues of 1.48 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach 6.15 billion in 2019. In addition to fingerprint, facial and iris biometrics, the study covers hand geometry, voice, and signature technologies.

Recent M&A a sign of biometrics’ importance to electronics industry

Recent Synaptics (SYNA) Biometrics Acquisition Boosts Sector (Investor Ideas)

Alan Goode, Managing Director of said of the acquisition – “The acquisition of Validity Sensors, by Synaptics., is another sign of how important biometrics is becoming to consumer technologies. I believe this is a good match between Synaptics, who has a strong track record of developing touch-based consumer solutions, and one of the remaining independent mobile biometric sensor manufacturers. This is about giving consumer electronics products better, more convenient, security and opens up fingerprint-based biometrics to other consumer devices. We expect that additional biometric modalities, including voice, facial, eye and behavioral will be quickly integrated into other electronic devices and cloud-based services.”

For the technically inclined

Apple Reveals More Details of Touch ID for iPhone, iPad & beyond (Patently Apple)

Generally, capacitive fingerprint sensors may be used to determine an image of a fingerprint through measuring capacitance through each capacitive sensing element of a capacitive sensor. Thus, fingerprint ridges provide a higher capacitance in an underlying capacitive sensing element than do fingerprint valleys.

Capacitive fingerprint sensors come in at least two varieties, namely active and passive. Active capacitive sensors are often used in electronic devices to provide biometric security and identification of users.

A long discussion, based on Apple patent filings, of what Apple’s future fingerprint technology may look like follows.

Fingerprint M&A is so hot right now

Apple’s integration of a fingerprint sensor in its iPhone has put other handset makers under pressure to follow suit.

But news that Samsung had bought Swedish company Fingerprint Cards &8212; promptly denied by both companies &8212; seems to have been a hoax, possibly perpetrated as part of a securities fraud scheme. See: The curious case of Samsung’s ‘purchase’ of biometrics company Fingerprint Cards, at NDTV Gadgets.

Meanwhile, Capacitive touch specialist Synaptics has agreed to buy biometric authentication firm Validity for $255 million (IT PRO)

Let’s change the language of biometrics (Human Recognition Systems blog)
“The consumer market will not suit the current market leaders in the biometrics industry of today as they are geared towards direct sales to a limited number of large customers. The consumer market will demand innovation in small packages, readily integrated with existing technology and in a totally hassle-free format. It will require collaboration, an understanding of current technology convergence trends and most of all, a foolhardy bravery to go where no other company has gone before.”

We couldn’t agree more.

FIDO looking to bring Touch ID to Android in 6 months (IntoMobile) — All is proceeding as we have foreseen.

NIGERIA: Lagos Begins Biometric Verification Of Pensioners (PM News)

Biometric plan to track entry, exit of foreign visitors won’t be ready until 2015 (Newspaper Tree – El Paso, Texas)

M2SYS BLOG: Why Apple’s use of Fingerprint Biometrics is Boon to Industry, not the Modality

Fashion to thwart Facebook face recognition?

Creepy T-shirts designed to baffle Facebook facial-recognition software (Naked Security)

Image source: REALFACE web site

The garments – dubbed the “REALFACE Glamoflage” T-shirts – were designed by Simone C. Niquille as part of her* master’s thesis in graphic design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

The shirts are custom-printed and sell for around $65.

The prints feature distorted faces of celebrity impersonators – Barack Obama, Michael Jackson and others – with the aim of creating an easy way to befuddle Facebook’s pattern recognition algorithms…

I’m always fascinated by the responses of artists and designers to facial recognition technology.

CV Dazzle is my favorite because it is visually interesting; it really works as fashion and as an effective face rec counter-measure; and the approach stands a chance of keeping up as facial recognition technology continues to improve in surveillance applications.

REALFACE has simplicity and a more mainstream fashion statement going for it. In some percentage of attempts, it probably attracts the attention of the face-finding algorithms that are a part of automated facial recognition programs.

Full disclosure: I’ve never had a Facebook account so I’m making some assumptions about how it works.

Rather than a frontal attack on the face algorithm itself, it may be that best way to cause Facebook’s face recognition trouble is by undermining the quality of the data it relies upon. Facebook relies upon users telling the software who is who, then applying facial recognition to prompt users to tag new photos. Users who wish to thwart Facebook’s facial recognition might recognize that “garbage in; garbage out,” depending on your point of view, is either a bug or a feature.

For other posts on biometrics and art click here.