mobile, modality, sensor

Mobile fingerprint biometrics: Show me the sensor

Meet the Australian biometrics company working with Apple on ID technology (Smart Company Australia)

The head of an Australian biometrics company which scored a key contract with Apple says the future of mobile technology will be closely linked with fingerprint scanning and other ID tech, especially as phones and payment systems become entwined.

See yesterday’s post. Here’s a snippet.

Perhaps the greatest hurdle to mobile biometrics has been a mobile hardware chicken-and-egg problem.

So far, speculation about Apple’s future plans notwithstanding, and the short-lived Motorola Atrix, mobile handset manufacturers haven’t been willing to drive up handset costs by adding biometric sensor hardware to a device when there aren’t any applications that use it. Application developers won’t develop applications that can’t be deployed.

Barring a reversal where handset manufacturers add hardware to the devices, the only way out for biometric application developers is to use hardware that is already standard issue on mobile platforms. Besides using the touch-screen for some sort of behavioral biometric application, that means using the phone’s microphone for voice and camera for face, and now, perhaps, palm-based biometrics.

A lot of very smart people are talking like mobile device + fingerprint + NFC + payments is going to happen. Fingerprint sensors have to start showing up on mobile devices first, though.

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