Did you know that biometric technology has been around since 29,000 B.C.? At the time, it was in the form of handprints that cavemen used to sign their artwork. In 500 B.C., business transactions in Babylonia were signed with fingerprints on clay tablets.
Yet, surprisingly, the technology isn’t as widespread as you would expect it to be. Several factors have contributed over the years toward the slow adoption of biometric technology. Primary among them is the cost associated with the procurement, installation and implementation of biometric systems. The Unisys Security Index surveys indicate that adding users to the system, which is a pre-requisite for any kind of authentication, is challenging in the case of biometric computer security, depending on the trust value of the organization using the system.
Despite these issues, banking, research, government and military organizations have adopted biometric logins as their primary authentication technology. Of late, the price points of technology required for fast and accurate biometric authentication have dropped significantly, making it viable for small- and medium-sized private enterprises to deploy biometric login or authentication systems as well.
Over the years, biometric systems have evolved from a new technology used in closed environment applications to a useful, practical, fit-for-purpose tool used across a wide range of industries and in a variety of applications. The Global Biometric Forecast to 2012 anticipates that its markets will grow at a CAGR of about 22% between 2011 and 2013. North America is touted to be the most dominant player, closely followed by the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Governments are the largest customers of biometric computer security and are expected to remain so.
Thus, we see that the biometrics market has been growing at a steady pace in recent times. The growth is being supplemented by hardware and software developments in the field that help increase its reach and scope from organizations to individuals. Smartphone apps with biometric authentication are now rearing their head. If the current market growth and pace of development sustain then we are certain to witness the fulfilment of the Global Biometric Forecast in the not-so-distant future.