Deloitte expects fingerprint to dominate on smartphones
27 September 2016 14:35 GMT

A report on smartphone usage by major financial consultant firm Deloitte expects biometrics to increasingly feature as UK users turn to their smartphones for every aspect of daily life, and fingerprint readers to be the dominant modality.

In the firm’s sixth annual edition of the UK Mobile Consumer survey,  Deloitte sees smartphones to continue to dominate Brits daily interactions, whether on work or leisure.

“No other personal device has had the same commercial and societal impact as the smartphone, and no other device seems likely to. However, as the base nears a plateau, relentless innovation continues at device and network levels, leading to exciting times.”

The report found that almost half of 18-24 year olds check their phone in the middle of the night, that almost half of UK adults had access to at least one type of connected entertainment product, and that 4G adoption has more than doubled in the last year, from 25% to 54%.

Biometrics is set to play a key role, with 27% of smartphones include a fingerprint reader, of which 76% are used.

“Biometric sensors, particularly fingerprint readers (this year’s cover image), are likely to see widespread adoption”, writes Deloitte.

“Over the next few years we expect usage of fingerprint readers to increase markedly as they are incorporated in mid-range smartphone models, as well as premium ones. As the base of reader-equipped phones increases, a growing number of apps and websites will likely support fingerprint reader access”.

The company notes that the primary drivers of the surge in usage of fingerprint sensors are to unlock devices and authenticate an ever-widening array of products and services accessible via a smartphone, including personal banking, business email and e-commerce. By 2020, it is forecast that each user may have as many as 200 online accounts, each requiring secure controls over access.

The report throws doubt on other modalities for mobile saying voice biometrics “may not work when used in a noisy area and may be distracting when used in the company of friends or colleagues”, and that face “requires similar lighting conditions to those in which the reference images were taken;”

“According to our research, only two per cent of smartphone owners have used either voice or facial recognition on their smartphones”

On iris, it states: “We would expect take up to be constrained by the precision required when scanning the iris. For example, the device always needs to be held at the same distance from the eye”.

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