July 31, 2013

New Era of Biometric Enabled Intelligence for Smartphones

The confluence of biometrics and mobile software development has ushered in an era that brings new possibilities for technology to impact our lives. Biometrics-enabled applications and devices that are compatible with, embedded in, or transmit data to smartphones are one of the next areas with vast potential to watch for as mobile phones make the transition from smart to brilliant.

The first wave of biometrics-enabled software products included health-monitoring wearable devices Jawbone Up, FitBit Flex, and the Nike+ FuelBand. As devices like these collect more data about the world around us, the next step in their progression will be the ability to process that data to uncover macro trends.

Many mobile application development companies and startups are entering this arena and exploring new ways in which biometrics can be leveraged to improve quality of life. One example of this is the Kinsa Smart Thermometer, a Kickstarter-funded application that will not only send a user’s biometric data to their iPhone but also provide information about potential causes of symptoms so that sicknesses can be identified early. See the video embedded below for more about the technology and idea behind Kinsa.



So what are the top areas in which biometrics intelligence is primed to make an impact? Here are three markets that we see as ripe for innovation through biometrics applications:

Education – The ingenuity of software engineers is being put to good use, and the education sector is a prime example of the same. Today, mobile applications are being synced with popular biometrics technologies such as iris scanning, not just as access control mechanisms but also for monitoring activities. Elementary school children, for instance can be monitored by their parents as they make their way to school using none other than biometrics enabled school buses.

Healthcare – In addition to some of the applications mentioned above that measure pure biological health, the security of medical data is a critical concern that plagues the healthcare industry today. Be it out of the need for regulatory compliance or a genuine urge for safeguarding their data, healthcare providers are now looking for newer ways to bolster data security. They seem to have found the answer by marrying the benefits of voice biometrics with the convenience of a smartphone device. Today, through applications like VoiceVault, patients and physicians can be provided access to sensitive information by using voice biometrics, a non-invasive way of authentication.

Law Enforcement – Another interesting use of biometrics-enabled intelligence for smartphones is in the area of law enforcement. While its implementation is at a nascent stage, the future seems very promising. Biometric identifiers are being captured and referenced through a database, which allows officers on patrol to make quick inferences. Smartphone enabled mobile apps based on biometrics such as breath analyzer for DUI offenses, facial recognition, and speech recognition are all areas that may have a significant impact in future law enforcement. Applications like Stratus by AOptix is one good example to demonstrate how biometrics enabled intelligence for smartphones will assist on-field law enforcers in the future.

Do you think biometric applications are primed to break out? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have a question about the viability of implementing any of these emerging technologies, feel free to Contact Us .