North American market for biometrics to triple by 2008
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Jan 10, 2006
The North American market for biometric applications is expected to rise to $1.4 billion by 2008, nearly triple the $527 million generated in 2004, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan marketing group of Palo Alto, Calif.
Traditional fingerprint technologies represent the largest portion of revenues, and will experience sustained growth in the next several years, but the greatest expansion potential is with new technologies such as facial recognition and iris scans.
The market could grow even faster if companies developed more than one biometric application, Rob Allen, research analyst with Frost & Sullivan, said in a prepared statement.
"While multiple simultaneous biometric verifications curtail false acceptance and rejection rates, most biometric companies are currently offering a single type of solution, a fact restraining the growth rate to an extent," Allen said.
Fewer than 15 percent of the companies studied had multiple types of biometric technologies in their product suites, he said.
The biometric industry remains highly fragmented, with nearly 60 biometric companies included in the study. Looking ahead, Allen sees consolidation looming, and while licensing agreements are likely for the next three to five years, large corporations are likely to dominate future consolidations.
Some of the most popular biometric products incorporate the latest technologies and are compatible with future updates. But some users are buying non-interoperable products, which could lead to significant expenses for updating. To further the advancement of interoperability and mutual compatibility, industry groups such as the Biometric Consortium and Biometric Application Programming Interface Consortium are coordinating the development of interoperability standards.
In a separate report, Frost & Sullivan also examined the European Union market for homeland security technologies?biometric identity verification, screening, radio frequency identification, unmanned aerial vehicles and closed circuit television. That combined market is projected to grow to $1.5 billion ($874 Euros) by 2014.
Biometrics will be more widely deployed at airports, seaports and border control crossings during the period.
"The passage of key legislation along with standardization efforts by industry associations are expected to provide further impetus to the biometrics market. Most EU national governments have already begun biometric procurement programs, with companies receiving several sizeable contracts for biometric technologies," the Frost & Sullivan report said.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.