Biometrics demand on the rise

Although the demand for some information technologies will decline in the global economic downturn, industry officials believe the market opportunity for biometrics remains stronger than ever, reports NextGov.

Companies that produce secure identification documents and use biometrics, such as fingerprints and iris scans, stand to benefit the most as governments award contracts for identity verification solutions, officials said at a homeland security conference held Wednesday in Washington organized by Imperial Capital LLC, CapitalSource LLC and Civitas Group LLC.

"Traditional paper documents just don't work anymore," said Paul Beverly, president of North American operations for Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Gemalto, which specializes in digital security documents.

Jim Hayward, chairman and president of Applied DNA Sciences, said the U.S. public has become tuned into the value of using DNA for security through television programs such as the CBS blockbuster "CSI" series, where police investigators use forensics and biometrics to crack some of the toughest cases. Applied DNA Sciences, headquartered in Stony Brook, N.Y., uses plant-based DNA to secure a host of items, such as passports, driver's licenses, currency and fabrics.

"We feel we have built a recession-resistant business," Hayward said.

Companies that specialize in providing full services to government clients are expected to fare the best, industry officials said.

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