Research Forecasts Next Wave of Wearable Biometric Identification

Nicholas West
The move to give everyone a global unique ID that can be verified across nearly all human activity continues to be incrementally rolled out.

The fear of identity theft and cyber-banking crime of all stripes has been the sales pitch to accept identity tech such as facial recognition, iris scans, vein scans, voiceprinting and fingerprinting, as well as their attendant databases.

Research Forecasts Next Wave of Wearable Biometric Identification
Digital sign-in services, smart cards and a range of biometrics have all been offered as perfect solutions that are starting to enter the market at many levels. Moreover, there is an ongoing cooperative effort between global banks and corporations to ensure that there will be standardized, centralized entry into the consumer/internet/banking matrix of the future. Couple this with the (hackable) “Internet of Things” entering our homes whether we approve or not and we are finding ourselves at the threshold of a new reality.

A London-based research and consultancy group called Goode Intelligence reveals the evolution of wearable technology and biometrics in a recent update to their forecast of the global biometric industry and authentication agenda. Most notably, they show how disparate parts of authentication systems and smart gadgets are beginning to merge with the Internet of Things.

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, in the future YOU will be the password. Even though Goode Intelligence is clearly invested in the proliferation of this technology, their press release is an important read as it offers up many of the signposts for those concerned about the increasing pervasiveness of this technology.


(My emphasis added in bold) 

Goode Intelligence (, the leading research and consultancy organisation for the mobile biometric industry, today issued an update to its latest analyst report forecasting that by 2019 there will be 604 million users of wearable biometric technology globally.

According to Goode Intelligence, biometric authentication in Smart Mobile Devices (smartphones, phablets and tablets) has become a common feature. The first wave of integration into flagship mobile models from the current top three smart mobile device manufacturers, Apple, Samsung and Huawei, is being emulated by other device manufacturers for integration into more affordable models.

The trend is driven by a number of factors including the need to conveniently protect devices (replacing PINs for device unlock), mobile payment and mobile banking authentication and, will lead into it being integrated into enterprise multi-factor authentication (MFA) platforms.

The next wave of consumer-led biometric adoption will be led by the integration into wearable technology – smartwatches, bands, ear-pods, jewellery and glasses. The wearable device, thanks to its biometric capability, will become the prime personal authentication device allowing authentication and identity verification for both the physical and logical worlds.

“We believe that smartphones and tablets will be the first wave of consumer devices to be biometrically-enabled and this will quickly be followed by wearable technology” said Alan Goode, author of the report and founder of Goode Intelligence.

“Since we published the first edition of our analyst report covering the mobile and wearable biometric authentication market, we have seen intense industry activity in this sector. Announcements from global technology and commerce leaders including Apple (Apple Pay and Apple Watch), AliPay and PayPal (biometric authentication for mobile payments) lead us to believe that we are seeing another transformational aspect of authentication – the use of wearable technology for biometric authentication purposes; leveraging the next wave of biometric technology to create seamless, continuous, authentication. What will be truly transformational about the use of biometrics on wearable devices is the birth of the universal authenticator – a device that intuitively knows who we are, where we are, what we want to do and can open doors – both physically and virtually.

“We forecast that as a result of intense activity from the world’s largest smart mobile device manufacturers there will be 393 million users of mobile biometric authentication by the end of 2014. This growth will continue throughout 2015, when we shall also see the emergence of biometric authentication for wearable devices for a wide range of use cases. This industry will continue to witness high growth and widespread adoption around the world for the foreseeable future.”

In its updated Analyst Report, Mobile and Wearable Biometric Authentication: Market Analysis and Forecasts 2014-2019, Goode Intelligence states that ultra-connected wearable devices will leverage a variety of in-built sensors and short-range radio (NFC and Bluetooth low energy) capabilities to offer continuous out-of-band authentication for a variety of use-cases including:

Payment Authentication: The ability to use a band or watch to quickly pay for goods and services purchased at both the physical point of sale and online. AliPay, Apple Pay and PayPal payment services will move from smart mobile devices to wearable devices to offer convenient, biometrically-authenticated payments

Internet of Things (IoT) Authentication: A wearable device with biometric authentication capabilities has the potential to unlock a wide variety of connected ‘things’ from automobiles to physical doors and allow identity verification to unlock ‘experiences’ (profiles) on multimedia devices including TVs, game consoles and other connected entertainment systems

Enterprise Authentication – Bring Your Own Identity: Consumer technology is driving enterprise IT and authentication is not immune to this trend. Wearable devices that have biometric authentication capability will quickly replace legacy authentication solutions to become a convenient way to identity employees for both physical access control and logical authentication – See more at:

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