Adding to the mystique, biometrics has for years been in the domain of corporations, governments and the military, organisations which many associate with high technology and stringent security.
But like the microwave and Velcro, biometrics has trickled down into everyday life. The healthcare sector is increasingly adopting it for drug dispensing, and for identifying patients and users. Biometrics systems are installed in work places to keep track of time and attendance, while consumers see fingerprint readers integrated into portable computers and storage devices.
According to a report titled The Future of Biometrics by research consultancy Acuity Market Intelligence, the biometric market will experience sustained expansion through to 2017 with a compound annual growth rate of 19.69 percent.
The growing uptake of biometrics in enterprises and businesses will see commercial deployment revenues matching the public sector by 2014, then surpassing that market by 2017, taking over 55 percent of the global market for biometrics core technology.
While the story behind this growth is certainly interesting, biometrics faces its own set of challenges as it finds its place in the mission-critical world of security. Doubts remain regarding its suitability as a drop-in replacement for the key, PIN or password, but perhaps biometrics, despite its unique capabilities, was never meant to be the last word in security technologies...
(related: "BIO-key International Exhibiting at the 2010 AABB Annual Meeting and Cellular Therapy and Transfusion Medicine Expo")