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ASIS 2017: Mainstream Biometrics are Raising the Quality of Solutions

At this year’s ASIS Conference, the security industry, traditionally a conservative market, showed significant signs of adopting technology that just a year or two ago was considered interesting but not yet ready for primetime. Indeed, it has become clear that biometrics are now not only the smart choice, but also the popular or obvious choice for identity verification as the market evolves in its understanding of this technology’s practical applications beyond the hype.

Walking the show floor, it became clear to me that major players now understand that identifying individuals based on who they are rather than what they carry is the most logical way to verify identity. This has driven demand for robust, secure and convenient biometric identification solutions from major end users and integrators who are searching for ROI from their identification and access control solutions.

We now see that potential users and integrators are asking practical questions that come when the hype has died down and the technology enters the “Plateau of Productivity” stage of Gartner’s hype cycle. Biometrics is no longer just a “cool futuristic” technology; it is being used in our daily lives, from smartphones to passports, to applications in a variety of work and leisure settings.

One of the significant themes discussed at ASIS was cybersecurity and vulnerability of security systems, including those that are biometrics-based. The Security Industry Association is now addressing the topic of cyber threats, and the need to increase “IT IQ” – or people’s awareness of these threats and how to address them. For example, before deploying any security system, the system must be scanned for vulnerabilities that could hurt the organization or compromise data.

Another development we saw at ASIS was an evolution in the technology offerings themselves – another reflection of tremendous progress for such a conservative industry. Companies are moving to cloud-based solutions, and utilizing artificial intelligence and deep learning more fundamentally.

Both of these themes – smart and relevant questions on cybersecurity and vulnerability, and the introduction of cloud-based solutions, AI and deep learning – demonstrate the security industry’s recognition of the maturity of biometrics.

As ASIS came to a close at the end of last week, FST and our partners at the show, including AMAG Technologies, S2, Orion and Automatic Systems, felt energized and ready to supply the growing demand for convenient and secure identification solutions. Recent developments, including the iPhone X launch, are helping to bring facial recognition technologies into mainstream which we believe will increase demand as users become more comfortable adopting these technologies.

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