A Global Pandemic: A Push for Biometric Development

in #informationwar4 years ago (edited)


The other day I found myself thinking about biometrics, How is this pandemic affecting the police state and biometric big tech?
As scary as tracking people using cellphones and other technology is, Think about the tracking of people using biometrics. My thought process was lead by the question, How is wearing masks affecting the very technology behind it. So here is a deep dive into that question.

Doing some digging I found an article; During a Pandemic, No One Wants to Swipe Their Finger.
In this article, it is written

Technology market advisory firm, ABI Research, recently said that the novel coronavirus pandemic dramatically lowers the shipments of biometric devices. A drop that could cause biometric related revenues to decrease by $2 billion throughout the rest of this year. Dimitrios Pavlakis, Digital Security Analyst at ABI Research, said that “contact biometric technologies like fingerprint and vein have been dealt a substantial blow due to new governmental regulations targeting contact and close-proximity interactions. Fingerprint biometrics vendors are struggling to uphold the new stringent hygiene and infection control protocols. These regulations have been correctly introduced for the safety of users and personnel, but they have also affected sales in certain verticals,” he explained.

But it’s certainly not all bad news for all forms of biometrics. “On-premises physical access control, user registration, identification, and workforce management systems have been greatly affected in the enterprise and commercial space, but these applications also spread into healthcare, law enforcement, border control, government, civil, and welfare,” Pavlakis added.

According to ABI Research, the pandemic has given rise to increases need to identify and surveil people, and this will increase investments in biometric artificial intelligence algorithm design, which the firm says will, in turn, provide an increase to face recognition technologies.

According to ABI Research, the total biometric device market is expected to reach $28 billion this year, with the government and the security market taking a significant loss totally over $1 billion.

Pavlakis expects device makers to innovate. “AI biometric firms are adapting to the biological threat. Biometric technologies are currently undergoing a forced evolution rather than an organic one, with artificial intelligence biometric firms spearheading the charge,” Pavlakis said. “New IoT and smart city-focused applications will enable new data streams and analytics, monitoring infection rates in real-time, forcing new data-sharing initiatives, and even applying behavioral AI models to predict future outbreaks.”

China is deploying facial recognition that purportedly can detect those infected with the novel coronavirus, and how developers in Japan are introducing facial recognition they claim can identify people even while they are wearing masks.

Here I thought this technology was going to be struggling with new innovation but boy was I wrong.
Contact biometric technologies like fingerprint and vein have been dealt a substantial blow due to new governmental regulations.
At the same, COVID-19 has given rise to new identification and surveillance needs, prompting further investments in biometric artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm design, which will give a boost to the face recognition technologies market going forward.

Face and iris recognition have been brought into the spotlight as key technologies allowing authentication, identification and surveillance operations for users and citizens wearing protective headgear, face masks, or, with partially covered faces.

These elements that were the bane of face recognition algorithms in the past have now been integrated into algorithm developers’ value proposition followed by further investment boost targeted at surveillance, video analytics, and smart city applications.

NEC Corp. Announced that it has developed a biometric authentication device that can recognize people even when they are wearing a face mask.
The new device scans not only the faces of users but also their irises for biometric information, which had been considered difficult to achieve.

The rate of error is said to be under one in 10 billion, and the scan only takes around two seconds, according to the Tokyo-based electronics company.

NEC aims to put the device on sale at full scale by fiscal 2021.

The company expects the need for biometric authentication, which can identify people at a high rate of accuracy, without the current requirements for the tech, to rise due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Demand for the technology is expected to be especially strong for managing entry into office buildings, factories, and hospitals.

NEC also said the device can also be installed on automated teller machines and payment systems at retailers.

Sounds like the development of this technology is for certain, not taking a hit, it is actually expected to become a booming and popular thing.

Temperature and fever detection technologies making use of infrared technologies have also been retrofitted in access and border control while biometric telemedicine applications are providing healthcare support to consumers and patients remotely. AI investments have been primarily initiated by leading Chinese firms like SenseTime, Megvii, Alibaba, and Baidu, according to ABI.

These findings are from ABI Research’s “Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on the Biometrics Market,” an application analysis report.

I guess I'm not surprised people would beg for contactless anything, with the fear that is, in fact, floating through the breathable air.

Now it's as if the masses do not understand what they are asking for.
Companies can now make their tracking and identification big tech better but use us as the guinea pigs to test it, and make it better, free of charge. As they dial in their biometric tech, the police state gets stronger.


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