Iris recognition is known for its highly secure and accurate biometric modality and has been deployed in national ID and law enforcement projects for a long time. For instance, the UIDAI or Aadhaar program has utilized the use of fingerprint and iris to register India’s 1.3 billion people since 2009 and has saved 9$ billion up until now by eliminating fraud in beneficiary lists. According to recent Tratica report, the iris recognition market will expand from $676.6 million in 2016 to $4.1 billion by 2025. In which Asia-Pacific (APAC) will witness the fastest growth and took over the first place from North America in terms of annual revenue. As of for now, we can see that the mass introduction of built-in iris smartphone by Samsung (originated in South Korea) and the nation-wide iris deployment in India could be a kick-start for a wide adoption of iris recognition in Asian market in the coming time not only in government projects but commercial applications as well.
It is reported by RnR Market Research that while government initiative dominates with over 50% market share, the integration of iris scanners in smartphones is one of the primary drivers for this significant growth. Asia is no exception as we name some of the world’s first built-in iris smartphones such as: Samsung Galaxy S8/Note 8, Fujitsu’s Arrows NX F-04G and Foxconn’s InFocus M425 which are originated in Asia. Not to mention that the cost for iris technology is lowering down which helps to drive the spread of this highly accurate biometric modality across a range of industries and applications. Another big advantage is that the extensive R&D works are being carried by various players here will also make iris recognition friendlier with higher usability. For example some recent iris developments allow iris scanner to identify users in different side angles and under direct sunlight without any covers.
India, China, Japan and South Korea are considered the prime revenue generating countries in APAC iris biometric market. Their financial strength enables them to make significant investments in the iris recognition market for security applications. India pioneered its mega project UIDAI or Aadhaar card for its citizens. Other countries such as Singapore, Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia are also expected to play vital role in the growth of overall market. It’s recently announced by Singapore government to deploy iris scans to strengthen the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
Besides national ID, border control and law enforcement; banking will be the next big thing to take the advantages if iris recognition in terms of providing a highly secure authentication method in Asia. According to a Text Road Publication Report from 2012, among the banks which have adopted biometric technologies, 52% of them are located in Asia. Many banks in Japan, India and Korea have integrated iris scanners in ATMs. In India, Aadhaar-enabled payment system allows customers to access their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts through the Aadhaar authentication to perform account balance check, deposit cash, withdraw money and transfer funds. As the proliferation of iris biometric-enabled smart mobile device, mobile banking will quickly become the customer’s preferred choice for fast and secure transaction. In 2014, Global Industry Analysts named Asia as the largest and fastest growing market for biometrics in the banking and financial services industry.
Furthermore, consumer electronics and automotive segments where APAC accounts for the largest share are likely to create a huge potential for the application of iris recognition in this region. According to Grand view research, consumer biometrics market is predicted to grow significantly over the next 7 years and contribute huge revenue to Asia Pacific share. The market for eye and fingerprint scanner enabled vehicle access systems is expected to reach $855 million by 2021 according to a report from Markets and Markets with giant car manufacturers in China, Japan and India will lead the revolution.