According to Google Trends, “smart home” term has gained more than 300% search popularity over the past 2 years. It’s no wonder that smart home is capturing headlines and mindshare with its huge futuristic possibilities. Gartner predicts that by 2020, fully mature smart home could include up to 500 connected devices. Along with such high proliferation, the integration of biometrics into IoT home products is gaining traction in order to tackle one of the weakest links in cybersecurity today: password by replacing it with a stronger authentication form. You have seen biometrics in mobile devices, access control and time attendance systems, now it’s making its way into your house to make your personal life even more convenient and secured through smart locks, smartphone and smart speaker.
With over 90% of consumers saying that security is one of the top reasons for them to purchase a smart home system, manual door locks are gradually being replaced with smart biometric enabled one. Transparency Market Research published a new research report that found that biometrics-based door lock systems dominated the overall digital door lock system market, accounting for 67% of the US$1.16 billion global market in 2016. You can now access your home via fingerprint or just glance at the camera for face or iris recognition, cumbersome password and keys will never be a problem anymore. The system can also provide a live record of when the door has been locked or unlocked.
Security is just one benefit of biometric authentication. When the products in your home recognize you, they will be able to automatically adjust to suit your preferences such as light, TV channel, even your favorite drink in the morning like coffee. The use of biometrics could also be extended to fridges or other online devices, allowing people to place orders from anywhere in the house without having to remember log-in details or passwords. Mark Thompson, a director at KPMG’s cyber-security practice, predicts a future where almost every aspect of our lives can be controlled by biometrics, from the front door to the toaster, launching a chain of events as soon as an individual returns home. As today smart phones are quickly adopting biometrics as a standard, they are becoming authentication hubs not only to securely verify users through 2 factor authentication of what you are and what you own but also allow users to remotely monitor and control their homes from anywhere, even if they’re halfway around the globe. By 2020, new biometric methods will displace passwords and create a better personalized experience and convenience on top of security considerations, Gartner forecasts.
In recent years, tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Apple are rushing to invest millions and billions of dollars in smart home technology. Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are making its way to every household especially in the US. The total number of Americans using voice-activated assistant devices will reach 35.6 million this year, up a whopping 129% jump year-over-year, eMarketer said. These gadgets can play music; provide information, news, weather, etc. All you have to do is ask. And soon they will become smarter and can recognize users by their voices.
Although the present smart home market is fragmented and immature, it’s predicted to surge in the coming year with significant improvements in terms of security, privacy and usability when combined with other technologies such as biometrics, block chain and machine learning. Business Insider predicts that the number of smart home devices shipped is expected to grow from 83 million in 2015 to 193 million in 2020. In accordance to Market and Market research firm, the global smart home market is expected to be valued at USD 137.91 Billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 13.61% between 2017 and 2023 with North America and Europe are market leaders.