Multimodal biometrics – A more accurate identification system

Multimodal biometrics refers to the use of a combination of two or more biometric modalities in an identification system. For instance, a system that combines face and iris recognition can be considered as a multimodal biometric system. Multimodal biometrics provides supplementary information among different modalities in order to increase the recognition performance in terms of accuracy and reliability to overcome the drawbacks of a single biometric system. There are two types of biometrics techniques including physiological (face recognition, iris recognition, and fingerprint recognition) and behavioral (signature recognition, gait, voice recognition). To fill the demand, some multimodal biometric systems come ready to capture and match these different kinds of biometrics.

Research demonstrates that multimodal biometrics system is a solution to improve the accuracy and reliability of biometrics systems. Identification based on multiple biometrics represents an emerging trend. There are many reasons to promote this development in biometrics. The most irresistible reason to combine different modalities is to improve the recognition effectiveness. The other that boosts the growing trend of multimodal biometric systems is simply customer preference which is requiring for higher level of security.  In addition, multimodal biometric system can effectively deal with a variety of issues such as noisy data, intra-class variations, limited degrees of freedom, non-universality, spoof attacks, and unacceptable error rates which may be caused by unimodal biometric systems.

Multimodal biometric system has the potential to be broadly applied in a wide range of civilian applications such as: banking security, check cashing and credit card transactions, information system security like access to databases via login privileges. Globally, the market for multimodal biometric systems is predicted to rise due to their increasing penetration in government and transportation application. The utilities of these systems in national IDs and biometric passports & visas majorly are boosting the multimodal biometric market. For example, Australia recently started deposing a multimodal biometric border crossing system to administrate and facilitate the arrival and settlement of immigrants, where 30 million people cross annually. In addition, the report “Global Biometrics Market (2014-2020)” also states that the increasing in security concerns because of the rise of terror attacks and crimes have required a huge demand for high level security. Besides, the rising government schemes such as e-passport, national identification programs and various border control projects including European Dactyloscopy (EURODAC), Visa Information Systems (VIS) and new generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) have contributed to boost the growth of multimodal biometric technology market. Therefore, the increasing usage of multimodal biometrics to enhance the security level is expected to create huge opportunities for this market in the upcoming years.

Some key players in the multimodal biometric market are NEC, WCC Smart Search & Match, MorphoTrak and Morpho (Safran group) which focus on the security fields including Border Control/Airports, Healthcare, Access Control and Financial Transaction. The “Global Biometrics Market (2014-2020)” report also predicts that there will be a decline trend in share of fingerprint technology to motivate the growth of iris, face and vein technology in order to adopt and develop the multimodal biometric systems. This means that the multimodal biometric market is expected to increase and attract more biometrics participants.

The usage of multimodal biometric systems has been achieving prominence as collecting more than one piece of biometric data from individual in order to make identification more accurate. Therefore, numerous technological advancements are required in order to achieve these goals. This also poses a significant challenge for market participants who have to maintain the reliability and accuracy of biometric systems and simultaneously reduce the cost involved in them.