Biometrics market expected to hit $12 billion in 2015

Published 18 January 2011

A new report estimates that the global biometrics market will hit $12 billion by 2015; the market is currently valued at $5 billion; fingerprint identification technology will see the biggest gains growing to $6 billion by 2015; the market for face, iris, vein, and voice recognition will expand to $3.5 billion; large government ID and security programs are key drivers in fueling growth

A new report projects that the global biometrics market will grow to nearly $12 billion by 2015 from its current estimated value of $5 billion. The report, released by, estimates an annual growth rate of 18.9 percent.

The increasing need for businesses and governments to secure assets, identities, and facilities is the key driver in demand. In particular large scale government ID and security programs that depend on biometric technology are fueling growth.

Navin Rajendra, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, notes that, “Countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan are already leading the way in terms of mass surveillance and access control management through biometrics and video surveillance.”

The market for fingerprint biometric technologies is expected to see the largest increase with an annual growth rate of 19.6 percent. It is currently the main source of revenues in the biometrics market totaling $2.7 billion and by 2015 it will grow to reach more than $6 billion.

The second largest segment in biometrics, the market for face, iris, vein, and voice recognition technologies, will expand to $3.5 billion, from its current size of roughly $1.4 billion.

In a similar vein, analysts at Frost & Sullivan recently reported that the Asia Pacific Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) market is projected to grow to more than $2 billion by 2016 as a result of decreasing hardware and installation costs. The RFID market currently has revenues of $600 to $800 billion.

While in another report, Frost & Sullivan notes that there has been a steady growth of video surveillance and voice biometrics in Asia. For instance, voice biometrics is expected to become the primary mode for client identification in the banking and healthcare industries in the Asia Pacific region.

The main inhibitor to growth in the biometric technologies market is cost. Current alternatives such as swipe cards and keypads are still popular, as companies, especially small to mid-size businesses, are waiting for the cost of biometric systems to drop further before they consider purchasing such systems.

These biometric systems often come with hidden expenses such as middle ware, application software, and system integration costs because use of these systems often require an infrastructure capable of handling large volumes of information.

Smaller systems and technological breakthroughs have steadily lowered the costs of biometric systems and are leading to the increasing ubiquity of biometric and video surveillance devices across the world.