The 7 New Trends of Biometric & Security Industry in Post-Pandemic Era

Wednesday, December 01, 2021 TimeTec 0 Comments

An unprecedented pandemic is a watershed to many industries, including the biometric and security industry. We gathered the foreseeable trends, backed by our sales figures and customer requirements; we could almost confirm the future for the following seven developments:

1.    Facial recognition overtaking fingerprint verification
According to that publishes global market research news for biometrics, global biometrics will grow at a CAGR rate of 10% per year. Face recognition, due to its contactless nature, with a CAGR of approximately 18%, benefited from the pandemic and overtaken fingerprint and other biometric methods as the primary verification method.

Almost all our face recognition models, such as Face ID 2, Face ID X, Face ID 4 and 4D, Face ID 5, showed sales spikes for the past two years, but fingerprint models displayed the opposite. Besides, the face recognition model embedded with body temperature detection module flourished with a high demand for the last two years.

Apparently "go contactless" is becoming a new lifestyle to reduce the chances of Covid infection and better automation in access control activities.  

2. Non-biometric QR codes gradually replace the card system

We have a small device QR 110, and the sales increased by 50%. It is a slave device that allows the reading of QR codes. However, even though the sales surged, it is still unremarkable in its sales amount and profitability. I highlighted this to indicate the emerging trend of using QR codes as a new credential to replace the card system.

A card has a cost, and issuing a card is a tedious process. On the other hand, QR code is more agile, flexible, almost zero cost. It can send information via the Internet to your smartphone and even be read by using another mobile phone or any device with a built-in camera; for example, our Face ID 5 model, with the latest firmware update, can read QR codes as well.

The card is a product that belongs to the Windows era, whereas QR code is a product representing the App-era. If you upgraded your Windows-based software to read QR codes, you shouldn't be proud of that because you are just prolonging your system's doomsday. People prefer QR codes in today's visitor management due to the demand to pre-register visitors, self-generate credentials with timestamp, verify with whatever devices that can read QR codes, and mobility because almost everyone carries a smartphone now.  

3. Demand surged for cloud application

All the time, clocking machines are location-based and mostly placed indoors before the App-era. Suppose the small number of mobile workers like sales and technicians is not the business owner's primary concern. In that case, a Windows-based system is sufficient to support the on-premises clocking activities. Clocking anywhere anytime with a GPS tracking feature built into a time attendance mobile app is a new trend to monitor mobile workers. When companies required a certain large percentage of employees to work from home during the Covid-19 lockdown period, it heightened the need for mobile clocking. Besides, send invitations, pre-register your visitors, and get them to fill up health declaration forms; all these new activities indirectly drive the demand for cloud applications.

We observed a steady growth in demands for our cloud solutions from time attendance, leave management, visitor management, smart parking, smart community system to the smart township. The cloud trend is irreversible even after the pandemic. A hybrid of working environment will be a new trend for more and more corporations. Without cloud applications, no system can fulfil the complex new requirements.

4. A single solution to a complex ecosystem

Just like we perceived parking is not a standalone activity, cloud solutions encourage data flow from one activity to another, help to form a more sophisticated ecosystem to benefit a business organization. For example, when we developed Windows-based time attendance software 20 years ago to bundle with FingerTec biometrics hardware, nobody requested us to add a leave management system. But when we started to market our cloud-based time attendance system, we were frequently urged to develop leave management, claim management to a total workforce management system etc. Moreover, when cloud applications are greater in demand after the pandemic, the demand of the ecosystem to connect all the individual cloud applications grows gradually strong as well.  

Apart from HR cloud solutions, for example, when we launched the smart community system iNeighbour for residential properties five years ago, it was already built with ecosystem characteristics. It combined visitor management, billing, facility booking, access control, event management, marketplace, etc., to allow management to run their daily operation on a single platform.

5. App-based application

Most of the ancient Windows's systems had limitation to confine to administration purpose only. When the same system taps on cloud technology, it can be extended to include all users. Thanks to the extension of the App application, it further improves the reach and stickiness. For example, staff can check their leave balance or apply their own OT, etc., without the need to trouble any HR personnel because of the App application. The nature of App is self-service, and it is also a zero cost in hardware investment for the company because of the common understanding that the smartphone is a personal device.  

When cloud solutions tend to sprout into a more complex ecosystem, the embedded apps have to combine to become super app that consolidate multiple functionalities in one platform. This trend is inevitable because no users like to install multiple apps, especially when the functions are correlated.

When Covid-19 accelerates the cloud and app trend, it also speeds up the trend towards the super app direction. For example, we have been approached by many township developers for their mixed development projects, interested in white labelling our app on a larger scale to manage multiple types of properties in one platform and one app.

6. Accommodate every scenario and aspect

"User-friendly" is an outdated tech buzzword in the PC era. Now we use "user experience", not a minor upgrade in expectation by one step, but multiple. In the 90s, our system was being used by only a few administrators behind PCs in a closed room. Compared to today, our system is being used by everyone in the organization in all kinds of scenarios, with different roles and requirements, integrated with multiple modules in an ecosystem, so to accommodate all their needs is a real challenge. Imagine if the system is further integrated with the access control devices, smart IoT gadgets etc., the challenge to achieve a good user experience would be double.

But this is the new expectation, and it intensifies in the post-pandemic era. Since we can't reverse the trend; we are obliged to comply with the upcoming.

7. A shift from hardware-oriented (ELV to IoT) to software-oriented

Owing to the digitalization trend, manufacturers of ELV (Extra Low Voltage) devices must evolve to add more IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities, leading to a revamp in ELV products. Besides, IoT products typically shift and depend on a large part 
of their computing power on a cloud server, plus the increased real-time interactive activities between the users and their apps, hence software role becoming more important. As a result, a shift of used-to-be hardware-oriented market to software-oriented in the security industry.

The technology breakthrough is breaking barriers between industries. Thus, one should not confine oneself in their existing industry but step out from the comfort zone, especially in the post-pandemic era, to deliver borderless solutions that suit the customer's requirements. 

We saw a new world that is more ready to tap on virtual resources for better and cost-effective solutions. So, for FingerTec resellers and partners, in addition to putting efforts on promoting Face ID models, we also urge you to direct your attention to TimeTec for dealing with a future that is reshaped by the pandemic.

About Author:
Teh Hon Seng, Group CEO of TimeTec Group of Companies. Prior to forming TimeTec, Teh led PUC Founder (MSC) Bhd to be listed on MESDAQ (ACE) market of Bursa Malaysia in 2002. Teh initiated the R&D in fingerprint technology in 2000, which later developed into a renowned global brand for commercial fingerprint product known as FingerTec. In 2008, he foresaw the trend of cloud computing and mobile technology, and over the years, he had strategically diversified and transformed its biometric-focused products into a suite of cloud solutions that aimed at workforce management and security industries including smart communities and digital building system that centered around the cloud ecosystem. Teh has more than 20 patents to his name, and he is also a columnist in a local newspaper and a writer of several books.