The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the escalating frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, coupled with increasing regulatory requirements for data protection, as well as the surge in digital transactions, online services, and the proliferation of IoT devices. The growing importance of technologies such as encryption methods, multi-factor authentication and secure communication protocols, further amplify the demand for secure biometric authentication. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cybersecurity in technology: biometric identification and monitoring. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage homomorphic encryption, signcryption, and trusted platform modules are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Side channel attack mitigation, biometric identification and monitoring, and secure hash algorithms (SHA) are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are elliptic curve cryptography and software watermarking, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the technology industry

Biometric identification and monitoring is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Biometric identification and monitoring involve utilizing an individual's distinctive physiological or behavioral attributes for purposes of identification or monitoring. These attributes encompass characteristics such as fingerprints, facial features, voice patterns, or iris scans. Through biometric identification, secure access control, authentication, and tracking of individuals are facilitated based on their unique traits.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 710 companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of biometric identification and monitoring.

Key players in biometric identification and monitoring – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to biometric identification and monitoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
LG Electronics 29 Unlock Company Profile
Sync-Rx 42 Unlock Company Profile
Affectiva 50 Unlock Company Profile
Fitbit 34 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced Neuromodulation Systems 76 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electronics 201 Unlock Company Profile
Nuance Communications 107 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Healthcare 20 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic MiniMed 24 Unlock Company Profile
Cerner Innovation 36 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Consultancy Services 21 Unlock Company Profile
Google 32 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Healthcare 24 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft Technology Licensing 40 Unlock Company Profile
Suunto 39 Unlock Company Profile
Curiouser Products 104 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE Innovate 50 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic Intellectual Property Management 73 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 32 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 29 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE 115 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 38 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 44 Unlock Company Profile
Amer Sports 65 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 33 Unlock Company Profile
ATSR 27 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 24 Unlock Company Profile
Daikin Industries 46 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 22 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 256 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 24 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 98 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 23 Unlock Company Profile
Omron 38 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 127 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 48 Unlock Company Profile
Heartflow 130 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 20 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 36 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 71 Unlock Company Profile
Enlitic 90 Unlock Company Profile
ARC Devices 34 Unlock Company Profile
FDNA 43 Unlock Company Profile
VSP Vision 33 Unlock Company Profile
Dental Smartmirror 29 Unlock Company Profile
Proxy 35 Unlock Company Profile
NuraLogix 30 Unlock Company Profile
Interactive Strength 22 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 29 Unlock Company Profile
Tesseract Health 28 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in biometric identification and monitoring, Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at describing an apparatus used for discerning living skin tissue within a video sequence. The apparatus includes a processing unit designed to acquire a video sequence containing multiple image frames. It first partitions each of the image frames into a set of initial frame segments. Subsequently, it generates a series of initial video sub-sequences, with each sub-sequence incorporating a frame segment from the initial set for two or more of the image frames.

Following this, it further divides the image frames into an additional set of frame segments, which consists of a greater number compared to the initial set. Another set of video sub-sequences is then created, where each sub-sequence comprises a frame segment from this additional set for two or more of the image frames. The apparatus then conducts an analysis on these video sub-sequences to ascertain a pulse signal for each. Finally, it scrutinizes the pulse signals to detect regions of living skin tissue in the video sequence. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Samsung and Heartflow.

In terms of application diversity, Microsoft leads the pack, while ATSR and Apple are in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Heartflow held the top position, followed by Lululemon Athletica and Enlitic.

Biometric identification and monitoring hold significant importance in modern security and authentication practices. The technology ensures precise individual recognition by utilizing unique physical or behavioural attributes such as fingerprints, facial features, or voice patterns.. It plays a pivotal role in enhancing security across various industries, including finance, healthcare, and government, where safeguarding sensitive information is paramount. Additionally, biometric systems streamline authentication processes, providing convenient and secure access control.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.