The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need for stronger and more comprehensive cybersecurity measures to protect against cyber threats and attacks, and growing importance of technologies such as biometric recognition, machine learning, artificial intelligence, behavioral analytics, and multi-factor authentication. These technologies work in combination to establish a continuous and adaptive authentication process, ensuring that user identities are verified and protected throughout their interactions with digital systems. 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: continuous authenticationBuy 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, trusted platform modules, signcryption, and homomorphic encryption, are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Zero knowledge proof, physically unclonable functions (PUFs), and multi-factor authentication are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are AES encryption and encrypted content distribution, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the technology industry

Continuous authentication is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Continuous authentication is an ongoing verification process that employs various techniques to constantly confirm a user's identity. It is an automated procedure that validates a user's identity in real-time during their interactions with a system or network. By implementing continuous authentication, organizations can maintain strict control over access to sensitive systems and data, ensuring that only authorized individuals are granted entry. This approach incorporates methods such as biometric authentication, behavior analysis, location tracking, and other technologies that aid in verifying a user's identity.

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 440+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of continuous authentication.

Key players in continuous authentication – 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 continuous authentication

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Motorola Mobility 29 Unlock Company Profile
LG Electronics 46 Unlock Company Profile
Autotrader 87 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electronics 261 Unlock Company Profile
ARM 25 Unlock Company Profile
Intertrust Technologies 67 Unlock Company Profile
Fujitsu 50 Unlock Company Profile
Avago Technologies International Sales 63 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Corporation of America 39 Unlock Company Profile
Xfinity 32 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Technologies 39 Unlock Company Profile
Disney Enterprises 28 Unlock Company Profile
MasterCard International 26 Unlock Company Profile
Google 97 Unlock Company Profile
DSI-ITI 25 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia Technologies 31 Unlock Company Profile
PayPal 56 Unlock Company Profile
Nymi 23 Unlock Company Profile
Visa International Service Association 39 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft Technology Licensing 108 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic Intellectual Property Management 33 Unlock Company Profile
Daon 30 Unlock Company Profile
Assaloy 30 Unlock Company Profile
PayPal 60 Unlock Company Profile
Dropbox 31 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 114 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 138 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 204 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 41 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 28 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 56 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 68 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 41 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 72 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 44 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 210 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 28 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 64 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 84 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 35 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 41 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 43 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 103 Unlock Company Profile
Value-Added Communications 25 Unlock Company Profile
Daon 33 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 56 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications 27 Unlock Company Profile
Global Tel*Link 75 Unlock Company Profile
FaceTec 27 Unlock Company Profile
Wistaria Trading 33 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Sony Group is one of the leading patent filers in continuous authentication. The company’s patents are aimed at smart wearable devices and methods disclosed for providing feedback for optimal placement of the wearable device. This includes systems and methods to lock or unlock a wearable device and/or notify external wearable/non-wearable devices depending on the states of the wearer by sending notification or providing feedback if mispositioned or repositioned on the wearer.

It also includes systems and methods for providing a user indication of proper placement of a wearable device by providing feedback based on acquired bio-signal quality. In one embodiment, bio-signal quality is acquired by comparing a computed signal to noise ratio to that of an expected signal.

Other prominent patent filers in the continuous authentication space include Samsung, Microsoft, and Qualcomm.

By geographic reach, Autotrader leads the pack, followed by Avago Technologies International and Sony . In terms of application diversity, FaceTec holds the top position, followed by Autotrader, and Intertrust Technologies. 

Continuous authentication offers a proactive and robust security approach, providing benefits such as enhanced security, user convenience, adaptive risk management, real-time threat detection, compliance support, fraud prevention, scalability, and user confidence.

To further understand how cybersecurity is 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.