The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by factors such as the increasing need for stronger security measures, the rising prevalence of cyber threats, the demand for convenient and user-friendly authentication methods, and growing importance of technologies such as fingerprint scanners, facial recognition systems, iris scanners, and voice recognition technologies. These technologies provide robust and reliable authentication, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and enhancing overall cybersecurity. As organizations prioritize user-centric security solutions, biometric authentication plays a pivotal role in ensuring secure and seamless user access to digital systems. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Cybersecurity: User biometric authentication. 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 stabilising 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.

300+ 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 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, byzantine fault tolerant blockchain, secure multi-party computing, and decentralised identity framework are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Secure hash algorithms (SHA), zero knowledge proof, and private blockchains are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are, firmware security, multimedia signal encryption, and biometric authentication, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the technology industry

User biometric authentication is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

User biometric authentication employs physical or behavioral traits to verify and authenticate the identity of individuals. It utilizes characteristics such as facial features, fingerprints, iris patterns, hand geometry, voice recognition, and more. These unique biometric identifiers serve as the basis for authenticating and validating user identities.

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 290 companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of user biometric authentication.

Key players in user biometric authentication – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to user biometric authentication

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Samsung Group 620 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 500 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 469 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 309 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 305 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 251 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 237 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 215 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 208 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 206 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 200 Unlock Company Profile
GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications 187 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 181 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 166 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 162 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 147 Unlock Company Profile
Mastercard 147 Unlock Company Profile
LG 139 Unlock Company Profile
Licentia Group 129 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 123 Unlock Company Profile
Black Gold Coin 113 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 108 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 101 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 101 Unlock Company Profile
Daon 98 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 90 Unlock Company Profile
Fingerprint Cards 89 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Goodix Technology 81 Unlock Company Profile
Cirrus Logic 78 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 76 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 74 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 73 Unlock Company Profile
Bundesdruckerei 72 Unlock Company Profile
Veridium IP 70 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 68 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 67 Unlock Company Profile
Huizhou TCL Mobile Communication 67 Unlock Company Profile
Nok Nok Labs 63 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 61 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 60 Unlock Company Profile
Zwipe 59 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 59 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 59 Unlock Company Profile
Element 58 Unlock Company Profile
Motorola Solutions 58 Unlock Company Profile
Xperi 56 Unlock Company Profile
Global Tel*Link 50 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 49 Unlock Company Profile
PayPal 48 Unlock Company Profile
ZTE 47 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Samsung Group is a leading patent filer in user biometric authentication. One of the company’s patents is for a device that uses biometric information to remove security from content. The device includes a memory to store the content with security based on the user's first biometric information, and a controller to obtain the user's second biometric information of a different type and remove the security from the content based on the second biometric information when the user initiates the execution of the content.   

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Apple and SoftBank Group.    

By geographic reach, Black Gold Coin leads the pack, followed by Licentia Group and Authentify. In terms of application diversity, Tesseract Health holds the top position, followed by PPIP and Johnson & Johnson.    

Cybersecurity innovation in user biometric authentication has transformed the way individuals are authenticated and authorized to access digital systems. This innovation leverages unique biological traits, such as fingerprints, facial features, or iris patterns, to verify and authenticate user identities.      To further understand how cybersecurity is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity – Thematic Research.

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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.