Looking back on the development of China's biometrics market in 2016

HC Security Network News

First, the market is picking up

As we have hoped, the spring of universal application of biometrics seems to have really come. Iconic events and pointers can begin with the intervention of corporate giants. Internet giants, information security giants, large integrators in the information industry, and large companies in the electronic chip industry and even in the traditional office and security fields have been involved in the biometrics industry: either investing in core technology research and development, or launching their own branded end-use products, or Acquisition of biometric technology teams, or investment-related concept companies...

In terms of applications, the most noteworthy should be mobile applications (fingerprint, face and iris recognition). Almost all of the first-line and even second- and third-line mobile phone manufacturers have launched their own products and applications with biometrics. Tens of millions. Second is the identity authentication application for online transactions – this is the most important reason for Internet giants to intervene in biometrics. The comprehensive balance of safety and convenience is the biometric advantage that service providers and customers are recognizing. In addition, government public service project applications (social security, medical care, etc.), public security management and stability projects have also shown rapid growth, and the prosperity of industrial applications has never been seen before.

Exhibition forums related to biometrics are frequent and popular. In addition to the ever-increasing biometrics exhibitions, almost all exhibitions in the security, information industry, smart home and even hardware, building materials and office appliances industries also have biometrics special exhibition areas, fully demonstrating the penetration of biometrics into social life. Depth and breadth. Corresponding to biometrics, products and topics, it has become a hot spot and headline for all kinds of media.

It can be confirmed that biometric technology and products have become household names, and the specific application of biometric technology in the form of mobile phone and door locks has truly made biometrics enter thousands of households. Especially with the help of mobile APP, the application of biometrics around individual consumers has been greatly expanded. With the further expansion of the functions and functions of the mobile internet terminal, the application of biometric identification will be further integrated.

Industry participants, from upstream chip suppliers, core algorithm development and suppliers, to solution providers, module/module manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, integrators, professional channels, and mixed channels with other related industries, each The number of participants is growing rapidly. As an industry trend researcher, some unfamiliar protagonists can be seen in important industry news almost every month. The emergence of each strange protagonist means technological advancement, or the depth and breadth of technology and product application. This is evident from the explosive dispersion of biometric applications.

Second, the traditional application field review

1. Attendance market

In the commercial market, attendance is still the most important application area for biometric identification. Traditionally, the status of fingerprint attendance products is gradually evolving. Face recognition and finger recognition are popular in the replacement of attendance equipment because of the non-contact or anti-counterfeiting performance. At the same time, for the sake of accuracy and convenience, attendance access control equipment has begun to use multi-technology verification: fingerprint + face recognition; fingerprint + finger vein recognition, these two combination modes are the most common. Thanks to the price reduction of upstream hardware, especially chip vendors, and the good cost control of equipment manufacturers, these combined identification devices can still maintain good cost performance and high market acceptance.

The attendance market has played an important role in the process of biometrics for popularizing the public. At present, the capacity of this market has reached the scale of nearly one billion yuan per year.

2. Door lock market

Door locks are the first application of biometrics to enter the mass consumer market. After more than ten years of technology development and promotion, it has reached a scale of nearly one million annual sales. Not only a large number of exports, but also the acceptance of the domestic market has increased year by year. Currently estimated, internal sales are close to 40% of total sales. There are more than one hundred manufacturers of different sizes, both traditional lock manufacturers and manufacturers that do not have the hardware lock industry background to directly produce biometric door locks. Although the sales channels are mainly based on traditional lock marketing channels, there are also many successful innovators who have successfully used the Internet and won the rich.

The technology of door lock products is still mainly based on fingerprints and finger veins, and the number of face recognition door lock products is gradually increasing, but it is still non-mainstream. The limitation of the requirements on the use environment is probably the main reason.

3. Access control market

As a stepping stone to biometrics entering the security field, access control products have always been the focus of biometrics applications. The huge demand in the access control market and the unique convenience and security of biometric technology have led to an endless stream of new access control products. Following fingerprint and palmprint recognition, face and finger palm vein technology has also been introduced into access control products. The iris recognition technology with higher safety in the industry has also begun to be applied to access control products. Of course, for a higher degree of security, the combination of multiple technologies has become the norm, such as fingerprint + finger vein, fingerprint + face, face + iris recognition, etc., if you count the ID/IC card of the traditional access control terminal This combination of technologies is more diverse.

Now the R&D and production of access control terminals and access controllers and background access control management platforms can all be completed in China. Of course, many domestic access control terminal equipment companies choose to cooperate with the international management of the back-end management system, which is also a development path from easy to difficult, which is a wise move. Regardless of the international or domestic access control market, domestic and low-end products and applications are almost unified in the domestic market, and began to gradually penetrate into the high-end market. In time, China's intellectual manufacturing will also make foreign competitors lose ground in the high-end market, and the advantages will be lost.

4. Key industry internal personnel identification

The identification of operators in IT systems, the so-called logical access control, is also a key application area for biometrics. Bank financial institutions are the earliest tryners and the largest application customers to date. With the advent of the Internet age, especially the Internet era, biometrics is widely adopted as the latest authorization technology for information security. At present, fingerprint and face recognition are the mainstream technologies widely used in this field. System deployment has also evolved from stand-alone, LAN applications to C/S structures and web-based applications, using tens of millions of people.

5. Mass consumer projects

As the largest consumer product, mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets are equipped with biometric technology, which is the biggest promotion and promotion of the biometrics industry. In fact, it was the first time that Apple IPhone4S integrated fingerprint recognition technology in 2014, which became the strongest driving force for the explosive growth of biometrics. With the domestic large-scale production of semiconductor fingerprint acquisition chips, mass production of low-cost MCU chips and fingerprint module manufacturers (monthly production of millions to tens of millions), the pattern of foreign chips monopolizing the market is being broken, it is foreseeable, domestically produced The mobile phone will basically use domestic chips and modules in two years.

In terms of quantity, applications on mobile internet devices are definitely the largest market for biometrics. In addition, applications belonging to national and government agencies, such as fingerprint identification, judicial application of face recognition, and applications in medical and social security projects, have also developed steadily over the past year, occupying a corresponding market share. I believe that the future application of biometrics in these fields will continue to grow steadily.

Third, the new field of deep farming cooperation

In recent years, some new application areas of biometrics technology have also flourished and grown rapidly. The main performances are:

First, the field of intelligent monitoring. At present, the application market represented by face recognition, license plate recognition and behavior recognition of people and vehicles is becoming increasingly large. The three giants in China's video surveillance equipment and systems are all introducing biometrics. There is no reason for them, and the market is driven. This application is currently based on sample projects. The limitations of related technologies have not yet been fully resolved. However, with the development and market-driven of these powerful enterprises, it is believed that performance improvement and improvement will soon break through the bottleneck.

Second, financial services. The application of biometrics in the financial system has been around for a long time. With the advent of the Internet and mobile Internet era, major changes in the financial industry have already begun. The emerging network finance business, due to its off-site characteristics, the verification of the identity of the trader, how to balance the security of the system and the convenience of users, the adoption of biometric technology has become inevitable. Remote authentication, in addition to biometric technology applications, policy and regulatory compliance, network and system security and other implementations, contribute to system smoothness and user friendliness.

Third, business services. In the application of biometrics in the field of business services, there have been some successful cases in recent years and even entered fast-growing enterprises, such as in the advertising industry and retail industry. Its application direction is mainly focused on customer data analysis and effect evaluation. The demographic data of the advertising target and the reflection analysis statistics, consumer personal characteristics and consumer habits breakdown, etc., further application direction expansion, huge space.

Fourth, trends and directions

The development of the biometrics industry in China has come to this day, and some trending directions are gradually emerging. The author does not take the liberty, try to do the following analysis and judgment:

1. Mobile applications: direct and indirect

As mentioned above, the application of biometrics such as fingerprints, face and iris recognition on mobile phones has become the largest market for biometric products by number. For industry technology suppliers, is there still an opportunity to intervene in this area? The answer is yes.

For biometric core algorithm software and related chip vendors, direct integration interventions can be used to supply handset manufacturers or module manufacturers to enter the field. Most ordinary device-level vendors that do not have core technology and upstream chip resources cannot directly intervene, but they can and must pay attention to and keep up with network application trends in product design in the long run, and connect product design concepts with mobile internet. The application model is closely related and is the way to survive and develop.

2. The opportunity brought by the real name system

The establishment of a credit society has yet to wait. In today's society, the implementation of various real-name systems is imperative. And if the real-name system really needs to be precise, biometric technology must be introduced.

The demand for social public safety management, the real-name verification of customers in the hotel industry, telecommunications industry, and financial industry will lead to a huge demand market for terminal equipment products and application system integration, and its capacity is difficult to predict.

3. Combined application with artificial intelligence

Biometrics is one of the supporting technologies of artificial intelligence, so it is only natural to integrate and utilize the latest achievements in biometrics in the field of artificial intelligence, especially intelligent robots. Face recognition, iris recognition, and voice/speech recognition are the most common. High-level acquisition hardware (such as camera lenses) and excellent algorithms are important support that the artificial intelligence team has been seeking. With the continuous advancement and successful marketization of intelligent robot products, the scale of its supporting market will also grow rapidly.

4. All-round intelligent monitoring based on public safety

Intelligent monitoring is the most important technical means of social security management. With the continuous advancement of technology, more innovations from manufacturers, the combination of face recognition, form/gait recognition and high-level surveillance cameras will raise the level of public security monitoring to a whole new level and level. It is foreseeable that the appeal of such new products to the police is unquestionable. In the next year, the related products will be expected to be released.

V. Number 2016

According to the traditional and emerging fields, taking into account the vertical and horizontal subdivisions, the statistics of the 2016 biometric market are calculated as follows:

Table 1 China's biometric market segmentation data for the first three quarters of 2016 (by sales)

Market segments

Sales amount (ten thousand yuan)

Share ratio

main application

Commercial application



Access control, attendance, identity authentication, business services

Judicial application



Automatic fingerprint recognition system AFIS , and automatic face recognition system (for criminal investigation purposes)

Public project application



Social security, medical, education and health applications

Public and social security applications



Exit and entry management and license system, intelligent monitoring, public security management, stability

Mass consumer applications



Fingerprint face recognition door lock, cabinet lock; computer, mobile phone boot certification, network authentication, etc.




Data interpretation:

1. The market growth rate has obviously accelerated, and some applications have shown a sharp increase;

2. The share of mass consumer products has expanded significantly, showing a strong latecomer advantage;

3. Although public safety applications continue to grow steadily, the potential remains to be expanded.


Biometrics and its commercial applications have been in development for more than 20 years. After more than 20 years, we seem to really see, or dare to assert the potential and prospects of this technology and product application. Looking back on the development of the industry for more than 20 years, especially those landmark events and time points that are still in the past, re-examine their historical role and influence on the present future, and review the difficult roads of our practitioners, especially business operators. Can not help but feel a thousand.

With the rapid realization of the network society and the rapid development of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing, the explosive growth of biometric identification in the past year or two not only allows us to see the huge potential of the industry, but also allows us to further understand biometrics. Real status and role.

Biometrics is the only core technology that enables the verification of personal identities for precise location, monitoring, tracking and control. In short, biometrics must be an indispensable technical support based on big data analysis of personal behavior tracking and statistics. It doesn't matter whether biometrics itself can be an independent industry/industry, but it will definitely be the underlying technology that penetrates into every aspect of social life. After deep integration with many application industries, the original debate - biometrics is an independent industry, or a (one type) supporting basic technology is no longer important.

Finally, the development of biometrics, its importance and development ideas, has been recognized by many large enterprises. The role of the industry is quite different from that of ten years ago or even five years ago. It is inevitable that powerful latecomers will reshuffle the industry. It is certain that the Chinese biometric industry has entered the stage of strength competition: the weak are eliminated, the strong is king.

Editor in charge: Tian Wenjie

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