The global iris recognition market size was valued at USD 2,910 million in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 11,240 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 18.4% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Iris recognition technology has gained substantial popularity in various sectors. Over the years, the requirement to control access to premises and systems has grown. Presently, many organizations rely on passwords or cards to confirm people's identities for both their access. However, this traditional approach poses severe challenges. For example, the loss of cards poses security problems. Also, anyone can access restricted areas or data with the correct PIN combination.
Unlike the use of these forms of authentication, such as passwords, biometric recognition offers a strong link between an individual and a data record. Among the different biometric modalities, like a fingerprint, palm vein, facial, etc., the iris is one of the most reliable. This technique is simple to use but difficult to forge because each iris is unique. Iris recognition technology is gaining popularity since it does not rely on a person's ability to see to identify them, making it ideal for identifying blind or one-eyed individuals.
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Increasing Frequency of Fraudulent Activities
In the increasingly digitalized world where everything is done online, cybercrime has evolved, putting people's and organizations' security at risk and resulting in financial or other harm. Additionally, the increasing use of smart gadgets increases the potential for theft, hacking, data loss, and other crimes. Therefore, iris recognition solutions are growing due to the more rigid technical requirements.
With present technology, it is practically hard to fake or spoof iris recognition. This technology is extensively used, and there have only been a few breaches at locations that use iris recognition as a security measure. The threshold can be set very low to prevent fraud because iris recognition is so accurate. Iris patterns are the least likely to alter, and detection is rapid and straightforward without requiring direct touch with a possibly unhygienic surface. This also eliminates the possibility of an individual posing as another to take advantage of the unauthorized access to personal data and protects users from unknowingly becoming victims of identity theft.
Growing Integration of Multi-factor Authentication
Multifactor authentication (MFA) has been introduced to improve authentication system security. The need for high-security applications has sparked a surge in interest in biometrics, which has been introduced as one of several variables working in tandem to control access. As a result, several multifactor authentication systems are designed to include biometric authentication. A rise in security breaches, data identity thefts, and fraud, a surge in BYOD/IoT devices, high demand for cloud-based multifactor authentication solutions and services, high volume of online transactions, and stringent government regulations are likely to promote the demand for multifactor authentication, fueling the need for iris recognition technology during the forecast period.
Furthermore, the growing volume of online transactions with customers' high acceptance of digital banking is anticipated to propel the demand for multifactor authentication. The spurt in eCommerce and the use of internet banking, along with the mandatory laws by central banks, are urging large businesses to authenticate users with solid authentication measures. The rising use of mobile banking for online transactions is set to surge demand for multifactor authenticators (both hardware and software). Vendors within the iris recognition technology industry offer solutions capable of carrying an end-to-end authentication process that uses access control cards and iris recognition readers to provide a solid and accurate MFA process.
Growing Concerns About Data Privacy
The introduction of iris recognition technology aims to increase security. Still, it also creates several complicated technological, procedural, social, and policy issues related to privacy and security. Since biometric data is being gathered and processed, it is vulnerable to hackers, primarily since fraud techniques are developing quickly. The main risk associated with iris scanning is creating a national database that may be used to secretly track people while they are moving or at a distance without their knowledge or agreement. This raises significant privacy and civil liberties issues, and these issues get worse as more people's iris data are collected.
The raw biometric data are susceptible to manipulation for unethical reasons. For instance, sharing biometric information with federal immigration authorities, like the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which has direct access to many law enforcement databases, raises serious concerns. Hackers have overcome iris recognition systems in the past by using a picture of the authorized user, prompting several major smartphone manufacturers to implement facial recognition technology. The inability of the iris recognition system to scan from more than a meter or two away and maybe to recognize when the person is moving are the factors that can hamper the market potential.
Cognitive Internet of Things (IoT) and its Emerging Applications
Identity identification has permeated every aspect of people's lives as the social economy has progressed. Biometric technology has gotten much attention recently as the foundation for identity authentication. Rapid advancements in domestic and international labs are being made into iris-based identification technology. Iris offers the advantages of uniqueness, stability, collectability, and non-invasiveness as key identification traits.
The cognitive Internet of things (IoT) and its emerging applications have been aided by the development of linked sensors, cloud, big data analytics, and ubiquitous sensing technologies. Even though IoT has the potential to impact human life, experts have yet to study how biometric technologies (such as iris) might contribute to a CIoT-oriented framework in which iris-based biometric identification is employed for verification or authentication. A unimodal or multimodal-based structure is one of the trade-offs of biometric recognition systems. This work created an iris-based unimodal biometric using multi-biometric scenarios. Delta-mean and multi-algorithm-mean are novel iris feature extraction methods. Such developments in the programming of iris recognition will create market opportunities in different fields.
The global iris recognition market is segmented by the component and end-user industry.
By component, the global iris recognition market is segmented into hardware, software, and services.
Hardware accounts for the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.9% during the forecast period. Automated real-time biometric systems, such as iris recognition, have been successfully deployed in several large-scale public applications, thereby increasing reliability and convenience for users and reducing identity fraud. Increasing demand for iris recognition systems supports the target market's need for such hardware and related components. Vendors operating within the industry have come with scanners equipped with advanced features that may provide good quality images and avoid false positives while maximizing accurate identification rates. Such factors contribute to market growth.
By end-user industry, the global iris recognition market is segmented into consumer electronics, healthcare, BFSI, government and law enforcement, and other end-user industries (transportation, education, automotive, etc.).
The government and law enforcement segment accounts for the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.7% during the forecast period. Governments across different nations use a multimodal biometrics database for managing multiple biometric authentications, whereby data is created by taking images of the face, fingerprint, and palm print, as well as the iris, which provides various options for the identification of individuals. Law enforcement can use the security and precision of iris recognition technology to combat terrorism, car theft, carjacking, abduction, and other crimes and criminality in society. In response to the rising threats of terrorism around the world, iris recognition technology helps enhance the stringency of immigration control.
Healthcare is the fastest growing segment in the global iris recognition market. Establishing precise patient identification is a recurring issue in the healthcare sector. Applications for healthcare management are moving towards biometric iris recognition technologies. It is anticipated that the usage of iris recognition in healthcare systems will rise globally due to the advancement of current technologies and the creation of multi-layered authentication systems at affordable prices. The use of iris recognition technology helps implement efficient mechanisms for authentication and authorization across several healthcare domains, including monitoring patient registration, treatment, or passageways to different departments, checkup arrangement and scheduling, repetitive treatment, and supporting national or private health insurance cards, among others.
By region, the global iris recognition market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America Dominates the Global Market
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North America is the largest shareholder of the global iris recognition market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.8% during the forecast period. Organizations are increasingly using biometrics, which adds another layer of security for users, resulting from the significant rise in data breaches in the region across numerous industries. Adopting iris scanning technology by multiple government agencies promotes market expansion in the area. For instance, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Next Generation Identification (NGI) systems are both developed in collaboration by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with local, state, tribal, and federal agencies. As a reliable method of identification, these systems use iris recognition. Significant patent activities are witnessed in the region, which is expected to increase the market's growth. In December 2020, NEC Corporation, the assignee of the Iris recognition system, iris recognition method, and storage medium technology, applied for a patent in the United States, later published in April 2021. This process improves the accuracy of iris matching on the recognition subject. Moreover, with new deals and contracts with government agencies and other end-users, the market is expected to penetrate growth.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.3%, generating USD 2,865 million during the forecast period. Biometric systems were primarily employed to secure government buildings with special security requirements, but this has changed in recent years. The European region witnessed a consistent increase in fraud cases about identity theft. Biometric technologies based on the person's physiological characteristics are another trend in the development of digital banking technologies, which are used in Russia for personalizing data and further identification of clients to increase security, reduce fraud, and simplify the input of personal data.
For example, several Russian banks are adopting the technology, which uses photos of clients, the iris of the eye, and even the voice of the customer. The United Kingdom released its 2025 Border Strategy, a five-year innovation model to improve national security and biosecurity. Key provisions are contactless travel based on a fully digitized border, ePassports, and biometric data as the sole authentication requirement for cross-border travel. Biometric passport technology is promised to streamline the movement of U.K. citizens across the border and significantly reduce the risk of identity fraud.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region in the global iris recognition market. Many essential and precious assets are in end-user industries like BFSI and healthcare, and any security lapse or breach can be extremely costly and result in lost revenue. As a result, many industries in the nation are implementing strict regulations to guarantee the protection of sensitive client data. The region's biometrics market is anticipated to be driven primarily by rising commercial enterprises and government initiatives to use biometric authentication technologies. Iris recognition is helpful for monitoring, managing, and surveillance of civil operations. The region's escalating crime rate has prompted the government to implement several safety measures to bolster surveillance.
The global iris recognition market’s major key players are Iritech Inc., BioEnable Technologies Pvt Ltd, Aware Inc., Iris ID Inc., HID Global, EyeLock LLC, Princeton Identity Inc., Gemalto NV (Thales Group), NEC Corporation, IrisGuard UK Ltd, IDEMIA