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In the workplace and in the consumer market, the IoT (or ‘Internet of Things’) is one of the hottest topics around, especially with the rise in the usage and consumption of mobile devices that are connected to the internet. Apart from smartphones, we’ve heard of washing machines, cars, and even jet engines maximizing the IoT. In fact, the ‘Internet of Things’ connected devices will almost triple in number, to almost more than 38 billion units by 2020, as revealed by Juniper Research.

From the looks of it, the future rule of thumb when it comes to technology will be: “anything that can be connected, will be connected.”

But even though IoT opens plenty of endless digital opportunities, it still faces challenges, especially in terms of security. An article by TechCrunch revealed that the more devices that are connected to each other, will increase the possibilities for hackers to target users.

Currently, biometric technology has become a common security feature built into to many handsets today. And it’s likely that it will reach mainstream status fairly soon. Previously, Google revealed Android devices would use face recognition technology, then the more prominent fingerprint sensor appeared on many of their handsets. However, it was Apple that brought the fingerprint scanning technologies to the market first through their Touch ID feature.

But a new form of biometric sensor will arrive this year via iris scanning. This feature was rumored to be the major selling point on the recently released Galaxy S7, but Samsung instead retained its fingerprint scanner on the new flagship device. Instead, the Korean firm focused on other software and hardware upgrades, such as the Dual True Pixel camera, the Always-On-Display function, better battery life, wireless charging and more. We are left to wonder how the rest of the industry would have reacted If Samsung had incorporated the iris sensor, may we actually end up seeing the technology on the iPhone 7?

“More effort needs to be made to secure IoT-related data to ensure the privacy of consumers and the functionality of businesses and corporations,” software engineer Ben Dickson wrote in his post on TechCrunch.

Biometrics will not only unlock devices and certain apps, but it is predicted it could also lock and unlock cars, homes and other connected devices. Gartner revealed that IoT will drive user and device requirements in 20 percent of the latest IAM (identity and access management) technologies, where biometric is seen to emerge as a key role.

“IAM, as defined today, will bifurcate, with identity management assuming a broader entity relationship management role and access management assuming a broader relationship execution role that replaces or supplements authentication policy and authorization enforcement,” said research vice president of Gartner Earl Perkins. “We conservatively estimate that biometric sensors, which includes work time management and premise security entry consoles, will total at least 500 million “Internet of Things” connections by 2018.”

With the continued evolution of the IoT in various industries and markets, biometric technologies will go mainstream with endless applications. It is also projected to further enhance industries related to smart homes, automotive, healthcare and finance.