The secret sauce to successful biometric applications like Apple Pay

Secret Sauce to Successful Biometrics Applications

I think Touch ID and Apple Pay are the finest examples of successful biometric implementations. Apple Pay early adoption rate is impressive: 1% of digital payment dollars during the month of November. And note it is available only on the newest iPhone and iPads and supported by a few, but a growing list of, merchants.

The secret sauce in successful biometric implementations is made of many ingredients. Clearly beyond the scope of this article. But here is one of the main ingredients: it is to see the performance from the end-user perspective! It is a method that is gaining momentum also in the network and infrastructure management world.

Operational analytics simply means to measure and analyze a set of fundamental metrics and properties in order to improve future products and maintain the ones in use.

I had an opportunity to present our product and pitch the benefits of operational analytics to one of my Apple contacts at a biometric conference. No surprise there; what I pitched was rigorously performed by Apple prior to the launch of Touch ID on iPhone 5s thanks to a large number of own testers at Apple. I know many people who still and continuously contribute to improvement of Touch ID and Apple Pay by simply sending back an automated and anonymized feedback to Apple. I can imagine that feedback contains meaningful device and algorithm related metrics for making sense of performance data in order to know what to improve in future products.

My company is standardizing the interface for capturing and making sense of operational metrics and properties for various biometric applications such as Physical Access Control and Automated Border/Passport Control eGates. We lead this work via OASIS-Open who is the organization behind the first standards for web services based biometric devices and Internet of Things.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Babak Goudarzipour
Optimum Biometric Labs

This post was originally published in LinkedIn.

*Info on Apple Pay comes from Market Info reflecting on report from the industry intelligence company ITG.

*My iPhone 5 still performs well but becoming an Apple Pay user is intriguing because I think it is about time to get rid of all the plastic cards.

Why airports move to the cloud and the Internet-of-ABC eGates

Internet of ABC eGates and Kiosks, BioUptime
Airports’ new cloud’s-eye view on infrastructure management is beginning of Internet-of-ABC eGates and Kiosks.

This wasn’t a mature option a few years ago; it’s now happening. Driven by metrics, early-mover CIOs like Michael Ibbitson at London Gatwick airport are moving their IT-processes to the cloud. The cover story, ‘Head in the cloud’, of a recent (June 2014) issue of Passenger Terminal World throws light on cloud technology’s impact on airport management.

‘82% of airports are either evaluating cloud services or have major cloud programs underway’, the story reports citing SITA’s 2013 Airport IT Trends Survey.

Why airports move to the cloud?

The metrics and targets are clear. Some of the reports’ findings speak for themselves:

  • IT hardware costs reduction by up to a third
  • Energy saving of 80% vs. running on-site data centers
  • Expanding flight capacity (flights per hour)
  • Raising aircraft arrival and departure on-time accuracy
  • Improving passenger experience by shortening waiting times

It’s mentioned that gate control systems are suitable airport systems for moving to the cloud. The global market for Airport ABC eGates and Kiosks is poised for growth at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.5% over 2014-2018 to reach $1 billion annually by 2020; according to an Acuity Market Intelligence report.

Cloud and big data, new strategies win big

Of big data’s three steps – data ingestion, data storage, and analytics – the first two are the cost and the third the actual value; says a recent Forbes article. Its core message to customers is that outsourcing to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) is clearly a better decision compared to the DIY model. The Forbes article, too, is giving voice to a revolution in the making. A paradigm shift where the IT department starts to see their core mission is in fact more important than going through the expensive process of selecting, procuring, deploying, and maintaining a bunch of infrastructure tools in data centers on-site. Their core mission is to extract true value out of data for improving the business.

What does it mean for modern ABC eGates and Kiosks

The advent of Internet-of-ABC eGates and Kiosks and a focus on analytics mean better functioning systems, reduced operational costs, and improved passenger experience.

As CEO for a company that delivers cloud-based operational monitoring and reporting tools for biometric operations I see beginning of a trend: IT management and operators of ABC eGates and Kiosks – among other mission critical biometric applications – will gain big advantages in terms of insight and control of their systems via cloud-based tools distributed via established IT service providers. 

Babak Goudarzipour
CEO, Optimum Biometric Labs
Standard project editor at OASIS-Open Biometrics
Swedish technical expert to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC37 – Biometrics


  1. Passenger Terminal World, June 2014 issue,
  2. SITA’s 2013 Airport IT Trends Survey,
  3. The Internet Of Things Will Radically Change Your Big Data Strategy,