As with many existing trends that have accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of biometrics for safe and convenient authentication and identification has significantly increased – both for digital services and in the physical world to reduce the need for touching shared items. Stefan K Persson shares his insight on why biometrics are here to stay post-pandemic and how Precise Biometrics is rising to the challenges in the industry.
Precise recently released its Q1 results, please tell us more about what the company has been focusing on this year.
The pandemic has brought many changes to business globally and thanks to everyone in the team at Precise, we too have made changes that have enabled us to continue our successful journey. From adapting to new ways of working in all of our locations, collaborating with customers and partners and of course continuing to win projects despite increased volatility – the incredible versatility of our people is what makes this all possible.
Our attention is on key areas to make sure we are making the right impact. For Precise YOUNiQ we have been focusing on Access Management Systems (AMS), investing time to educate our installation partners alongside growing our sales team and capability. We are expanding our partnerships all the time and were delighted to recently announce our collaboration with Elektroskandia, one of the largest distributors of security equipment in Sweden. In the digital identity space, we have made APIs readily available via our website so companies can easily connect their own platforms and product solutions with our solution. This brings our vision of a connected ecosystem even closer – eID is combined with our biometrics and then used for a range of applications. Medical staff can for instance go securely into restricted hospital areas and access secure medical drug storage, with no tags, passwords or passcodes, ensuring that only authorized individuals enter.
Then we have combined our smartcard and mobile activities into one unit so resources are shared between the two product lines enabling us to work really effectively, helping with requirements across the team and optimising the way we work.
What have the key highlights been for you during Q1?
The Precise YOUNiQ installation at Clarkson University in the US is a major milestone. Plus we had our first installation in Norway with our partner RCO. Although Sweden is our main focus, this is of course another exciting milestone. In Sweden we were really proud to complete the first installation in the Science Village in Lund.
I have also been delighted with the deeper collaboration with Qualcomm, working together with Sharp on multi tap functionality using our algorithms and Qualcomm’s ultrasonic sensor.
Tell us about how your clients and partners have been working with Precise YOUNiQ and what their feedback has been.
The feedback has been great! For example Friskis&Svettis, a leading gym provider in Sweden, has seen its membership increase despite the pandemic as YOUNiQ means they can offer access for training outside usual hours when reception is not staffed and the gym is less busy while still maintaining the highest levels of security. As a not-for-profit organisation, keeping costs manageable is essential so not having to hire extra reception staff is an important factor.
We have also had a huge installation project with Algeco where 600 workers are now utilising the system. This has been a big success with excellent feedback. We’re now looking at further joint projects.
What is your focus at Precise for the coming quarters?
One exciting opportunity with a customer is looking at how they can really optimize their energy resource utilization. With our solution it is possible to determine when people are not present in the facility, so heating can be reduced or turned off and lights can also be switched off. Then when a person arrives in front of the camera, everything can be automatically switched on again as soon as they are recognized. This will save significant energy – good for the environment and for reducing costs.
Biometric technology can be used in so many ways. The pandemic has helped with interest in this area; using a fingerprint on your own device will continue while devices that are public or shared will make use of voice and face biometrics. Biometric payment cards are an example of what we’ll see more of in the future and these trends for more hygienic approaches will remain post-pandemic as people remain hesitant to touch things.
At Precise we’ll be driving sales for YOUNiQ, deepening the understanding of our product out in the market, focusing on Sweden and the US. We’ll also continue the work within the Algo team and I hope that after the summer, we’ll all be able to return to working in the office more regularly – being creative and coming up with innovative solutions together!