Last updated: 04 April 2018
So many promises are made by the new so-called Digital Era. From self-driving car to retailers setting up drones to deliver your goods where you are, whenever you wish. Forget the world as you knew it, our smart cities are going to shape its new ‘face’. Luckily enough us humans have developed proportionally to our creative potential, and we should be proud of our huge skill at adaptation.
Looking at the past few years, a lot of new devices have been integrated to our daily lives that have changed the way we live, move, work and are entertained. Our houses, bags and pockets are now full of dongles, mobile and wearable devices. The strategy for many consumers electronics companies has been to offer these devices to deliver a new digital experience that promises great convenience and added features.
But what if, time has come to replace the “always more” by the “always less”?
A new approach
We know that the digitalization phenomenon has already started, and that anything that can be digitalized, will be digitalized. A wallet, a visa, a transport ticket, a car key, an access badge and even your identity.
But this last one is a reason to be cautious. Your sovereign identity is what ultimately defines you in the world and losing it (as in some sci-fi movies), means that you disappear from society. And this is why digitizing identities should never be dissociated from the need of security. Well, don’t be scared!
When identities are fully operated and managed by security experts there is a heightened level of trust. And this means we can simply enjoy the enlarged potential of our digital experience. And when it comes to define your inherent identity there is nothing better than your biometrics attributes.
We are who we are
Your biometrics attributes, when captured and digitized create a perfect ‘digital’ extension of yourself. You pay with your fingerprints, you enter a building with your face, and online services providers authenticate you with how you walk, without you noticing a thing. Biometrics remove friction from required authentication steps. The obvious ultimate end-state is to remove the authentication step itself through a perfectly secure and silent process—ultimately zero UI.
This is enabled through a combination of risk assessment and machine learning. We are moving from the “prove to me who you are, through a multi-step authentication, so I grant you access to my services” to a simple “just be yourself and enjoy”.
Of course, the very first stage of any biometrics experience will be an enrolment phase to capture the attributes and ask for individual consent to use them. With such processes and new privacy regulations such as GDPR a protecting framework has been initiated to protect your personal data. This is a valid approach as it builds trust among consumer. Best practice for biometrics solutions is still under construction but the direction of travel is clear—transparency for those holding the data, those who share their physiological make-up and security throughout.
Pass through the world like the wind
Biometrics has this seemingly magical power to destroy any kind of friction you can face in the digital world. So, companies selling services and products will have to alter their approach. It is no longer basic sales techniques, but instead a greater focus on selling the perfect user-experience. In banking, users choose those that offer the easiest customer journey once their security considerations are met. Banks that are thriving now understand customer satisfaction is key, that support must be offered 24/7 and the more friction you remove the better. This is banking in the new digital era.
No pausing for technology
Another study has shown that if you film something or take a picture, you miss the chance to be in the moment, and enjoy the scene for what it is. For instance, watching a live stream of your kid through a screen creates a subtle barrier that prevents you being fully present.
The new Digital Era has the chance to recapture the possibility of living in the moment. Let’s hope the future will allow us to shape our experiences in a truly minimalist manner—without any obligation to use extra devices nor be stuck because you forgot your physical wallet or keys. Biometrics will create amazing and limitless digital experiences where “you and yourself” are the only pre-requisite to access.
And underpinning everything will be a deep foundation of security, privacy management and data protection. This new Digital Era has plans for you, and the invitation is simply “be yourself and enjoy”.