The global market for services based on gesture and biometric interface technologies will be worth an estimated $1.2 billion by 2019, up from less than $2 million this year, according to a report from Juniper Research.

The report, “Human Interface & Biometric Devices: Emerging Ecosystems, Opportunities & Forecasts, 2014-2019,” finds that innovation in mobile phone hardware and software has paved the way for a “new paradigm of handset interaction,” including touchless command and biometric identification.

The study says that although human interface technology is unlikely to replace touch commands altogether, touchless and biometric interfaces will play a key role in enhancing user experience and handset security. It cited touchless screen scrolling, as seen in Samsung’s Smart Scroll feature, and the integration of Touch ID into Apple Pay as examples of key arenas in which these technologies are likely to see significant scaling of deployments.

While innovation in the human interface market has mainly focused on working with the existing hardware of handsets, the report finds that software, not hardware, will be key to unlocking potential in the touchless and biometric space.

The study highlights ways in which handset functionality is being significantly enhanced through appware that accesses sensors functionality in cameras, microphones and biometric scanners. It notes that this year more than 16 million human interface apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets worldwide, a figure which is set to see dynamic growth through to 2019.

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