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Make way for biometric smartphones in 2014, Ericsson says

Following the release of the fingerprint sensor-enabled iPhone 5s, more smartphone makers could soon jump on the bandwagon, if Ericsson's predictions prove true.

Apple iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint sensor
Apple iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Ed Rhee/CNET

By the end of 2014, a wealth of new smartphones could come with biometric technology, such as fingerprint-recognition hardware.

In September, Apple released the iPhone 5S, which included a fingerprint reader, in the hopes of bolstering security and improving usability.

And other mobile makers, keen to jump on the biometric bandwagon, may soon embed the technology in their own devices.

According to new research by mobile network maker Ericsson, which polled 100,000 people over 40 countries, about 74 percent of respondents said they believe biometric smartphones "will become mainstream" during 2014.

More than half -- at 52 percent -- want to use their fingerprints instead of a complex alphanumeric combination of letters, numbers, and characters, while just shy of half -- at 48 percent -- are interested in eye-recognition technology to unlock their phones.

While Apple currently holds the fingerprint-unlocking smartphone monopoly, mobile makers are expected in the coming year to include increasingly seamless ways of unlocking devices and securing data -- particularly as the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend continues to grow even further.

Other tidbits from the research:

  • Health-related technologies will continue to take off in 2014. A total of 40 percent want their phones to record all their physical activities, while 56 percent would prefer a "ring-like" monitor to keep tabs on blood pressure and their pulse.
  • Internet is "expected everywhere," including subways where many found their Internet access would cut out. The research showed that the signal bars "no longer provide reliable guidance," as a voice call may not be good enough for Internet service.
  • Where's my data going? Just less than half of all consumers use apps to monitor their data consumption. While 1-in-4 wanted to know how much data they use, exactly one-third wanted to make sure they were billed correctly.

This story originally appeared as "Biometric smartphones to become mainstream in 2014, Ericsson says" on ZDNet.