Imagine that your phone, tablet or bank card can automatically recognize your fingerprints and even your sweat pores, so you no longer need to enter a pin number or remember a password. Touch Biometrix, located at the High Tech Campus, is developing this groundbreaking fingerprint sensor technology that offers the end user unprecedented levels of security in authentication and transactions.
Eric Derckx is co-founder and CTO of Touch Biometrix (founded in October 2017), and he shared with us the ins and out of his business. The company is a fabless developer of a new type of fingerprint sensor that can be any size on glass or any size or shape on plastic and all at a fraction of the cost of current solutions.
Secure contactless transactions and accessibility to financial resources
What is the impact of this technology in the world? Derckx states, “we have the potential to revolutionize the way we do transactions in two ways. First, we can integrate our fingerprint sensor into payment cards such that people can make biometrically authenticated payments of any value in a contactless manner without the need to interact with a payment terminal pin pad, so eliminating the potential risk of contamination from COVID. Secondly, there are over 2.5 billion people in the world that have no access to financial facilities due to the fact that they have no form of identification. Identity cards with integrated fingerprint sensors will support the efforts in Africa and Asia to allow these people to gain access to micro-loans and micro-finance so enabling the possibility for a massive shift in social mobility and the improvement in the lives of hundreds of millions of people.”
Bringing fingerprint sensor technology to the market
What are the biggest achievements of Touch Biometrix? “We have celebrated two huge milestones. The first one is delivering a Proof-of-Concept sensor demonstrator, so it basically showed that our technology works. The second was signing a two-year development agreement with a major consumer electronics brand name production partner in Asia who will manufacture our products and take them to market as early and mid-2021.”
There is nothing stopping Touch Biometrix from growing and achieving their goals, “we are already recognized in many market reports as one of the Top-20 fingerprint solution developers in the world alongside Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and NEC. In collaboration with our Asian production partner we expect to be the market leader within five years!”
The right team and funding are key
Touch Biometrix has an experienced team not only at a strategic level but also in running start-ups. “This means that we all have the right mindset of being result-driven allowing us to move at pace. This is how we have managed to make such significant progress in only a couple of years. In terms of funding, we’ve managed to avoid traditional VC funding which can sometimes complicate the structure and operations of a business. So the challenge was to find suitable Angel and Trade investors. Although a harder and more time consuming process, it’s worth the effort to get the right type of investor that brings more than just money to the table but also experience and value in capability. We’re still looking for easier access to Angle funds (especially risk capital) to enable promising start-up companies to grow quickly, so any leads would be highly appreciated.”
Know thyself when starting a business
Lastly, do you have any advice to new or starting companies? “Firstly hire people with solid experience and preferably with experience in a start-up environment that are capable of structuring the overall company and technology development program. Secondly as the Delphic maxim says, ‘know thyself’. Nobody can be good at everything so be honest with yourself and the team in what you are good at and more importantly: what you are bad at or lack expertise in. Thirdly and probably most importantly, adopt the attitude that there is no such thing as a bad result or outcome as it always teaches you something. So be unemotional and ask the question ‘what has this taught us?’, then re-adjust, deal with potential uncertainties and move forward.”
Would you like to know more about Touch Biometrix? Contact the team at: email@example.com