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Synaptics (SYNA) Biometrics Acquisition Adds Momentum to Sector

POINT ROBERTS, WA and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Oct 22, 2013) - Investorideas.com, an investor research portal specializing in investor research in leading sectors, issues a close-up on the Biometrics sector as it heats up with another acquisition. Earlier this month, Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA) announced it had signed a Definitive Agreement to acquire Validity Sensors, Inc., a leading provider of biometric fingerprint authentication solutions for smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs.

Investorideas.com talked to leading analysts and experts at Frost & Sullivan, Goode Intelligence and NXT-ID Inc (Quote) to gain insight into the significance of the deal. Additionally, we asked Alfred Woo, product-marketing manager at Synaptics to discuss the recent acquisition.

Alan Goode, Managing Director of GoodeIntelligence.com said of the acquisition -- "The acquisition of Validity Sensors, by Synaptics, is another sign of how important biometrics is becoming to consumer technologies. I believe this is a good match between Synaptics, who has a strong track record of developing touch-based consumer solutions, and one of the remaining independent mobile biometric sensor manufacturers. This is about giving consumer electronics products better, more convenient, security and opens up fingerprint-based biometrics to other consumer devices. We expect that additional biometric modalities, including voice, facial, eye and behavioral will be quickly integrated into other electronic devices and cloud-based services."

Leading research firm Frost & Sullivan is also watching the space closely following Apples roll out with TouchID and now this recent deal with Validity. Jean-Noël Georges, Global Program Director, Research Manager at Frost & Sullivan told Investorideas.com -- "Synaptics sent another positive signal to the biometric market and more specifically for the mobile device industry. Indeed, the recent acquisition of Validity Sensors extends the product portfolio of the firm. Synaptics strategy seems to take a follower approach, as it appears they were waiting for the Apple announcement to finalize its definitive agreement. Best practices are to anticipate the market in order to always stay far ahead of the competition. Synaptics is now perfectly aligned for the new race: Be recognized as the leading company for biometric authentication solutions. Validity Sensors will definitively increase the chance to win the race."

Mr. Gino M. Pereira, Chief Executive Officer of NXT-ID, Inc. http://www.nxt-id.com/ said "There is no longer any doubt that biometrics is the key to identity authentication for the future. By the very nature of their extreme portability, this is particularly important for smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. Today, a tremendous amount of highly sensitive information, both personal and organizational, is stored on these devices. Here, at NXT-ID, we are focused on what we perceive will be the next step in that evolution; voice authentication and 3D facial recognition."

Investorideas.com asked Alfred Woo, product-marketing manager at Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA) to share insight into the recent deal in the following Q&A.

Q: Investorideas.com
Your press release says -- Biometrics and fingerprint sensing is poised for explosive growth -- Is the company looking at additional biometric technology outside of fingerprint technology and does Validity have other technology in their portfolio? The reason I ask is that several analysts feel that multiple layers of biometrics may be the best approach.

A: Alfred Woo, product marketing manager at Synaptics
Validity's product portfolio is primarily focused on fingerprint ID, and while we cannot comment on any specific biometric technology the company may be looking at outside of this. Synaptics is always exploring new and unique technologies that will complement our industry-leading portfolio of human interface technologies. We aim to provide the industry's broadest selection of technologies that will help make consumer interaction with devices more simple and elegant than ever before.

Q: Investorideas.com
What differentiates Validity's technology from others -- for example the Authentec Technology in Apple's Touch ID?

A: Alfred Woo, product marketing manager at Synaptics
Subsequent to Apple's acquisition of Authentec, Validity is the market leader in biometric fingerprint ID. Their solutions are innovative and unique in that unlike other solutions on the market, their technology platform is based on a separate sensor as opposed to die on silicon. We think it is the better approach to implementation in that the separate sensor has significant advantages over silicon sensors. One is overall cost; by separating the sensor from the silicon, the size of the sensor does not impact the cost the same way a larger silicon die would. Secondly, it is easier to design-in this type of solution, as there is more flexibility in mechanical placement of the chip. Thirdly, the separated silicon opens up opportunities for advanced integration with other components of the touch system, such as integrating the biometric functionality with the touch navigation components.

Q: Investorideas.com
What is the roll out plan for implementing the technology? The company said -- "Synaptics expects to gain access to the fast growing biometrics market, significantly expanding its market opportunity and underscoring the company's commitment to making smart devices easier to use." Is there a time frame for seeing it being used by the company?

A: Alfred Woo, product marketing manager at Synaptics
The current plan is to continue to offer and support the existing offerings using the company's current channels and sales structure. As we go forward into this year and next, we will be launching additional products into the mobile space. Within the next few years, we will integrate the technology and go to market strategies with our roadmap and coordinate our structural resources as required by the different segments to offer new solutions in PC, mobile and standalone markets.

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