OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwired - Apr 26, 2016) - Tore Etholm-Idsøe, CEO of NEXT Biometrics Group ASA (Oslo Bors: NEXT), today announced NEXT is showcasing the world's first Smart Card compatible flexible fingerprint sensor, which the company demonstrated in Etholm-Idsøe's DnB-TV presentation that can be viewed at its website, www.NextBiometrics.com.
"We have previously announced that we will not comment further on our smart card developments until we have something material to prove," Etholm-Idsøe stated. "We are now proud to announce that our ISO-compliance includes the recently published ISO/IEC 17839 standard, and to our knowledge this makes us the only supplier to meet this specification."
The CEO added, "We have always believed that the Active Thermal principle, patented by NEXT, is optimally positioned to produce a flexible sensor, which has the required size to be secure and convenient for almost 100 per cent of the population."
Etholm-Idsøe emphasized, "We are now in the process of setting up production lines capable of delivering tens of millions of sensors at an acceptable yield. This includes some risk and is targeted to be completed in the first half of 2017."
He added that "The card industry is showing a strong interest in working with NEXT, and this market will be our main focus in the upcoming quarters."
Etholm-Idsøe also announced that "NEXT Biometrics ASA has received the industry's first biometric smart card volume order. The initial order has a value of 12 million Norwegian Krone (NOK) and shipments are scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2016. The first shipments will consist of rigid sensors."
He said, "Volumes to our undisclosed customer are expected to increase to a total of 650,000 units in 2017."
The CEO said, "The on-going development with our customer is aiming to ship a mass-produced, fully flexible and ISO-compliant biometric smartcard that will meet all requirements in this segment during 2017. This collaboration is aiming at introducing biometrics into ISO standard smart cards -- a market that currently is estimated to grow to several hundreds of millions units per annum."
NEXT CEO Tore Etholm-Idsøe said: "Our (undisclosed) customer has done an impressive job in bringing out this product, as the first of its kind, and it has a high profile end customer waiting to take contracted deliveries. We are very proud to say this is the world´s first mass production order for fingerprint sensors on smart cards."
He added, "For NEXT this is an important milestone as it demonstrates our leading position within the smart card market. As far as we know, no other company has yet managed to meet all mandatory ISO standard requirements. NEXT and a growing number of key industry players now seem to agree that NEXT technology is uniquely positioned for success in the smart card space. Being able to meet both the ISO and the real life mass market minimum requirements of sensor size is recognized as key to success in the quality critical smart card applications."
Etholm-Idsøe explained, "The Active Thermal Principle, patented by NEXT, is perfectly suited for producing a flexible sensor with the size required for the solution to be secure and convenient for close to 100 per cent of a population and at an affordable price."
The CEO of NEXT Biometrics also outlined the company's TRADING UPDATE Q1-2016 OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS:
The company said that cash and cash equivalents amounted to NOK 76.2 million by the end of Q1 2016 compared with NOK 130.2 million by the end of Q4 2015. NEXT said the majority of the increased negative cash-flow compared to previous quarters is related to high production costs during mass production ramp up, increased working capital and investments in smart card activities.
The operations, including investments, consumed cash in an amount of NOK 54 million in the first quarter of 2016 compared with NOK 44.2 million in the previous quarter and NOK 30.5 in the first quarter of 2015. Revenues of NOK 5.2 millions in Q1 2016 compared to NOK 1.7 in Q4 2015, and NOK 2.4 million in Q1-2015.
The Company said it will announce its quarterly report for Q1 2016 on 24 May 2016.
ABOUT NEXT BIOMETRICS:
Enabled by its patented NEXT Active Thermal principle, NEXT Biometrics (www.NextBiometrics.com) offers high quality area fingerprint sensors at a fraction of the prices of comparable competitors. A wide range of product formats including Smartphones, Tablets, PC's, Doors, Time registration systems, Wearables, Payment terminals, Flashdrives, USB-tokens, Key fobs and many more are targeted.
NEXT BIOMETRICS GROUP ASA is a publicly listed company headquartered in Oslo, Norway and with sales, support and development subsidiaries in Seattle, Silicon Valley, Taipei, Prague and Shanghai. Media and Investor contacts for NEXT Biometrics: Tore Etholm Idsøe, CEO, Tore.Idsoe@NEXTbiometrics.com and Knut Stalen, CFO, Knut.Stalen@NEXTbiometrics.com.