Friday, July 3, 2015

VoicePin wants you to Throw Away your Passwords

Paul Chen


One of the most annoying things about our super connected lifestyles is the need to remember our passwords to the different services that we are subscribed to. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and the apps we have on our smart devices all require us to have a sign-in and a password.  As we found out in Spaceballs, 12345 is an awful password.  Passwords should be long and hard to cipher. Which means one cannot have their name, favorite number, birthday, or city or residence as part of it.  With the sophistication of modern password hacking software, even the most elaborate passwords can be hacked.  

One of way to alleviate users from having to remember a long list of passwords or pins lies in biometric technology.  What is it? Biometrics are any characteristic of your person that is unique only to you.  Those include fingerprints, retina blood vessels, finger blood vessels, and your voice.  

The problem with fingerprints is that anyone who have seen Jame Bond movies knows that fingerprints are not the safest way to securely identify a person as even a papercut can mess up the identification process. Furthermore, if your finger is too dry, the reader might not be able to pick it up, not to mention the issue of hygiene.


The issue with blood vessel scans of the retina or the finger is that you will need to install more modules or special equipment to your service machine or smart device.  And because the technology is still quite new and in the developmental phase, it isn’t quite so reliable and could drive the price of the hardware., a startup from Krakow is solving the last and the least invasive way to verify your identity.  You guessed it, the voice.  They are the first company of its kind in Europe. Their service has been accredited by international biometric organizations.  Your voice is as unique as your fingerprint.  Like snowflakes, no two voices are 100% identical, even with twins.  VoicePin takes advantage of something that is already in your phones, the microphone. Most smartphone mics are sensitive enough to take advantage of this technology. This means implementation of the service into your offerings is cost effective.  


The value in voice verification is that it is language independent. This means implementation across international borders is streamlined.  This means I can use the same English phrase to identify myself no matter where I go.  With VoicePin’s proprietary software, it can differentiate the intonation and the unique intangible characteristics of the user’s voice from others even if the user has laryngitis.  The system requires a person to actually talk into the microphone. This means you cannot record another person’s voice and play it back.  That will not work.  

VoicePin has already been implemented in some major banks and businesses in Poland like ING and Tauron Energy.  The applications can range from identification verification for e-banking and m-commerce to verifying permission to enter a house and even some IoT applications involving voice commands. At a recent Hacktory organized by Estimote, VoicePin validated their voice biometric technology by creating a voice activated door lock. This August, VoicePin will officially launch in New York City at the SpeechTek conference.  Attendees will have a chance to test out their technology.  Those who cannot make it to New York, can visit their website and contact them and see how they can help you improve your customer service experience.

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1 comment:

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