BIO-key International recently announced a partnership with IDEX in a commitment to mobile strong authentication. Peter O’Neill had a chance to speak with the CEOs of both companies about the current state of mobile biometrics.
findBIOMETRICS was granted an exclusive interview with Rich Agostinelli to talk about the thinking behind the merger as well as what to expect from the resulting company.
What differentiates Zwipe’s two-factor authentication technology is it is implemented entirely on a card platform. The fingerprint scanner is visible on the card surface and when you touch the scanner you activate an algorithm in the card, which will perform a match query with a template also stored on the card. Not only is the biometric verification process executed on the card, but the users biometric information is stored only on the card. This eliminates the need to maintain an external database, which itself can be costly and vulnerable to hackers.
I don’t think biometrics is a silver bullet for perfect security, but it is a very key component when implemented properly with the right framework and the right setting to strengthen the entire identity management solution.
Our roadmap is full of new and exciting technologies. We are looking in multiple areas and, as iris recognition grows, vertical applications in markets such as healthcare and within healthcare, time and attendance or patient registration etc. All of those applications are starting to surface and we are trying to focus more on the vertical application side of the business and not just horizontal identity management applications.
The Nexa algorithms have been in the works in our R&D group for many years, having evolved from our other fingerprint, face, and iris SDK products. The time was right to give them APIs and make them openly available. We’re offering the Nexa SDKs because matching is clearly such a critical component of biometric systems, and until now we could not sufficiently fulfill the need when customers required it. So the main reason for introducing the Nexa SDKs is to round out our product line in a way that makes us better equipped to address our customers’ needs.
What I have seen during the time that I have been with the IBIA is that biometrics started with largely a government, law enforcement and civil ID focus and that is still important but there is all kinds of evidence over the last few years that people are looking for something other than PINs and passwords for convenient and secure authentication solutions in commercial and consumer markets. Biometrics is crossing all facets of our lives, and with the introduction of the iPhone with the biometric and other smartphones that are soon going to be coming out with biometrics, you’ve got millions of newly habituated biometric users which is going to help with the acclimation of society to use biometrics more freely…
VoiceKey.OnePass is an innovative idea that brings together different biometric modalities into a single verification process. The idea here is to make verification in the mobile environment or online as easy as possible while increasing the security. So what we are doing is combining the modalities in the collection process.
fB: Can you explain the patent situation regarding Eyeprints? I understand you have a couple of patents secured, is that correct?
EV: We currently have five patents issued, six patents pending and we will file many more in 2014. We are the only company in the world that is able to do the Eyeprint. So there are really no competitors today with the Eyeprint. So it is not like we are arguing about whose patents are better, we literally have all the patents surrounding the Eyeprint biometric. We feel very confident in our IP position. So we are going have good control over the modality and be able to shepherd it in these early days of commercialization.
fB: What market segments are you focusing on?
EV: Our focus is mobile centric biometrics. The idea of killing the password has become very popular and that applies across so many different sectors. The markets that will move first are regulated industries such as finance, insurance, public sector and healthcare. Immediate use cases are…
fB: Let’s start with the big news…Frost and Sullivan just presented the 2014 Best Practices Global Customer Value Leadership Award in strong authentication to NEC. This is one of the most prestigious awards that Frost & Sullivan presents. Can you please tell us about this honor Raffie?
NEC: Yes, thank you Peter. NEC is very proud to be the recipient of the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Customer Value Leadership Award for our facial recognition including both authentication and identification. In my acceptance speech, I suggested that technologies now a day are not necessarily just viewed by their specifications but how technology is used to solve everyday problems. Increasingly we are seeing threats of terrorism, online and cyber security threats and I believe we shall see increasing uses of facial recognition in solving such online security. Furthermore in a number of other industries including healthcare, retail and education… facial recognition will also play increasingly a larger role. This is why I believe the Frost & Sullivan award is important to us because it doesn’t simply acknowledge the technology but also the value the technology brings to our partners and customers in the industries that…
Over the years, Daon created “Best Practice Guides” to help our customers get the most out of their systems and to ensure our identity platforms would be able to serve nations for well over a decade through a future proof design so they did not become obsolete.
The same thing is happening now in the enterprise space as large corporations running business systems serving these markets are wrestling with similar challenges. As NIST said, “Spoofed websites, stolen passwords and compromised accounts are all symptoms of inadequate authentication methods.” We see these issues in the paper every day. Biometrics is going to happen and become a “must have” technology in the enterprise just as it did across government.
Nearly every large enterprise with whom I have met has named biometrics as one of their “top 4” new technology agenda items. This comes as no surprise since Gartner has forecasted that by the end of 2016, over 30 percent of users accessing high value web apps from their mobile device will use biometric authentication…
fB: You are the newly elected Chairman of the Board. What are you initial plans for the company?
FPC: We need to stabilize and grow. We need to strengthen our delivery capabilities. We have for a number of years; Fingerprint Cards is now a 15 year old company, we have been a small player trying to implement the new technology. And our channel today is to grow various functions of the company to be a reliable and strong vendor in this industry. To that end we have started a rapid expansion; our R&D activities are much larger, we have improved logistic planning functions, basically trying to build a company strong enough to meet our expectations for this market…
I think what you are going to see is continued enhancements in visibility about biometrics as more and more devices hit the market that have biometric capability. We will see the use of that biometric for not just point applications but consumers in particular are going to want to use biometric capabilities for access to many social media and banking and finance applications. They are going to want to eliminate their passwords, PINS, tokens and cards. Now it is interesting that the Gartner conference was held this week and Gartner made some very basic assumptions. One of the basic assumptions was that 30% of all enterprises, for both internal purposes as well as for consumer access, will be utilizing biometric authentication by the year 2015 up from 5% today…
October 29, 2013 – by Peter B. Counter Recently research firm Frost & Sullivan published a report titled “Emerging Opportunities in Global Biometrics Market.” The report details the global biometrics market growth over the next six years and predicts a total market growth of 22.5 percent between 2012 and 2019, singling out emerging areas of application and…
fB: I think those two marketplaces, financial and health care are very explosive growth markets. And you recently purchased Identity Stream which is a software solution that uses fingerprint biometrics in banking environments. Can you tell us about that and why you decided to move in that direction?
DP: Yes, we are very excited about that acquisition. Based on our market research in things that you and I have just been talking about, we realized that financial services was going to be a huge market for us, particularly in the emerging markets. DigitalPersona already has a large installed base of financial service clients in the US and also in Europe and Latin America, but we really didn’t have an entry point in emerging markets, specifically in Africa and parts of Asia. IdentityStream is specifically in those markets through its partnership with Temenos, one of the leading banking ERP software companies in the world. The biometric IdentityStream module is tightly integrated with the Temenos ERP system. With the acquisition of IdentityStream we accomplished a few things: One is that we gained…
Human interface solutions provider Synaptics Inc. made a major biometrics purchase last week with the acquisition of Validity Sensors: a provider of fingerprint authentication solutions for mobile devices and notebook computers. On the exhibition floor of Money2020 in Las Vegas, findBIOMETRICS president Peter O’Neill had a chance to speak with Validity CTO Sebastien Taveau about the big news in consumer biometrics.
Listen to this exclusive interview:
fB: Do you see mobility as a key driver for the biometric industry over the next few years?
MorphoTrust: Absolutely. I think more and more biometrics will become accepted and people will begin to see by using their cell phone that their lives are simplified and protected against cybercrime and identity theft; they will be able to self-authenticate transactions using secure credentials on the phone as well as using a biometric to either do one-to-one verification or one-to-many identification.
fB: I couldn’t agree more with you Jim. What will you be highlighting at this year’s Biometric Consortium Conference coming up in Tampa?
MorphoTrust: Well actually we have kind of a unique situation here because in our second year, as I mentioned, we focused on coming together as one of the Morpho companies and working with our sister companies MorphoTrak and MorphoDetection, particularly, so you will see that we will be showing the vision for the future as biometrics moves beyond our current view into the commercial arena and the transactional business of securing the lives of Americans – even beyond biometrics, because MorphoDetection, for example, is one of our sister companies. So you will see the whole end-to-end solution. We’ve been very successful, Peter, as you probably know. Most of us started with identifying bad guys. My particular background with biometrics that I was involved in was really proven in Iraq and Afghanistan. So it is our goal right now to show how biometrics and pure credentialing can converge to simplify the lives of Americans.
fB: Can you please tell us about your work with Hong Kong Immigration?
L: I just returned from Hong Kong where I met with Hong Kong Immigration and that is probably right now the highest daily throughput of biometrics use in the world. They are doing anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 people a day through about 200 automated channels. They are looking for a very efficient process, enter, place your finger, be authenticated, move forward. If just 1% of travelers are not able to do that it is a huge number of people that have to be personally attended to. And so Hong Kong Immigration is all about performance, all about first time throughput so that they can actually move people very seamlessly across the Hong Kong and mainland China border using as minimal a staff as possible to do that operation.
fB: Again improve that ROI. Do you think that the use of biometrics for mobile identification will be one of the drivers for our industry in the future?
L: Well there is a lot of discussion around what can we do to authenticate a person who has a mobile device and who might be using that device to access sensitive information, such as medical or financial data, or to complete a financial transaction, for example. Our partner Itautec has developed a nice application whereby a bank customer can use a smartphone to generate a financial transaction at the ATM with…
Nibo Corporation is our parent company. Back in 2001, our first USA branch was established and as time progressed, David-Link has become the new name for biometrics in our company. In 2002, the company started to focus on the development and integration of Biometric Time and Attendance and Door Access Control Systems. Since then, our company has been growing and expanding our product line, and bringing on many new exciting items along the way. We are primarily known for being a manufacturer of Biometric Door Access Control and Biometric Time and Attendance lines. We have all the accessories that go along with these devices including our proximity reader extension for our A-1300 model, and exit buttons for our access control line. Our newest product we have brought into the David-Link family is our Biometric Safe. I can also say with confidence that there are quite a few more products in the works that are projected to release by the end of the year.
Then I found out a local distributor that we already had a relationship with was a distributor for the Iris ID hardware and they invited me up to their office. I went up the same day that I talked to him because I was so interested and I didn’t realize that there was a commodity out there that would be priced affordably enough for our university to look at. We looked at it and we saw the iCam units that Iris ID manufactures and I saw it being used in single factor authentication and I was shown the data that supports their claims of high accuracy, negligible chance of false positive based on the number of data points that is used within an iris, I think 252 data points, and I think less than 1/10th that for fingerprint. So I was thinking that iris is probably ten times more accurate, more unique than fingerprint, and that sounds pretty good, and I don’t have to touch the iris scanner, that sounds pretty good, and it was fast, I was watching how fast they could use it and that’s pretty good, the software looked like it was manageable. So we got the units in, assigned a team and we decided to integrate it ourselves rather than trying to find a company out there to do the integration. We were very familiar with our card access system which is a company called Lenel which is a fairly well know system for access control.
fB: Yes I know them well. So you took on the integration yourself and that went smoothly?
WU: Yes and with just 4 of us and we were able to get that done in a little more than 2 weeks. I don’t think that is a typical success story so we are pretty proud of it. It does show that the technology integration is very doable, very workable and once you understand it, it is actually trivial. We did all that and we started having our ID office enroll people with the iris scanner as they came into ID office when they came in for other business. So if someone came in with a lost or stolen ID card we would…