NEC Developing Acoustic Ear-Shape Biometric Authentication Solution

“A microphone embedded within an earphone analyzes the resonance of sounds within the ear cavity in order to produce a biometric profile, and NEC says its accuracy is greater than 99 percent.”

NEC Corporation has announced a new ear-shape biometrics technology that it’s preparing for commercial applications.
NEC Developing Acoustic Ear-Shape Biometric Authentication Solution

Ear-based biometric systems normally tend to be based on a visual scan of a subject’s ear, but NEC’s solution is different, computing an ear-shape pattern based on acoustic measures. A microphone embedded within an earphone analyzes the resonance of sounds within the ear cavity in order to produce a biometric profile, and NEC says its accuracy is greater than 99 percent. Moreover, it would enable passive authentication, so long as users are wearing the earphones.

Ear biometrics are nothing new, but they certainly don’t have the profile of more popular modalities like fingerprint scanning. Still, ear shapes are said to be as unique as fingerprints, and companies ranging from a small smartphone maker to online retail giant Amazon have sought to leverage the modality for authentication purposes.

NEC says it’s aiming to bring its ear-shape scanning technology to market for 2018, and will aim it at a range of applications including communications, voice guidance systems, and infrastructure security.

March 7, 2016 – by Alex Perala