• United States
Contributing Writer

Voice and video on the security scene

Feb 26, 20032 mins
Identity Management SolutionsNetworkingSecurity

* Identification via voice and skin recognition

When you think of the next phase of identification technologies, you tend to think immediately of electronic fingerprints. But two companies that debuted their products at Demo 2003 last week are taking a decidedly different approach.

Vocent Solutions and DeLean Vision each launched products that recognize an individual by their voice and skin, respectively.

For Vocent, the goal is to reduce the need for call center professionals to confirm a customer’s identification or reset their password. Vocent believes the traditional process of asking questions is time-consuming and costly from a personnel standpoint.

With its telephony-based voiceprint authentication software, called Voice Secure-Web, Vocent also aims to help prevent identity fraud. Rather than relying on what you know, i.e., mother’s maiden name or social security, it looks at who the customer is, comparing each voiceprint with one already on file. Allowing automated equipment to do the job will save companies money and speed up the customer service process. Also, this technology does away with the need for a person to remember lengthy and complex passwords.

Vocent hopes that ever-tightening privacy and security regulations regarding customer data will push forward the need for such authentication.

While Vocent tackles the issue of identification from the voice standpoint, DeLean rolled out its software, DV Secure Login, which uses “skinprinting.”

DeLean demonstrated how, with digital cameras that are on the market today, companies can perform identity matches. The camera snaps a shot of an employee and that image is transferred into the DeLean software. The software graphs the unique characteristics of a person’s skin and compares it to prints on file. The software works with every skin type, no matter the color – it even handles blushing. However, DeLean warns that the system can ferret out a print through a normal amount of makeup, but may not work so good with excess amounts.

The process of matching the skinprints was quick – taking no more than a few seconds. DeLean says that because its software uses run-of-the-mill hardware – not high-end, proprietary equipment – the costs are lower compared to complex biometric systems.

Look for more companies to enter this space with unique approaches to identification. I truly believe this is merely the tip of the iceberg.

For more on Demo 2003 and a list of demonstrators, check out