A shout-out to voice biometric identification systems

A shout-out to voice biometric identification systems
Long known as the “what you are” factor, biometrics are playing an increasingly important role in access control and identity management. Some solutions such as fingerprint and facial recognition are already familiar. Yet more and more, biometrics other than those, for example voice, have become an important authenticator, too.
 
Russia-based Speech Technology Center (STC), for example, makes voice recognition engines, which can come in handy for users who can’t be physically present at a place to sign something or make transactions. “With voice prints, they can do it from a distance. It can be suitable for governmental institutions as well as insurance companies, car rental companies, medicine services and hospitals,” said Simon Volchkov with International Sales Division of STC.
 
One of the vertical markets that can benefit from this is banking, which STC is primarily targeting. “If someone is making a big transaction, for example transferring US$100,000 from the Philippines to Singapore, he’d need to go to the bank and waste a lot of time to wait, to make signature and so on and so forth,” Volchkov said. “What we’re trying to do is to minimize the time for the client to make all these unnecessary steps, as well as for the bank to optimize productivity and reduce costs at the same time.”
 

How it works

 
Simon Volchkov,
International Sales Division, STC

The analytics works by way of matching the customer’s voice with the database on the backend. “The client of the bank for example is calling to the operator, and usually the operator will ask for the client’s passport number or a key phrase, or ask him to explain why he’s calling, what is his inquiry or what is the nature of the call. At the same time the system starts to show the percentage of match between the person’s voice and the voice prints in the system. Then the operator may see if the person is good to go to the next step to make a transaction,” Volchkov said.
 
According to Volchkov, there are several features that set their analytics apart. “First of all it’s our own engine. It is a strong algorithm which builds a model of a person’s voice,” he said, adding that security is a hallmark of their technology, too.
 
“It is encrypted by our own algorithm as well, so to decrypt you need to have our technologies, and right now it’s almost impossible. Even if you steal the model from the customer database you wouldn’t be able to do a thing with it because it’s encrypted and the algorithm is really strong. Right now we are pretty sure that the algorithm is secure and nobody would be able to use your voice to steal your identity,” he said.
 
STC makes facial recognition solutions as well, and they are being deployed at various sports arenas now to block out blacklisted people or potential troublemakers. “We mainly use them in sport facilities which deal with a lot of people coming in and out. For example at football matches right now, FIFA uses a fan ID system. So if for example I go in front of the turnstile, the camera will see me and it would recognize my face, and then if it matches with the picture in the fan ID database, I can get in,” Volchkov said.
 
According to Volchkov, at this point Russia is still their biggest market, although they’re trying to expand to other regions as well, including Asia. “Keep in mind that Asian market is one of the drivers of the biometric industry overall, and of course, one of our priorities is the Asian market for VoiceKey and for face tracking systems,” he said.


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