My Voice is my Password – voice biometrics
Think about calling your bank and just saying your secret sentence to get identified. Isn’t that easy?
Do passwords annoy you as well?
By telling the machine a previously chosen sentence you’ll get recognized as YOU and not as somebody else who might like having access to your bank account, too. This technique will stop all those nonsense questions about your name, age, birthday or mothers maiden name.
My voice is my password – could be your secret sentence!
Even IBM has a strong believe that this technology will be used much more in the future as it will bring an ease of use for a lot of security issues.
Voice biometrics is already around quite a few years
The technology itself is not brand new. At aixvox consulting we took a video about this back in 2008 where we did a showcase at the tradeshow CeBIT in Hannover, Germany.
The age of using biometrics might even be the positive part, as many companies had enough time to check the acceptance with their clients and create their own strategies to integrate biometrics into their actual workflow.
In 2010 I wrote the article “Sprachbiometrie – Der individuelle Schlüssel Ihrer Stimme” for the German SCOUT Magazine. It dealt with the upcoming technology and the occuring benefit for both user and companies who integrate this into their customer service channel.
News about voice biometric
There are some interesting articles by e.g. Verne Kopytoff at CNN FORTUNE titled “Meet your new password: Your voice” where they state that “An increasing number of companies are looking at using voice for security” and talk about a project with voice biometrics at the Barclay’s (BCS) and Vanguard who are already using this kind of speech technology. Within this article Susan Austin, senior consultant at Enterprise Integration Group, said „I think the public is getting ready for it“ She mentioned as well: „I don’t think it’s going to be the norm in the next few years, but it will be more prevalent.„
At the finews.ch Portal (forum for Swiss banks) there is an interesting post about banks testing voice biometrics which is titled “Banken testen Spracherkennung”.
Voice biometrics at TEDx
The technologist Clive Summerfield gave a talk about voice biometrics at TEDxCanberra 2012 . He gives a brief overview into the use of voice biometrics as a mechanism for transaction security. More unique than a fingerprint, your voice is possibly the best current solution to the problem of having too many passwords.
How does this work
To make it simple: the technology creates a voice print (like a finger print) once from something that you say and then compares this first print with an actual (second) print of you voice e.g. while logging into the banking system. If both of your voice prints match you are able to get access to your bank account or may open a door or do whatever the system with voice biometrics offers.
Summing up the technology works in two steps.
- First you have to make your individual voice known for the biometric system which will split your voice print in more than 1000 different parameters and stores these parameter values in a database.
- The second step is the comparison. The user does the same as in step one, his voice gets splitted into parameters and than this voice print is compared with the whole database or – to me faster and efficient – only with a subset of the database. The result will be a value of how much the second one matches the first voice print.
TH!NK about where to use this
While reading you might have gotten few ideas where a voice biometrics solution will be benefit for you, your company or even for your clients. In this area we see a lot of space for startups with an elegant solution or for smart addons for existing systems. TH!NK about your IT environment and your own pain with different passwords and IDs you’re using in your daily life.
Read more about voice biometrics
Within my voice compass book series I talk about this technology beneath the other two important speech technologies. Have a look at www.voice-compass.com to learn something more about speech recognition (voice-to-text), speech synthetics (text-to-speech) and voice biometrics.
We cover many other communication topics like collaboration and UC as well. The team behind the books is available for individual consulting in all voice and speech segments.
What do you think?
As I’m mainly busy with all this new technologies, I’d love to get your feedback about voice biometrics. Just let me know if you like this, if you don’t trust it or any other impression. Feel free to ask questions – I and my consulting team may know the answer.