i3 - November/December 2019 - 14

By Murray Slovick

A T EC H TO WATC H

You and
Only You

 C 

onsumer technology vendors
are increasingly turning to biometrics for authentication and
security. Biometrics measure the unique
physiological characteristics of a given
individual to verify his or her identity.
With the latest smartphones, users can
choose from a range of biometric
authentication options to unlock their
device, including facial recognition,
fingerprint analysis, iris scanning or
voice recognition.

The advantage of biometrics is that, unlike passwords that can be forgotten or given to a third party
and ID cards or keys that may be lost or stolen, they
are universal, measurable and unique. Research
shows consumers favor touch or face recognition
identification over passwords because these authentication mechanisms let them access their devices
securely with minimal effort. Veridium recently
announced the findings of its Biometric Consumer
Sentiment Survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults
who have experience using biometrics to log into
their accounts. The study concluded that 70% of
consumers would like expanded use of biometric
authentication, citing speed (35%), security (31%)
and not having to remember passwords (33%) as
the primary reasons.

14

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

BIOMETRIC SECURITY OPTIONS
Facial Recognition
Facial recognition identifies people by measuring the
unique shape and structure of
their face. In 2017 Apple
launched the iPhone X, the first
iPhone to use 3D face recognition technology. Apple's system
projects 30,000 dots of IR light
onto your face to measure and
map facial contours. The iPhone
then remembers the relative
location of those dots.
Apple's system-on-a-chip
iPhone processors have a separate co-processor called the
secure enclave processor used
for security and cryptography.
When your phone stores a Face ID
model in the secure enclave processor, the main processor never
actually sees the authentication
process. It receives just the "outcome" of the operation; the
"matched" or "not matched"
result making it hard for hackers
to gain access.
Google's new Pixel 4 phones
feature two Face Unlock IR cameras, a dot projector, a flood illuminator, an ambient light and
proximity sensor and motion
sensing technology. Pixel 4 users
can change songs in their playlist,
play a video and silence incoming
calls by waving their hands.

*

*

Fingerprint ID
Fingerprints are comprised of ridges and valleys which
intersect at various points that
can each be identified and cataloged uniquely. Capacitive fingerprint scanners were the first
biometric authentication method
to appear on smartphones. They
detect the ridges of the fingerprint as they contact a conductive
plate. Further, ultrasound sensors
create a 3D image of a fingerprint. Fooling the ultrasonic sensor is much harder, since the
scanner references your fingerprint's pattern, but also the contours of the ridges and notches.
Another advantage is that the
sensor operates through the

display. The ability to produce
screen panels with integrated
fingerprint sensors allows
Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones to
place the sensor on the front of
the phone.
Iris Recognition
Iris recognition technology provides another non-invasive method of authenticating a
user. Iris scanning, introduced by
Samsung's Galaxy models in 2017,
offers an extremely high level of
security via near-infrared optical
technology that captures a
detailed image of a user's iris pattern. Iris recognition should not
be confused with retina scans.
Retina scans use the vascular
structure at the back of the eye
to identify an individual.
Voice and Speech
Recognition
Voice and speech recognition are
separate biometric concepts. The
key to voice recognition is to convert the user's speech waveform to
a digital representation for analysis
and processing. Speech recognition is a user interface technology
that allows users to interact with
and control technologies by
speaking to them. Each of the
main AI assistants - Amazon's
Alexa, Apple's Siri, Microsoft's
Cortana, and Google Assistant -
can perform searches and basic
tasks based on voice commands.
In Summary
Biometric sensors all work on the
same principle: verifying a user's
identity via unique personal physical characteristics. Studies show
that consumers are embracing
biometrics, thanks to their smartphones. Going forward, items like
credit cards and driver's licenses
also could become more securely
represented by biometrics.

2020

CES 2020 From facial recognition to fingerprints, see
the latest in biometrics at
CES 2020.
I T I S I N N O VAT I O N

John Lamb/Getty Images

Tech


http://www.CES.tech http://www.CES.tech

i3 - November/December 2019

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i3 - November/December 2019 - Cover1
i3 - November/December 2019 - Cover2
i3 - November/December 2019 - 1
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i3 - November/December 2019 - Cover3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170506
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