The biggest challenges faced by the identification industry right now are the common barriers in adoption by both consumers and relying parties. Protocol pushing organizations are targeting these obstacles in a very aggressive manner, and the FIDO Alliance – a consortium dedicated to creating and supporting standards-based specifications for strong online authentication – has been attacking with two simple and effective ideas: end users need low friction authentication, and the security provided must be stronger than passwords.
This attitude has been great in rallying support. Last year was exceptional in FIDO’s growth and, by the looks of it, membership doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Yesterday the Alliance announced that voice biometric solutions company VoiceVault has joined the post-password fight under the FIDO flag.
Expressing the company’s delight in joining FIDO, Julia Webb, vice president of sales and marketing stated, “As we launch our mobile voice biometric verification platform, supporting the goals and architecture standards of FIDO was a natural step for VoiceVault.”
FIDO’s goal of putting passwords behind us is supported by the open nature of the Alliance, which encourages the sharing of member technology in order to create end-to-end solutions built to the group’s high standards. In joining, VoiceVault is aiming to raise the profile of voice biometrics as a key part of the post-password world.
Voice biometrics, especially in terms of mobile authentication, have been taking the biometric spotlight recently as mobile users still wait for the next major release for a fingerprint sensor smartphone or tablet. CES 2014 already saw the showcasing of FIDO Ready solutions powered by AGNITiO’s voice biometrics engine, and voice recognition is central to the Oscar nominated film Her, written and directed by Spike Jonze.
Because they are contactless in nature, voice biometrics satisfy the low friction mandate of FIDO’s mission, while also fitting in to current generation hardware. As far as security is concerned, VoiceVault’s proprietary technology measures the unique characteristics of a user’s voice when they are prompted to offer five seconds of speech from parts of the ten second enrollment speech. It compares the biometrics, not the content of the passphrase, making the authentication dynamic and therefore difficult to spoof. Combine that with the convenience of voice and the proliferation of smartphones (and therefore microphones) and what you have is another viable solution as we look to replace passwords.