MWC Shanghai: Ease of Use is Critical for Consumer Biometrics

Day two of MWC Shanghai brought with it the Cyber Security session moderated by Peter O’Neill, president of FindBiometrics and Mobile ID World. Dealing with topics of best practices, network infrastructure, 5G, and of course biometrics, the session brought together security industry leaders from around the world. Among the presenters was Todd Mozer, CEO of biometric software company Sensory, and he shed light on how users respond to the contactless biometrics of face and voice.

MWC Shanghai: Sensory’s AppLock Reveals Users' Biometrics HabitsVoice and face biometrics are of special concern in mobility right now, as their contactless and software-based nature makes them ideal for the Internet of Things applications enabled by the forthcoming 5G wireless networks. Sensory is already positioned to take advantage of the IoT market in terms of voice command, with M2M-aiming integrations of its TrulyHandsfree speech recognition platform with the likes of Intel and Samsung, but after today’s MWC presentation it’s clear the company is ready to serve consumers with premium authentication via its TrulySecure solution.

“We wanted it to be very convenient for users to use, but most of our customers are consumer electronic manufacturers, so we really wanted to understand the end user experience,” Mozer said of TrulySecure. “We wanted to delight the end users. We wanted to use the existing hardware on the mobile phones – the cameras and the microphones that were already there – so that it wouldn’t add any cost for our customers to add biometrics. And we wanted it all on device so that we could comply with FIDO standards and keep it more secure for the individual users.”

MWC Shanghai: Sensory’s AppLock Reveals Users' Biometrics HabitsIn order to understand the user experience of contactless biometrics, Mozer says Sensory launched AppLock –  a free product on Google Play that enables face and voice biometrics as access control factors on mobile apps. “It allows us to collect data on different people, and capture the real world experience of people, so that we can do statistically significant testing on the accuracy and really understand how the biometrics perform under different lighting conditions, [and] different noise conditions,” said Mozer.

And AppLock did its job. With about 80,000 downloads and a rating of approximately 4.1 across its three versions, the app has painted a detailed picture of what users want from contactless biometric apps. According to Mozer, about 95 percent of AppLock’s usage is face biometrics based, with the remaining 5 percent accounting for the use of voice. That ratio is even more in favor of face in the UK, while in regions of South Asia voice is more popular. Voice usage predictably becomes more common in darker lighting conditions, and some users prefer to not see their face when authenticating with it (a preference that prompted the option to obscure the user’s face in later iterations).

MWC Shanghai: Sensory’s AppLock Reveals Users' Biometrics HabitsOne of the strongest user preferences highlighted by AppLock was the demand for lock screen access control. “We deployed AppLock for locking applications, but people wanted to actually lock their phones,” said Mozer.

In all, the presentation was an insightful look into real user habits and preferences around mobile biometric security. Strong favoring of face recognition, a demand for convenience and customization, and a need for full device lockdown all indicate a strong leaning toward convenience. Ease of use is critical, concluded Mozer, though people are willing to sacrifice convenience for security in about 20 percent of use cases.

Stay posted to FindBiometrics and Mobile ID World as we continue to bring news from MWC Shanghai.

Originally posted on FindBiometrics)