January 20, 2015 -
Descartes Biometrics’ app, which lets users unlock their smartphones with an ear scan, is free to download on the Google Play Store while in beta.
“Apple’s Touch ID is a brilliant hardware solution, but the fingerprint has a criminal stigma,” said Descartes Biometrics CEO Michael Boczek. “There is no national database maintained by the FBI of ear impressions or images, and HELIX, which requires no additional hardware, makes ears as robust and unique as a fingerprint.”
HELIX software works when the user positions a smartphone to their ear and slowly moves it away.
This activates the proximity sensor on the frontfacing camera, which is able to take as many as 30 images of the ear per second. Each of these images is processed and crosschecked against the user’s stored profile.
Consumers can use the new lock screen app to try out the capabilities of the HELIX technology in a realworld situation, but HELIX is actually designed to be an enterprise solution.
Descartes Biometrics’ crossplatform toolkit for iOS and Android allows enterprise customers such as banks, device manufacturers and healthcare providers to protect their device, application or transactions with an additional biometric layer of security.
While most biometric solutions tend to work on a pass or fail basis, HELIX is able to adjust match confidence.
Additionally, enterprise customers can also configure the threshold at a higher level, depending on the use case.