NEC unveils ear-based biometrics technology

March 7, 2016 - 

NEC has introduced new biometric identification technology that uses the resonation of sound determined by the shape of human ear cavities to identify individuals.

According to the company, the new technology instantaneously measures acoustic characteristics determined by the shape of the ear, which is unique for each person, using an earphone with a built-in microphone to collect earphone-generated sounds as they resonate within ear cavities. This method for extracting features is useful for distinguishing individuals based on acoustic characteristics and enables rapid and highly accurate recognition.

NEC says the technology has a greater than 99% recognition rate.

The company says it plans to commercialize the technology in 2018 in a wide range of applications, including the prevention of identity fraud in operations related to safety and security, such as in maintenance, management, and security of critical infrastructure, in ensuring confidentiality of wireless communications and telephone calls, and in voice guidance services designed for particular individuals or particular scenarios.

“Since the new technology does not require particular actions such as scanning a part of the body over an authentication device, it enables a natural way of conducting continuous authentication, even during movement and while performing work, simply by wearing an earphone with a built-in microphone to listen to the sounds within ears,” said Shigeki Yamagata, general manager, Information and Media Processing Laboratories, NEC Corporation.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.