UK firm XMOS raises $15M in series E funding round

UK voice capture solutions firm XMOS Ltd recently raised $15M in a Series E funding round led by Infineon Technologies. In addition, existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital and Robert Bosch Venture Capital participated in the funding. The company said it intends to use the funds for its product development plans. Led by president and CEO Mark Lippett, XMOS provides a range of voice and audio solutions to the consumer electronics market by combining voice processing, biometrics and

Biometrics essential to drive efficiency in pensions administration

PASA, the UK Pensions Administration Standards Association, the independent body dedicated to driving up standards in pensions administration in the UK, has stressed that the use and development of biometrics must be given a higher priority in order to drive efficiency and continue meeting member needs in the long term. “Used as a means to instantly electronically identify individuals by unique features like voice, fingerprint or iris recognition, biometrics combines personal data with search technology and logic to check that

New fingerprint tech capable of detecting traces of drugs, blood, alcohol and more

Research teams at Sheffield Hallam University have been collaborating with West Yorkshire Police since 2012 in testing new technology that uses a form of mass spectrometry to find traces of different substances within a fingerprint, according to a report by The BBC. The technique is close to becoming admissible as evidence in court, with the Home Office recently confirming it could be “only months” before the technology is used in casework. Researchers have said that the advanced fingerprinting technique can

UK Biometrics Commissioner criticizes UK police for not revealing facial recognition plans

The UK Biometrics Commissioner has criticized the Home Office and police for failing to address key privacy issues relating to the use of facial recognition, according to a report by The Register. Professor Paul Wiles condemned the police for its growing database of facial images (many of which are illegally stored), as well as the government for failing to have a formal document detailing its biometrics strategy. He recommended that the government should hold an official public meeting outlining a

UK gov’t authority to advise on biometrics ethics issues

The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group (BFEG) has replaced the UK’s National DNA Database Ethics Group (NDNAD EG) and will examine and advise on ethical issues around all forensic identification techniques including the use biometrics such as facial recognition and fingerprinting. The NDNAD EG was established in 2008, and provided advice to the Home Office on issues including the retention of DNA and DNA profiles, the establishment of a Central Elimination Database, the international exchange of DNA and rapid DNA

Home Office plans to invest $6.4m to provide police with facial recognition technology

The Home Office is planning to invest £5 million (US$6.4 million) on facial-recognition software to be initially used by law enforcement and eventually other public sector organizations, according to a report by Public Technology. The department has posted a contract notice looking for interested technology suppliers for a five-year term to provide biometric matcher engine software (MES) that can identify people via facial imagery. In addition to the technology itself, the supplier or suppliers will need to provide a range

Police deploying facial recognition at London’s Notting Hill Carnival

The UK’s Metropolitan Police is planning to use facial recognition software in a new pilot program aimed at identifying suspected troublemakers among attendees at the Notting Hill carnival, according to a report by The Guardian. The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that takes place in London over two days in August. It attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world’s largest street festivals. Using the facial recognition system, police will match faces in the

Home Office issues $118m biometrics, digitization tender for UK Visas and Immigration

The Home Office has issued a tender for “front end services” including biometrics and the digitization of supporting evidence valued at £91 million (US$118.3 million) on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), according to a report by Kable Government Computing. The length of the the contract is three years, with a built-in option for the Home Office, acting through UKVI to extend the agreement for two additional years. The contracted services include an identity check, the capture of biometrics,

Bristol Robotics Lab developing facial recognition system to replace train tickets

A facial recognition system developed by Bristol Robotics Lab designed to replace the need for tickets on trains is being tested in the UK, according to a report by BBC News. An early version of the technology leverages two near-infrared lights flashing at high speeds to enable a single camera to determine texture, shape and orientation of each pixel it captures. The facial recognition technology is being partially funded by the UK government and the private sector. Bristol is working

UK government report forecasts spike in use of biometrics solutions

The UK government has published a new report entitled 2016 Cyber Security Breaches Survey that forecasts a significant spike in the use of biometric products, as more organizations seek to prevent fraud and protect themselves from organized cybercrime groups, according to SC Magazine. The report finds 65 percent of large organizations in the UK detected a cybersecurity breach or attack in the past year. “In 2015 Cifas member organisations recorded 170,000 cases of identity fraud,” Sandra Peaston, assistant director of