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Applied Recognition exec discusses Ver-ID software for two-factor authentication


Applied Recognition Inc. saw a huge development in 2015 with the release of its new face authentication software, which provides multi-level biometric security equipped with anti-spoofing and continuous verification.

The company has spent years of thorough research and development creating Ver-ID face authentication software, which ensures the full protection of a user’s data upon login, as well as throughout the entire session while the user interacts with apps on mobile and desktop devices.

Released this past summer, Ver-ID software is designed to replace the tedious and unsecure authentication practice of PINs and passwords.

Using a two-factor authentication approach, Ver-ID matches something you own (iPad) with something that you are (user’s face) to unlock an application.

Therefore, the application remains unlocked when the authorized user is in front of the device and captured onscreen. But as soon as the user moves away from the device and is no longer seen onscreen, the software automatically locks the application.

BiometricUpdate.com recently interviewed Applied Recognition co-CEO Don Waugh in which he discussed the Ver-ID face authentication software, the recent apointment of Dr. Konstantinos N. Plataniotis as scientific advisor, and what we can expect from the biometrics firm in 2016.

One of Applied Recognition’s key product releases this year was the Ver-ID face authentication software. What has the response been like so far from customers?

Don Waugh: Applied Recognition released the first Ver-ID demo at the end of July 2015. Four and a half months later, we are working with two large North American banks (with two others moving forward), a Trust company, an online stock trading platform, one of the largest companies in Japan, a leading touch-technology company, FinTech lending companies and a growing list of channel partners who are incorporating Ver-ID into their products. To say the least, I am astounded at the speed and level of response.

In August, Applied Recognition appointed Dr. Konstantinos N. Plataniotis as scientific advisor. How has his background and expertise contributed to the overall development of the company’s technologies?

Applied Recognition has been developing face recognition software for over ten years; we turn theory and R&D into commercial reality. Dr. Plataniotis and his colleagues ensure that we are leaders in our technology helping us keep ahead of our competition. Dr. Plataniotis’ focus is on discovery and is part of an elite group of academics working in this field. We are very fortunate to be able to work with him and benefit from his guidance and advice.

The United States Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) system saw a major data breach this past spring. How are attacks like this making government agencies change the way they protect private information?

The OPM attack was similar to the NRC incident in 2014, only the perpetrators were targeting Canadian intellectual property. Breaches like these shed light on the fundamental flaw in security systems globally: the reliance on passwords to protect private information and the peril of centralized storage of biometric data. Passwords can be written down, forgotten, lost, shared or stolen. When the director of the CIA has his AOL email password hacked, what chance do the rest of us have? On a positive note, an attack like this tends to push demand for better security addressing the inadequacies of the 55 year-old password. Biometrics are quickly becoming a preferred security solution because they cannot be written down, forgotten, lost, easily shared or stolen.

What has been the single biggest challenge for the biometrics market in 2015?

Capacity. From what I am seeing, the market interest and appetite exceeds industry capacity. Another challenge is shift; most companies in the biometric space have been selling to governments for access control, policing, defence and security. This sector has large budgets, computing power and, for a large part, constrained environments. Biometrics for consumer applications are the exact opposite; they must operate within the constraints of consumer cameras (on phones, tablets and laptops) and the unconstrained use by consumers. They also must be commercially viable. And this is where face biometrics shine offering a value proposition that generates a strong and definable return on investment.

What does Applied Recognition have planned for 2016 in regards to new products and solutions?

As mentioned, biometrics need a value proposition that generates a strong and definable return on investment. Applied Recognition will soon announce two new products that will generate such returns. The face, unlike other biometrics, offers value propositions that go well beyond simple password replacement. The face is a unique biometric feature that people consistently employ in the physical world. It is how we recognize family, friends and colleagues. It is also the basis of employee and government issued IDs.

We bring face biometrics to the digital world, generating an astounding return on investment for a variety of industries. A glimpse of our new products: one facilitates client on-boarding for the financial services industry. The other creates a digital signature for online documents to visibly prove “who” signed and “what” was signed, in accordance with e-commerce laws and regulations. These two products will replace costly paper-based systems used today and they will generate significant, measurable returns for our clients.

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