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IDEMIA, Infineon, and pmdtechnologies partner for smartphone 3D facial biometrics

A new partnership between IDEMIA, Infineon, and pmdtechnologies will offer smartphone makers and other OEMs an end-to-end 3D facial recognition solution for user authenticated device unlocking and mobile payments, the companies have announced.

The solution includes hardware from Infineon, which launched a small 3D image sensor for smartphone integration early in 2018, and pmdtechnologies, and IDEMIA’s 3D Face biometric software, which was launched in September of last year. The companies say the combined technology provides convenient, fast recognition and enhanced security. It is optimized for integration in smartphones, tablets and PCs, and the companies will work on new market segments such as automotive deployments.

“We are very proud to work closely with Infineon and pmdtechnologies to continuously improve our IDEMIA 3D Face recognition solution. Thanks to this partnership, we are today able to provide a solution that’s ahead of its time and highly secure for a multitude of use-cases,” says IDEMIA EVP of the Connected Objects Business Unit, Yves Portalier.

Android devices have been expected to increasingly integrate 3D facial recognition in response to the popularity of Apple’s FaceID, and leaked code suggests the feature will be natively supported by the upcoming Android Q release. The forthcoming flagship smartphone from LG also features 3D facial recognition technology from Infineon and pmdtechnologies.

“IDEMIA with their strong background in biometrics and secure authentication has discovered the power of true 3D data very early,” says Infineon Technologies Vice President responsible for RF & Sensors business Philipp von Schierstaedt. “Matching the 3D scan acquired by the REAL3TM camera directly in 3D-space with the 3D reference library improves security and relaxes the demand for high sensor resolutions or multiple sensors. This is a big step forward compared to conventional 2D-matching using additional 3D data for liveness-detection and anti-spoofing only.”

All three companies will present the 3d facial recognition solution at their respective booths at Mobile World Congress 2019, beginning on February 25.

IDEMIA restructures management

CEO Yann Delabrière also announced that IDEMIA will combine its transaction business units into a new Secure Enterprise Transactions (SET) division, headed by Pierre Barrial, who has been appointed division CEO. The SET division includes IDEMIA’s Financial Institutions, Mobile Operators, and Connected Objects units. Barrial previously managed the Financial Institutions unit.

IDEMIA’s biometric device activities will be taken over by the Connected Objects business unit.

The new division reflects the convergence of connectivity, payment, and identity solutions for digital services provided by IDEMIA customers on technologies such as cryptography, artificial intelligence, biometrics, and cloud computing. IDEMIA will also consider the creation of a new Digital business unit within the SET division, according to the announcement.

Delabrière was appointed CEO in October, as part of the corporate fallout of the merger of Oberthur Technologies and Safran Identity & Security which led to the creation of IDEMIA. Amanda Gourbault will move from Senior Vice President Financial Institutions Global Sales and Commercial Processes to take over for Barrial as Executive Vice President Financial Institutions and sit on IDEMIA’s executive committee. Fabien Jautard and Yves Portalier will continue in their roles managing the Mobile Operators and Connected Objects units, respectively, as Executive Vice Presidents and members of the executive committee.

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