Facial biometrics from Authenteq integrated with vaping products to cut underage use

With e-cigarettes and particularly their use by minors an increasing health concern, Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH, which makes electronic components and a SmartVaping app for e-cigarettes, has partnered with Authenteq to develop a biometric user age verification capability similar to the document and biometric selfie-check used in mobile onboarding applications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that there are “clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion,” according to the announcement.

With the integration of Authenteq technology into Hauni products, e-cigarette makers can build scalable and fully automated age checks into their products that are processed in real-time in under 30 seconds. Authenteq assesses the selfie for a genuine human presence, verifies ID is real and valid, and uses facial recognition to match the user with the ID. Authenteq’s solution offers biometric liveness and spoof detection certified to the ISO/IEC 30107-3 standard.

Spontaneous identity spot checks are also enabled with a GDPR-friendly biometric signature created during verification.

“At Authenteq, we believe in the power that verified identities have to improve our world. Our partnership with Hauni brings consumer protection in the e-cigarette industry to a whole new level by proactively preventing minors from using the product post-purchase. As a parent myself, I am proud that the accuracy of Authenteq’s solution is being used to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors. The fact that our automated process can do that in less than 30 seconds for initial activation and less than 3 seconds for a Selfie Authentication age challenge shows that effective consumer protection can be achieved without putting an undue burden on customers who are old enough to enjoy the product.” says Kari Thor Runarsson, CEO and co-founder of Authenteq.

E-cigarette maker Juul recently launched an Android app with facial recognition which pairs with vaping products through Bluetooth to prevent underage use.

“We assessed the leading third-party age verification service providers and found that they had serious drawbacks and could not prevent straw purchases,” comments Hauni Vaping Technologies Digital Program Manager Dr. Michael Capone. “When we tested the other services, we found that it was easy for a buyer to verify their age and identity to activate a device and then give it to another person to use. By integrating with Authenteq, we can ensure that all users are of legal age, and through random selfie checks, put an end to straw purchases and vaping by minors.”

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