i2Chain licenses biometric multi-factor authentication innovation from University of Memphis

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The University of Memphis Research Foundation (UMRF) has developed and patented a sophisticated, adaptive biometric multi-factor authentication system that leverages a machine-learning algorithm to choose the best type of user authentication depending on environment and operating conditions such as noise or light, writes Memphis Business Journal.

The inventor, Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, explained that in a loud environment such as Starbucks, voice recognition will not be applied, while in a darker environment with little light, facial recognition will not be chosen for authentication. By deploying this innovative method, Dr. Dasgupta aims to improve system cybersecurity and prevent hackers from compromising users.

“The way to be checked is not in user control,” Dasgupta said, explaining that the algorithm will not repeat the way a user is authentication to prevent authentication patterns from being intercepted by hackers.

The multi-factor authentication system uses not only active methods such a camera, fingerprint and passwords, but it combines them with passive methods. The user is not aware when the system is verifying authentication, Dr. Dasgupta explains, giving the example of doctors moving between units, entering and leaving a building, and using either a mobile connection or a wi-fi connection provided by the hospital.

“Doctors will never know their authentication has been verified,” Dasgupta said.

He further added the technology could be applied to secure data in banking, medical records or services such as Netflix, because the user identity verification process is continuous.

The patent was recently licensed by i2Chain, a startup in Silicon Valley, looking to further develop the base technology and integrate it with its service to resell to identity providers.

“We wanted to find a company who was capable,” said Hai Trieu, Tech Transfer office director at the University of Memphis. “i2Chain happened to be very qualified. They could start something innovative and do something very different.”

Trieu further explained the reason the university chose i2Chain is its status as a startup which ensured the team would put the technology to good use, unlike a corporation that would likely license the technology to prevent it from turning into competition.

Under the licensing agreement, the university is granted a percentage of revenues that will finance future projects.

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