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Verified in Vegas: biometrics on display at world’s largest tech conference 

This year’s keyword is AI, as companies race to capitalize on its increasing ubiquity
Verified in Vegas: biometrics on display at world’s largest tech conference 

CES 2024 takes over the Las Vegas Convention Center and Venetian Hotel this week until January 12, and AI is making the rounds, with biometric firms showcasing machine learning-driven tools across industries. According to coverage from TimesLive, funding for generative AI projects increased fivefold to $23.78 billion from 2022 to 2023. The overall sentiment at this year’s CES is reflected in a quote from one tech analyst: “It’s the year of AI in everything; if you don’t have AI in your product, don’t show up.”

Precise Biometrics and IdriveAI unveil innovations in automotive

Biometric identification of drivers for security, access and safety purposes is generating ample business for firms. Precise Biometrics is working with semiconductor manufacturer Infineon to showcase a new fingerprint reader that enables ignition, access to settings and apps and in-car purchases for drivers. A release says the Swedish digital identity software firm will be on hand as the sole biometrics partner at Infineon’s demo and customer suite. CEO Joakim Nydemark and U.S. sales manager Mark Cornett are available for meetings and media interviews.

“Precise Biometrics has a unique position in the market with our world-leading biometrics solutions and we see a fantastic opportunity to expand further with new partners, new markets and within new verticals,” says Nydemark.

IdriveAI focuses on faces rather than fingerprints, and will provide facial recognition and AI driver monitoring for the BlackBerry Ivy platform running on the QNX operating system, says a release. The real-time driver monitoring system (DMS) uses synthetic sensors to analyze head position, eyelid closure frequency and phone use for signs of drowsy or distracted driving, and send relevant alerts. Facial recognition for driver ID triggers cockpit personalization and customized settings.

“This fulfills an essential part of our mission statement: making roads safer and saving lives,” says IdriveAI Chief Revenue Officer Calin Mihalascu.

Cerence, Cipia among firms engaged in a flurry of AI activity

Cerence, a voice recognition firm providing AI virtual assistants for the auto market, is partnering with Volkswagen. Amazon is teasing a generative AI partnership with BMW. And Israel-based Cipia, which makes in-vehicle sensors, is expected to introduce a DMS for drowsiness and distraction. The number and variety of AI integrations afoot reflects the cost savings in production and quality checks that the technology has already enabled; migration into the cabin is a natural next step.

Hardware and equipment manufacturers are among beneficiaries of the boom. A release says that Taiwanese fabless chip and semiconductor producer Himax Technologies is at CES showcasing its new WiseEye AI processor, WE2, which offers 32 times faster inference speed than the WE1. The WE2 has new sensor fusion use cases for image, video and audio in tinyML models; its exhibit in Las Vegas will showcase biometric applications such as palm vein authentication, face detection and recognition, facial landmarking, head pose estimation, hand detection, and object detection, alongside a live demo of facial mesh analysis.

Optics with AI look good for camera manufacturers 

Cameras, naturally, also get their moment in the spotlight at CES 2024. Orbbec, a 3D vision company, is unveiling the Gemini 2 XL, a long-range 3D camera for use in a wide range of lighting conditions, pitched in a release as an ideal primary visual system for a number of robots and AI-based video analytics systems.

Those at CES to shop for a high-resolution fisheye sensor can visit 2Pi Optics, a Massachusetts-based company demoing its “optical metalens technology” as a means to downsize cameras across use cases. In a release, CEO Juejun Hu says the fisheye “outperforms conventional refractive, wide-FOV optics in all areas: size, weight, performance, and cost,” and can be manufactured “at wafer scale” in conventional semiconductor foundries.

The edgier side of the AI spectrum is on display at BrainChip’s CES suite. A release says it will showcase Edge Box, an efficient, small-footprint, scalable neuromorphic computing tool to accelerate neural networks for cost effective AI deployments independent of the cloud. Built in collaboration with VVDN Technologies, Edge Box enables video analytics, facial recognition and object detection, and is adaptable with external sensors.

Smart home locks with palm, multimodal biometrics

The new Visage door lock from Lockly featuring both face and fingerprint biometrics is on display at this year’s CES, along with a hub for the Matter smart home platform. The lock retails for $349, The Verge reports.

For ten dollars more, the Philips Wi-Fi Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt stores palm biometric templates for up to 50 people – no hand washing necessary.

And the winners are…  

It would not be a proper conference without awards. A release from South Korea’s Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZ), which supports overseas expansion and facilitates foreign investment for Incheon companies, says nine domestic startups supported by Incheon Startup Park will receive CES Innovation Awards during the trade show. Projects from the “Korean Silicon Valley” to win recognition include beat-making algorithms, pet sensors and a digital identity verification-based mobile passport from Lordsystem.

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