Descartes Biometrics, a U.S.-based technology company focused on biometric security solutions for the mobile sector, takes its ear authentication technology to the next level with HELIX. Launched at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, HELIX uses a smartphone’s front facing camera and the user’s unique ear features for authentication.
“We are not aware of any other research or implementation capable of performing authentication using ears. HELIX is the first technology that can both identify and authenticate,” says Descartes Biometrics President and CEO Michael Boczek.
The HELIX software captures images and recognizes the shape of an ear. The images are then rotated and cropped for analysis. For identity, HELIX recognizes the user based on unique ear biometrics and image matching. For authentication, a profile is built from three of the user’s images and authenticated with a fourth image.
The HELIX Lockscreen App for Android is available from Google Play. Helix joins Descartes’ year-old Ergo app, which Boczek calls the world’s first ear biometric authentication technology designed specifically for Android smartphones.
“The ear as a biometric indicator is as unique as a fingerprint without the criminal stigma, less invasive to use than an iris or retinal scan, and as natural and intuitive to use as voice recognition,” Boczek says. “By combining the most natural of all phone gestures – lifting your phone to your ear – with the unique geometry of your ear, we have created a robust and reliable lockscreen security solution.”
ERGO utilizes Android’s built in locking mechanisms to secure the device. The data required for identification is captured when users press the touchscreen to the middle of their ear. The user creates a profile, activates the lockscreen, and authenticates by capturing a scan to unlock the device. ERGO can adjust their match confidence up or down to increase security or convenience.