Pentagon researchers unveil biometric identification technology that works from 200m away

The Pentagon has a laser that can identify people from a distance — by their heartbeat — MIT Technology Review — “A new device, developed for the Pentagon after US Special Forces requested it, can identify people without seeing their face: instead it detects their unique cardiac signature with an infrared laser. While it works at 200 metres (219 yards), longer distances could be possible with a better laser. ‘I don’t want to say you could do it from space,’ says Steward Remaly, of the Pentagon’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, ‘but longer ranges should be possible.’”


Google releases Android Q Beta with added biometric authentication support

Introducing Android Q Beta — Google — “In Android Q we’re extending support for passive authentication methods such as face, and adding implicit and explicit authentication flows. In the explicit flow, the user must explicitly confirm the transaction in the TEE during the authentication. The implicit flow is designed for a lighter-weight alternative for transactions with passive authentication. We’ve also improved the fallback for device credentials when needed.”



Liopa uses lip reading to add security to face recognition systems

Belfast tech startup using automated lip-reading to make user authentication systems more resistant to spoofing attacks — Liopa — “LipSecure works in conjunction with the vendor’s existing FR [facial recognition] system and prompts the user to repeat a random sequence of digits that appear on their screen. Liopa’s AI-based Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) technology checks if the digits have been spoken or mimed correctly and thus determines if there is a ‘live’ person present.”



Tencent uses face recognition to verify the age of mobile game players

Honour of Kings uses facial recognition to check ages — BBC — “The mobile app resembles League of Legends and pits players against each other in multiplayer online battles set in a fantasy world. Under pressure from local regulators, Tencent introduced restrictions in July 2017 to limit under-12s to one hour of gameplay a day and 13- to 18-year-olds to a maximum of two hours. Last month, the company added a real-name registration system to encourage players to keep to the rules.”




Apple patents face vein identification system

Vein imaging using detection of pulsed radiation — USPTO — “Vein identification systems that are known in the art transmit infrared illumination through the user’s hand, and capture a resulting image in which the veins within the hand appear as dark or bright lines due to variations in the captured infrared intensity… In the disclosed embodiments, an optical transmitter, such as a laser, emits a pulse or sequence of pulses of infrared radiation toward an area containing a body surface of a living subject, such as the skin of the subject’s face.”



GlobalPlatform adds biometric security APIs

GlobalPlatform secures biometric authentication and enriches trusted user interaction — GlobalPlatform — “These new APIs enable trusted applications to leverage the device’s biometric sensors, while staying fully isolated from the device OS… Service providers and application developers now have a direct path to provide users with a richer and safer authentication experience and, importantly, to offer trusted biometric authentication that is secured in the hardware of the device’s Trusted Execution Environment (TEE).”


Samsung includes multi-biometric support in Galaxy S9 and S9+

Built for the way we communicate today: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ — Samsung — “The Galaxy S9 and S9+ support three different biometric authentication options — iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition — so users can choose the way they want to protect their device and applications. The devices feature Intelligent Scan, a new verification that intelligently uses the collective strength of iris scanning and facial recognition technology to quickly and conveniently unlock a user’s phone in various situations. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also introduce Dedicated Fingerprint, giving users the option to use a different fingerprint to access Secure Folder than the one used to unlock the phone.”


Android P to include native support for iris verification?

Native support for iris scanners is finally coming to Android — XDA Developers — “The inclusion of a HAL interface will standardize how the Android framework will communicate with iris scanners… The inclusion of the base iris feature in Android will allow for apps to detect if the device has an iris scanner in place… The inclusion of the iris framework is what will actually allow for third-party apps to utilize the iris scanner for authentication.”


Face recognition to be supported by more than a billion smartphones in 2020

More than one billion smartphones to feature facial recognition in 2020 — Counterpoint Research — “The diffusion of facial recognition technology into lower tier price bands will be faster than any other flagship feature due to 2D facial recognition being native on the Android platform… In future, Counterpoint Research expects mobile devices will combine biometric sensors for the face, iris, voice and fingerprints. Rather than competing against each other, each biometric technology will be layered on top of each other with the most convenient and least intrusive being selected on an application by application basis.”


Samsung patents blood flow biometric for smartphones and wearables

Samsung’s patent shows authenticating users by measuring their blood flow patterns — SamMobile — “The patent describes a method to identify users based on blood flow patterns in their fingers or wrists using sensors in smartphones and smartwatches… According to the patent application, it is possible to authenticate users based on their blood flow patterns as ‘the arterial conduction paths of different users are almost never identical’.”


Researchers demo continuous user authentication system for smartphones

Russian experts submit ‘impenetrable’ smartphone protection system — Phys.org — “The advantage of the new method by the specialists from MEPhI is continuous protection from outside interference without any additional action by the user… Each person has a unique and inimitable style of handling the phone, and the system is based on identifying these unique characteristics.”


Samsung to include iris scanning and face recognition combo in Galaxy S9?

Galaxy S9 may feature ‘Intelligent Scan’, a combination of iris scanning and facial recognition — Android Police — “After some digging around in Samsung’s settings app, a developer and AP reader reached out to us about his discovery of something called ‘Intelligent Scan’… It sounds like Intelligent Scan will combine the sometimes-limited information the iris scanner and your front camera can each extract to piece together a fuller picture of whoever is trying to unlock the phone.”


Samsung looks to palm recognition to secure mobile devices

Samsung’s new phones might literally read the palm of your hand — Futurism — “Recent patent filings by the South Korean electronics giant show that the company may be investing in yet another means of biometric scanning. Samsung’s palm recognition technology would join other biometrics, such as facial recognition and fingerprint scanning, along with standard passwords, pin numbers, and patterns as a means of securing your device.”


Acuity forecasts a trillion biometric transactions in the cloud by 2022

Biometrics in the cloud to authenticate more than one trillion transactions annually by 2022 — Acuity Market Intelligence — “By 2022 more than 5.5bn biometrically-enabled mobile devices will create a global platform that supports one trillion cloud-based biometric transactions annually… Acuity projects annual biometric transaction revenue will increase from US$474m in 2017 to $18bn in 2022 exceeding a 100% CAGR.”


Apple details its face detection algorithm

An on-device deep neural network for face detection — Apple — “Apple started using deep learning for face detection in iOS 10. With the release of the Vision framework, developers can now use this technology and many other computer vision algorithms in their apps. We faced significant challenges in developing the framework so that we could preserve user privacy and run efficiently on-device. This article discusses these challenges and describes the face detection algorithm.”