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BT/ Mastercard rolls out biometric card in Asia

Biometrics biweekly vol. 2, 21st December — 5th January

TL;DR

  • Global payments company Mastercard has rolled out a biometric card in Asia, along with a few other innovations that include extending the Click to Pay online checkout solution to Asia Pacific including Hong Kong.
  • Sony patent filing shows head acoustic biometrics. The patent application for a ‘head related transfer function (HRTF) as biometric authentication’ describes how user’s head geometry is used to tailor audio playback, and how this HRTF, if well-modeled “is very personalized and can be considered as biometric data.”
  • Top five FIDO Korea hackathon projects unveiled as Microsoft reviews strides in passwordless digital ID
  • Temperature scanning and biometric COVID-mitigation technology continues flooding into market
  • Synaptics announced its newest battery-powered edge computing platform Katana Edge AI in partnership with Eta Compute to enable on-device face biometrics.
  • An indirect time of flight platform for 3D imaging and facial recognition has been announced by Tower Semiconductor
  • Idemia biometric card secure chip certified for ICCN security, Zwipe signs worldwide distribution deal
  • EU border agency says biometrics interoperability framework includes robust safeguards
  • UK Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group updates principles to emphasize rights and non-discrimination
  • Biometrics, drones and robotic guards: Inside Hong Kong’s first ‘smart prison’
  • New York State suspends school biometric surveillance
  • Malaysian ministry prioritizes security for biometric national digital ID initiative
  • Face biometrics and voice interface coming to Indian government app
  • Africa’s digital ID authorities revisit strategy to build new enrollment models
  • Togo hopes to launch new biometric ID card in 2021
  • Biometric authentication for video calls developed by Nuance and Korean bank
  • Year in Review: Buzz Builds for Behavioral Biometrics
  • Acuant Highlights Identity Theft and Money Mules in 2020 Fraud Trends Report
  • Biometrics industry events. And more!

Biometrics market

The Biometric system market size is projected to grow from USD 36.6 billion in 2020 to USD 68.6 billion by 2025; it is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 13.4% during the forecast period. Increasing use of biometrics in consumer electronic devices for authentication and identification purposes, the growing need for surveillance and security with the heightened threat of terrorist attacks, and the surging adoption of biometric technology in automotive applications are the major factor propelling the growth of the biometric system market.

Biometric Research & Development

Mastercard rolls out biometric card in Asia, extends Click to Pay to HK

Global payments company Mastercard has rolled out a biometric card in Asia, along with a few other innovations that include extending the Click to Pay online checkout solution to Asia Pacific including Hong Kong.

The biometric card uses fingerprints for transactions in stores.

Helena Chen, Managing Director, Hong Kong and Macau, for Mastercard, said Mastercard continues to provide a safe, fast and convenient electronic and cashless payment experience to consumers and merchants. “An example of this is the launch of the “digital-first” numberless card in partnership with virtual banks, which further pushes the development of Hong Kong as a smart city.’’

Mastercard also unveiled the Pay by Account, which allows cardholders to use their money from whichever account, at any location that accepts Mastercard cards. Click to Pay eliminates passwords and protects data with smart security, Mastercard says.

The biometric card was launched with Singapore-based IDEMIA.

At the recent Singapore Fintech Festival, Mastercard said that its numberless cards, which use the “digital-first” principle, supplement numberless physical cards made available by banks, take care of cardholders’ day-to-day consumption depending on personal needs.

Mastercard also said it obtained a patent for the Social Commerce QR, which embeds a QR code to its cards for convenience in instances such as bill splitting, money transfers and merchant payment.

Idemia biometric card secure chip certified for ICCN security, Zwipe signs worldwide distribution deal

A new milestone on the path towards next-generation biometric cards has been achieved by Idemia and Zwipe, the companies say, with EMVCo granting Idemia ICCN security certification, and a new worldwide distribution deal.

The ICCN[2] security certificate was awarded for the next-generation biometric card secure chip, according to a company announcement, and shows its compliance to the most demanding performance and security criteria to provide safe and convenient payment experiences.

“With this new generation of biometric cards, we want to shape the future of payment and to offer an unparalleled and affordable technological experience, accessible to all,” says Idemia Executive Vice President of Financial Institutions Amanda Gourbault. “We are proud that IDEMIA’s cutting-edge technology can deliver a new, more secure user experience to the market. Our ambition is to make biometric card a reality and more than ever, we are on the right track.”

Sony patent filing shows head acoustic biometrics

A patent filing from Sony Corporation showing the use of acoustic measurements of users as a biometric modality has been published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent application for a ‘head related transfer function (HRTF) as biometric authentication’ describes how user’s head geometry is used to tailor audio playback, and how this HRTF, if well-modeled “is very personalized and can be considered as biometric data.”

The system would use HRTF templates stored locally or in the cloud in encrypted form, and used to grant access to a computer or certain functions. The HRTF can take the form of a password or simply as a biometric measurement, and be combined with other biometric modalities or factors to implement multi-factor authentication.

The drawings depict an individual performing biometric authentication through a wearable headset.

The application was filed in June, 2019, and as with all patent filings, may or may not depict a system actually in development.

Temperature scanning and biometric COVID-mitigation technology continues flooding into market

CloudMinds is rebranding and pivoting to temperature scanning, amid a busy period for biometrics and other technologies being applied to reducing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Thales is expanding a trial of group temperature-scanning, Universal PropTech has a commercialization deal, Elo has added fever checks, while a collaboration between Philips, BioIntelliSense and the University of Colorado has won a $2.8 million grant to work on early COVID detection.

The American unit of robotics startup CloudMinds has changed its name to Wright Robotics to distance itself from its Entity Listed parent company, Thomson Reuters reports via KFGO.

The name change was spotted in documents dating back to August, and is accompanied by a new focus on temperature scanning and COVID-19 transmission prevention technologies.

CloudMinds was added to the U.S. Entity List in May, is backed by SoftBank, and has the majority of its workforce in China, according to the report. SoftBank also owns a stake in T-Mobile after its merger with Sprint, and Wright Robotics’ scanners are available through the T-Mobile IoT Marketplace.

The company’s Cloud Pepper robot, launched late last year, uses face biometrics to identify individuals.

The article also raises questions about the marketing of Wright Robotics’ scanners as being designed in California, and the company’s receipt of a loan under a federal U.S. pandemic aid program.

Low-power platform for edge biometrics launched by Synaptics and Eta Compute

Synaptics Inc. announced its newest battery-powered edge computing platform Katana Edge AI in partnership with Eta Compute to enable on-device face biometrics. The new platform combines low power SoC architecture with energy-efficient AI software and is aimed at consumer and IoT applications.

Katana can make ordinary surveillance systems capable of object and facial recognition and provides various ultra-low power edge devices for use cases in offices, retail stores, factories, farms, and smartphones, the companies say. Other applications include voice biometrics and sound detection, counting and inventory tracking, as well as environmental sensing.

“Today, there is a growing demand for edge intelligence in devices that perform video-, audio-, or voice-based detection and classification. However, there are significant gaps in the availability of power-efficient solutions and the expertise to effectively program them,” said Satish Ganesan, chief strategy officer at Synaptics. “The combination of Synaptics’ Katana platform and Eta Compute’s TENSAI flow software addresses these gaps while significantly growing our opportunity in a multi-billion-dollar market.”

The platform can be combined with Synaptics’ wireless products to provide comprehensive system-level modules and solutions. Katana runs on an ultra-low powered multi-core processor combining efficiency and speed. The system’s optimized neural network and domain-specific processing cores promise versatile operational modes while providing power efficiency and maximum chip memory utilization.

Top five FIDO Korea hackathon projects unveiled as Microsoft reviews strides in passwordless digital ID

The top five winners of the 2020 FIDO Hackathon — Goodbye Password Challenge have been announced, and organizers have published videos detailing the journeys of the participants throughout the process as well as the winning digital ID projects and how they highlight possibilities for future FIDO authentication.

According to a FIDO blog post, Moses’ Miracle, a team of three university students majoring in computer engineering won the gold award. Their project is a gate access control system based on FIDO authentication, and is a smartphone-based digital identity system that helps people access different security areas much faster and more conveniently without remembering passwords, physical keys, or smart cards, the blog post states. The solution is also said to be less time-consuming and less costly.

Two groups, Protect Homes and Dr. Who, both won the Silver award. Protect Homes, as per the FIDO post, is a team of two developers and two designers that work on a FIDO-authentication integrated passwordless system powered by a management app for internet of things for the strengthening of security for smart home ecosystems.

The Dr. Who team, on its part, developed a Proof of Concept project, introducing smart health insurance card services that link distributed identity technology and FIDO authentication. The team that comprised a project manager, two developers, and a public healthcare specialist from the World Health Organization (WHO), sought to solve the problem with physical health insurance cards which are said not to be effective enough in checking patients’ real identities.

Fingerprint 486 and Add Wi-fi Security (AWS) are the two groups that bagged the bronze award. Fingerprint 486 is a group of seven university students that came up with a FIDO authentication-based document sharing system, which grants file access rights more securely and conveniently without sharing passwords; while AWS built a FIDO authentication-based passwordless Wi-Fi router control system, which does not disclose an administrator’s information.

With the Korea hackathon already held successfully in two years already, the organizers of the challenge say they are exploring possibilities for extending it to the entire Asia-Pacific region or globally in 2021.

A pair of chip firms announce new depth and distance platform for face biometrics

An indirect time of flight platform for 3D imaging and facial recognition has been announced by Tower Semiconductor.

The company claims the platform boasts multiple depth sensing and distance measurement applications based on its pixel level wafer stacking back-side illumination (BSI) technology. The new platform will improve face biometrics and other optics in automation, industrial inspection and mobile uses among others, according to Tower Semi.

The company, which is based in Israel and the United States, is a specialized analog chip foundry. It develops indirect time of flight, or iToF, image sensors. The platform is based on that experience and Tower’s 65nm pixel level stacked BSI CMOS image sensors.

Tower worked on the platform with Opix, maker of three-dimension ToF image sensors. Opix is a Chinese fabless chip firm specializing in 3D ToF CMOS-based imaging sensors used in mobile phones, industrial automation and other markets.

Sensors for facial recognition on mobile devices are among multiple products expected to result from the work. The first sensor, according to Tower, is a prototype 5µm 3-tap iToF pixel incorporating an array with 640×480-pixel resolution.

These Weeks’ News by Categories

Access Control:

Consumer Electronics:

Financial Services:

Civil / National ID:

Government Services & Elections:

Facial Recognition:

Fingerprint Recognition:

Voice Biometrics

Mobile Biometrics

Biometrics Industry Events

Deep Learning 2.0 Virtual Summit: Jan 28, 2021 — Jan 29, 2021

Border Management & Technologies Summit Asia: Feb 23, 2021 — Feb 25, 2021

IFINTEC Finance Technologies Conference and Exhibition: Mar 9, 2021 — Mar 10, 2021

SECON 2021: Mar 10, 2021 — Mar 12, 2021

2nd Annual Facial Recognition Summit: Apr 7, 2021 — Apr 8, 2021

Secure Identification 2021: Apr 14, 2021 — Apr 16, 2021

Identity Management Symposium: Apr 21, 2021 — Apr 22, 2021

Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience Europe: May 11, 2021 — May 13, 2021

5th India Homeland Security: May 13, 2021 — May 14, 2021

MISC

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