Sciometrics spins out mobile fingerprint technology
29 June 2018 15:48 GMT

Sciometrics has announced it spun out its mobile fingerprint technology into an independent subsidiary named "Scio".

 The technology enables smartphone cameras to act as fingerprint sensors, thereby eliminating the need for specialized hardware.  Scio's mission will be to replace fingerprint hardware ranging from the boxes used by law enforcement to the embedded sensors found in the majority of the 1.4 billion smartphones produced annually. With its patented mobile fingerprint technology as a foundation, Scio envisions ubiquitous multi-modal, cross-device identification using standard mobile and IoT sensors.

"We see an exciting product family in Scio's future," said Mark Walch, President of Sciometrics. "The current app is immediately relevant to our public-sector customers since we match our images to legacy systems.  It will also enable cost-effective verifications for the increasing number of national ID systems such as India's Aadhaar.  But that's just the start; we intend to OEM the technology into smartphones for applications ranging from app access to device access.  Imagine, to open your phone or approve a transaction, you casually wave your hand over the front of your phone and it matches patterns in your fingers – or even your palm."

The technology will enable a number of benefits for smartphone manufacturers, including:

lower costs in upfront engineering and phone components, especially as inexpensive Android 'Go' phones gain traction;
freeing up screen/phone space compared to fingerprint and iris sensors; and,
tying directly into national ID systems.

For private sector users, it will offer the convenience and security of fingerprints and other biometrics – not only on their device, but across multiple devices from one enrollment.  For defense and law enforcement, it will dramatically expand field identifications by using phones already in the hands of officers. The technology is being tested by defense personnel in two G-7 countries.

To-date, the technology has been tested on eight models of Android phone models from four vendors. There are currently two versions of the app.  The version used by law enforcement collects demographics, up to ten fingers, a face picture, pictures of ID documents, and a voice clip. The fingerprint capture is already dramatically faster than traditional hardware: 10 fingers are captured in about 35 seconds.  Training time is measured in minutes. The second version, a "fingerprint selfie", enables a user to capture their own fingers for verification.  Matching can be on the phone or in the cloud. Face matching is also available. Voice collection is enabled; matching will be implemented in the future, thereby expanding user convenience and security.