CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited
'Neu' business venture formed to target smart card biometrics market
"Neu" business venture formed to target smart card biometrics market
A new business venture - called neusciences - has been formed to bring flexibility and focus to the burgeoning biometrics and intelligent technologies market. Building on a solid foundation of proved intelligent software expertise, including neural networks, neurofuzzy and genetic algorithms, the new business develops high integrity biometrics-based security and access control solutions. Other business divisions target advanced process control methodologies business intelligence, data mining and fraud prevention, drug trial and medical diagnosis support, and efficient utility management.
Based in Southampton, UK, neusciences biometrics division provides intelligent smart card-based engines that exploit the flexibility of diverse intelligent technologies, such as neural networks, support vector machines and genetic algorithms, and are capable of supporting multiple biometrics methodologies concurrently.
"Although there are many players in today's biometrics market, most of them offer a single technique - and biometrics is not a one size fits all business", notes Brian Kett, neusciences general manager. "neusciences' strength comes from our ability to customise solutions to specific applications from a range of proven biometrics techniques."
neusciences has announced its ability to customise complete multi-level biometrics solutions for the finance and security industries. Using a variety of methodologies, including vein and face recognition - and soon voice - neusciences will deliver biometrics-based turn-key solutions - including hardware and software - that can be downloaded onto today's multi-application Java cards. Additionally, the company will embed this technology into existing access control solutions, to significantly increase security levels.
Selecting suitable biometrics methods for access control requires more than just hardware and software. It requires a knowledge and understanding of the merits of the best mix of suitable biometrics for each application. For example, vein and face recognition is more applicable to access control at ATM machines, to online computer security, or to the protection of vulnerable groups of people at schools, hospitals, care homes, etc. Voice recognition can be quickly and unobtrusively applied to mobile phone security and telephone banking as well as access control to restricted areas.
"As computer and communications technologies allow banks, stores, offices and factories to provide services remotely, the ability to conduct face-to-face security checks is eliminated and needs to be replaced by new techniques", observes John Davies, marketing manager of neusciences. "As biometrics moves from the innovation phase into adoption phase, it offers the obvious replacement, and neusciences is ready to deliver cost-effective end-to-end smart card-based solutions."
Building on its expertise in the application of embedded intelligent technologies, neusciences has successfully transferred BTG's (British Technology Group) vein recognition technology from the laboratory into a fully working prototype. The company is the leader of a face recognition project at Bournemouth University, and has successfully distinguished one voice from about a dozen others, with all relevant recognition information stored compactly in smart card memory.
The application of biometrics security methods to any form of access control requires capture hardware - such as video camera for vein and face, microphone for voice - analysis software for enrolment, training and smart card loading, and query software for access control. neusciences has developed a downloadable intelligent biometrics engine capable of oncard processing several different methodologies, simplifying the creation of ultra-secure access control mechanisms based on multiple biometrics.
Supporting the biometrics engine is software for each methodology. Vein recognition uses easily available "Web-cam" technology with enhanced illumination to accentuate veins in the back of the enrolee's hand. Enrolment software processes the image utilising advanced matching techniques to provide the baseline for the query process. neusciences has developed a vein check technology demonstrator incorporating a suitable camera, hood and smart card reader.
"Vein recognition is the only current biometrics technology capable of very low false accept/reject rates over long periods of time", notes Peter Hawkes, chairman of the Association of Biometrics. "The neusciences approach has the ability to link this powerful technique with other biometrics, further increasing security levels."
Face recognition operates in a similar fashion but uses one second of captured video stream of the enrolee's head as the base data. Intelligent modelling techniques are then used to process the video stream images to create the data necessary for the query process. neusciences is currently building an extensive database of accept/reject rates for this technology by conducting trials with industry and local community groups. Face recognition offers immense opportunities in computer security as, unlike passwords or thumbprints which are entered once for each session, it can continually monitor that the person logged in is still the current user.
For further information, please contact: Raj Kallu, marketing co-ordinator, neusciences, Unit 3, Lulworth Business Centre, Nutwood Way, Totton, Southampton SO40 3WW, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1703 664011; Fax: +44 (0) 1703 663730; e-mail: biometrics@neusciencescom; Web: www.neusciences.com