New security chip combines fingerprints with facial recognition

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Some selfies are harmless.
Unlock your phone by snapping a quick selfie!
Photo: Per Gosche/Flickr CC

Leading human interface solution developer Synaptics has announced a new “multi-factor biometric fusion” security system for mobile devices and PCs, built around a combination of both fingerprint and facial recognition.

The system would allow users to either set up extra secure logins requiring multiple forms of biometric ID, or have devices which could intelligently choose the most convenient mode for an occasion — such as opting for facial recognition when a person is likely wearing gloves.

As the company notes:

“Synaptics multi-factor fusion engine is backed by SentryPoint technology, offering OEMs a wide-range of unique and highly secure authentication features including Quantum Matcher with PurePrint anti-spoof technology. PurePrint examines fingerprint images using unique artificial intelligence technology to distinguish between fake and actual fingers. Facial recognition also uses anti-spoofing tools including the ability to check for combinations of eye blinking and head movements.”

The company points out that, “the fusion engine improves usability as lower individual verification thresholds still result in greater security.” The announcement is also impressive because it combines both technologies into Synaptics’ Natural ID fingerprint sensor.

Apple already employs both fingerprint and facial recognition tools in its products: the former with Touch ID and the latter for its Photos app. However, it currently does not allow users to log in by snapping a quick selfie — although it has filed patents regarding this in the past.

Other patents show Apple’s interest in allowing a combination of biometric identification methods for added security. Whether this means Apple is already working on its own proprietary alternative to Synaptics’ “fusion” technology, or whether it might be interested in licensing it, remains to be seen.

It would certainly be a useful upgrade, though!

Source: Forextv