A familiar voice

With all types of biometric applications on the rise, voice-based authentication is one approach that seems to engender less resistance among users than other biometric forms of security. It is non-contact, non-intrusive and easy to use.

The first step to understanding this kind of biometrics is to make the key distinction between voice recognition — a system’s ability to process “what a person is saying” — and speaker verification, “technology based on an individual vocal physiology and behavior to validate a claim of identity.

voice -based authenticationVoice-recognition technology is possible after making a digital model of an individual's voice that can serve as a stored profile or template of that voice print. Words and phrases are broken down into various kinds of frequency patterns that, taken together, describe someone’s unique way of speaking. The templates are stored in databases for matching like other kinds of biometric data.

Big pluses of speaker verification are its widespread acceptability and ease of use for callers, as well as the relative inexpensiveness of basic systems compared to some other biometric options (especially if voice authentication is integrated into a telephony system for, say, a financial services firm that already has voice recognition as part of its customer service).
Many challenges affect its accuracy. These include poor-quality voice samples; the variability in a speaker’s voice due to illness, mood, changes over time; background noise as the caller interacts with the system; and changes in the call’s technology (digital vs. analog, upgrades to circuits and microphones, etc).  
Another critical issue is the lack of established international standards.

Read the entire article at ASSA ABLOY Future Lab