VoiceKeyID from Porticus

instability. Ovum’s 2009 report, The Future of Voice Biometrics in the Enterprise Market, highlighted some of the challenges the technology was facing. A new report from Ovum, Commercial voice biometrics in 2010, examines demand for voice biometrics given the gradual recovery of the market, and says that this is going to change.

A new solution from Wellesley, Massachusetts-based Porticus Technology’s may accelerate the adoption of voice biometrics by private and government organizations (the company maintains research and development facilities in Wellesley and Lithuania).


There are approximately twelve vendors – none of them American – who offer network-based voice identification software, including PerSay, an Israeli-based voice biometric company. Porticus, however, is the only company that has developed voice identification software that resides in the device itself rather than on the network.

Porticus, a voice biometric company funded by angel investors, offers a patented authentication solution, VoiceKeyID, a 4-Factor Security voice activated log-in designed to protect the data on any mobile device using an application programming interface (API). The system takes into account and uses the user’s behavioral characteristics, such as voice harmonic and resonant frequencies, accents, the speed of one’s speech, and how words are pronounced and emphasized.

The ability to perform “live” biometric authentication or transactions locally – that is, “on device” — with or without a network connection, solves many current wireless security issues and opens new capabilities for industry. VoiceKeyID is also readily scalable because no additional hardware is necessary: the application can be downloaded onto existing handsets.The VoiceKeyID algorithm used to identify its user’s identity has a small footprint, occupying mere eighty kilobytes.

Users enroll by speaking their pass-phrase three times to register. The system then creates a unique voiceprint identifier as the biometric template; this completes the enrollment/registration process. During authentication, users speak their passphrase and this voice biometric is compared to the template, making a “go” or “no-go” decision. Once registered, a person’s VoiceKeyID can enable secure access to applications such as e-mail, contact list, calendar, portals, and media files.

Porticus’s core technology is based on two decades of Interpol-funded research and has been used by European governments for criminal identification. The technology is resistant to background noise interference, and it uses three-or four-factor authentication, which includes the type of mobile device being used, a pass phrase, the user’s voice, and the user’s GPS-based location.

The company says VoiceKeyID satisfies the multi-factor security requirements: FFIEC