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October 02, 2012

The Value of Voice Biometrics in Protecting Information

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

It’s no surprise that our society is a highly mobile and social one. People are increasingly on the go, but they’re also extremely connected, sharing information, opinions and entertainment via their social media channels.

As a result, companies have a unique opportunity to get in the conversation and appeal to this consumer – as long as they understand their needs and wants.

To help in the process, TMC (News - Alert) brings together some of the biggest names in telecommunications, social media and mobility this week for ITEXPO Austin, in Austin, Texas. In anticipation of the event, we recently talked with Travis True, vice president of Business Development at VoiceVault, Inc.

In the conversation he shares his insight on the market, anticipations for the future and what he looks forward to for this year’s ITEXPO (News - Alert).

As mobility continues to drive business decisions in the marketplace, budgets are being adjusted to reflect the current demand. And with flexible mobile solutions at the forefront, voice biometrics are also gaining ground as consumers are accessing financial transactions and other proprietary information while on the go. This creates significant opportunity for vendors offering mobile access solutions, and for those with hacking experience who want to steal that information. 

“More and more organizations are realizing that passwords are simply not enough to protect sensitive information,” said True. “While the notion of data security is not new, the increasing use of mobile devices, their applications and the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ trend are bringing mobile security questions to the forefront – questions that voice biometrics can easily solve.”

While voice biometrics will play a significant role in mobile communications in the future, there are other elements that must be considered for those companies wanting to be prepared. Security will always be important, especially as mobile employees are accessing the corporate network from the field. Passwords and PIN numbers will no longer be enough to protect the user or the information and multi-factor identity authentication solutions will have to be enhanced with something unique that to specific user – such as their voice.

New solutions that incorporate the different elements necessary to drive the required results are expected to continue to emerge in the market, but some innovators may be concerned about their ability to protect their intellectual property. The recent battle between Apple (News - Alert) and Samsung has many a company examining their current patents, wondering if they provide the protection they need.

At the same time, says True, it also forces companies to focus on just how close they can come to replicating patented technology in the hopes of cashing in on a thriving market.

Some would suggest recent activities highlight the need for reform of the U.S. patent system, as it creates too much of a cushion for larger and more profitable corporations. True highlighted that these giants are too often capable of receiving patents for intellectual property not yet in production or for obvious design and functionality.

Ultimately, competition suffers and the consumer loses out in the end.

With reform, smaller companies may be better positioned to promote their innovative technologies that can actually improve the market and even advance certain elements. Video, for instance, is in high demand, and users throughout all segments are exploring ways to use it for entertainment, collaboration and marketing purposes. The uses are really endless, but the creator must pay attention to augmenting the message.

As True highlighted, if a company is creating videos for the sake of creating videos, the overall message may become muddled.

Some would suggest that was what happened with NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games – albeit from a different perspective. Experts in the field have suggested that the available streaming for real-time action made NBC’s coverage dated by the time it aired. True felt that it was an excellent method of bringing the brand to the forefront of consumer attention.

The experience demonstrates the importance technology plays in the way consumers receive information and even make decisions. It will also be used to drive much of the activity surrounding this year’s presidential election.

“Technology will be significantly important, considering social media technology aides greatly in the dissemination of political candidate information,” said True. “Since not all information gathered though social channels is accurate, it is imperative that parties utilize resources to portray themselves socially in the manner which they want voters to perceive them, not the way the disparate party does.”

As for the technology item True would like to see in his future, he would like the ability to plug less power. He isn’t talking about limited life batteries that allow him to eliminate cords. Instead, too many of us mobile individuals have too many different cords we have to carry to ensure complete power to every device we need. A streamlined approach would be ideal.

Can the same streamlining work in the retail environment? There are many who are eagerly anticipating the introduction of the mobile wallet, while others fear the privacy issues and chance of stolen information. True is looking forward to the perk, not only to pay for purchases, but also to store information, gift cards, store loyalty cards and maybe even travel information. He may be on to something there – as long as it’s secure.

Such security will be the highlight of True’s Siri Effect Session. According to True, “Consumers are getting more exposure to voice based technologies, such as Siri, and thus parallel and complimentary technology like biometrics. This allows for consumers to add a personalized, more secure, and easy to use solution for accessing information on their phones, smart devices, and computers.”

True anticipates providing this insight at the event, and is excited to gather feedback from co-speakers and attendees. And if he had to make on bold prediction about the future of tech, True points to another “App” development shop bubble – is it in the future? We may just have to wait and see. 

To find out more about Travis True and VoiceVault Inc., visit the company at ITEXPO Austin 2012. Happening now at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. True is speaking at the session, The SIRI Effect. For more information on ITEXPO Austin 2012, click here.

Edited by Braden Becker
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