Voice Biometrics Startup Gaining Steam


Startup Porticus Technology recently emerged from stealth mode with biometric security technology that uses the dynamic range of a person's voice to authenticate callers on interactive voice response (IVR) systems.

Porticus' technology comes in the form of a VoIP gateway appliance or a set of APIs that integrate into IVRs through a Java interface. The Needham, Mass.-based vendor earlier this month also rolled out an embedded solution for wireless devices that authenticates mobile transactions and allows remote workers to access corporate networks using their unique voice 'footprint', said Germano Di Mambro, founder and CEO of Porticus.

"Instead of typing a PIN number you just speak your password, and the technology detects your voiceprint and authenticates you to the network," Di Mambro said.

By year's end, federal regulations will require two-factor authentication for companies that use online banking systems. Porticus' solution is attractive in this sector for its strong security and time savings it offers customers, he said.

For example, the authentication process with current IVR systems normally takes about 30 seconds per call because users have to provide several pieces of information for authentication. Porticus' technology streamlines the process because the caller only needs to speak their password, he said.

David McGillivray, president and co-founder of Harborlight, a Holliston, Mass.-based solution provider, uses Porticus for the authentication piece of its IVR banking solution.

"From application and value perspective, [Porticus] gives us the ability to verify a login process in a fraction of the time required by traditional methods, with a higher level of security," McGillivray said.

Porticus is building a channel program and is looking to add ISVs and voice VARs, Di Mambro said. "Our strategy is to go 100 percent through the channel and recruit VARs that want to add voice biometrics to their portfolio," he said.