NXT-ID seeks patent for voice-authentication technology for making payments, other potential uses
Authentication-solutions provider NXT-ID this week announced that it has filed a provisional patent for a system that leverages voice-recognition technology to ensure a secure and convenient method for making payments. The same approach can be used to authenticate secure user access to networks and databases, including those with sensitive public-safety and healthcare information, according to a company official.
Under the NXT-ID approach, a user can access a payment account—a bank account or a credit card—via a voice command specific to that account, according to David Tunnell, NXT-ID’s chief technology officer. The approach provides two-factor authentication, because the system recognizes both the password and the speaker’s voice, he said.
“Basically, you can train your voice to provide a sound, word or phrase, and we can recognize the sound, word or phrase—as well as the speaker—and we’re optimizing that currently into very-low-power electronics,” Tunnell said during an interview with
“This also adds a lot of security, because only you can access your card—they are biometrically secured with at least two factors. You can add other factors, but just by speaking, we can recognize the voice and the word—the speaker and the speech itself.”
NXT-ID plans to integrate this technology into its Wocket smart wallet, which is in production and is expected to be commercially available in the spring, Tunnell said.
“We encrypt and keep all of your information local on your wallet—only on your wallet—and can use whatever payment technology exists,” Tunnell said. “This is a very privacy-centric solution, where you —and only you—own your private information, including your account numbers and everything else, on your smart wallet. A phone can access it, but it cannot take that information unless you give it. Nothing can take that information unless you give it the security credentials to get into that smart wallet.
“That wallet becomes your personal vault; all of your social-security and other information can be in that vault. This just gives you a way to access it quickly, without having to go through a touch screen. And, it secures it at the same time.”