Credit card firms are to build voice technology into their products to improve security.
Lernout & Hauspie, a Belgian supplier that licenses its voice recognition and translation technology to companies including Microsoft, Samsung, Softkey, Hitachi and Deutsche Telekom, said security company Keyware, one of its OEMs, has already struck deals with the major credit card companies to install an extra level of security at ATMs around the world.
Gaston Bastiaens, now chief executive of the Belgian company after periods at Quarterdeck, Apple and Philips, said: ?This is a new layer of protection. Keyware will produce an ATM system which scans both your voice and your face together.?
The company delivered its year-end results, showing that it had grown its turnover by 400 per cent to $31 million from $7.7 million the year before. Profits were $2.5 million.
This year, it will offer a translation service on the Internet using algorithms bought from the Mendez company for $10 a month. The languages so far supported include German, Chinese, English and Spanish, with vocabularies for Arabic and other languages coming onstream towards the end of this year.
Bastiaens said that the automotive industry is one of its chief OEMs. Ford, in conjunction with Texas Instruments, is likely to include an embedded chip using L&H technology in its cars.
The company is also pushing its continuous dictation technology, which will run on NT servers. That is being adopted by the medical and legal professions initially, but other vertical OEMs are showing interest too, claimed Bastiaens.
He said: ?What we license are toolkits. We?ve developed a language user interface (LUI) and our competitors are IBM, Philips, Microsoft and Apple. In the English language, IBM is a big competitor and will never help us but they do in other markets.?
L&H has introduced a system based on cellular phone technology which recognises a person?s voice patterns, whether they have sore throats or not. That will allow them to phone into their email systems and skip or choose to listen to the messages. They can also delete messages and reply to the messages remotely, said Bastiaens. The technology is based on proprietary neural network algorithms, he added.
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