‘Phone, unlock thyself’

Sooner than you think, the Holy Grail of mobile password security could land on your phone thanks to new tech from Nuance called Dragon ID.

Dragon ID is a voice biometrics system from the same company behind the voice-recognition tech in Dragon Dictate for PCs and Dragon Go for iOS and Android. It promises a hands-free login system, but Nuance isn’t putting it out in an app.

Instead, it’s licensing the technology to manufacturers so they can build it into their phones.

Nuance has been chary with details so far, but the implications could change how we use our smartphones. Dragon ID could be used to create and control simple logins for multiple user profiles, or to tie mobile payment options like Google Wallet to a specific voice command.

The technology behind Dragon ID has been available for enterprise and governments for years, with more than 20 million voice prints already registered. This marks the first time that Nuance will make it available on a consumer level. Nuance has said that Dragon ID is for Android and “other platforms,” but didn’t say which those were. Given Dragon Dictate’s long-time presence on Windows, Windows 8 and Windows Phone support is very likely.

As of now, Dragon ID supports a mix of eight European and Asian languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, although Nuance did not specify whether that’s Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese, or both. More languages are planned for this year.

While the Nuance-made video above shows that it works with multiple logins and in a variety of situations — and could even be a Siri-slayer — some potential security concerns remain unaddressed. Questions remain about the ability to unlock somebody else’s phone with a recording of their voice, or what happens when an illness changes how you sound.

Like Microsoft’s Windows 8 picture password, it seems like a great supplement for daily use of a typed password, but at the end of the day we’ll still be using typed passwords as our fallback logins for now.

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via CNET Latest News http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-57447898-12/phone-unlock-thyself/?part=rss&subj=latest-news2&tag=title

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