Anyone who pays attention to the news can recognize that cybersecurity is becoming a primary concern for businesses and individuals in today’s world.
Increasingly sophisticated hackers are finding ways to break through the most complex barriers, leaving us all wondering how to protect our most sensitive data.
VoiceIt, a venture from Minneapolis, hopes to deliver peace of mind in a way that no other solution can: through speaker recognition technology with flexible applications.
Our voices are among our most unique and defining characteristics. While bots and algorithms can sometimes guess a password or bypass a security question, no person or program can speak exactly like you. This is the idea that drives voice biometrics, a form of identity verification that surpasses most others in terms of speed and reliability.
It’s a concept that, a decade ago, was ahead of its time. VoiceIt initially launched back in 2005 as a consumer-facing company, but two years later saw its future in the B2B vertical, providing a cloud based back-end service for other programmers to utilize. The startup realigned its focus with this vision.
“We were almost 10 years too early for this type of technology to be available for developers,” says VoiceIt founder and CEO Noel Grover. “We basically survived and waited, not only for the technology to be adopted, but for marketplace to catch up.”
Now, he believes patience is on the verge of paying off.
According to Grover, VoiceIt has a growing customer base as they continue making their formal public push towards the developer ecosystem. The beauty of this speech technology engine is in its versatility; implementation spans telephony, mobile and websites, with an endless list of use cases.
In some senses, the convention is simple. For instance, online payment service provider WorldCore allows users to conveniently replace their 8-25 character passwords with a spoken phrase. Other applications are more creative. A company called Connectrex deploys the technology to tether a monitored offender’s voice signature with his or her GPS location, enabling parole officers to remotely pinpoint their position.
The voice biometrics industry doesn’t have too many players, but there is one big dog: Nuance, a multinational company out of Boston. Grover says his business can compete with such heavy hitters with pay-as-you-go pricing structures that anyone can see on its website, and places a heavy emphasis on building client relationships.
Given the certain level of hand-holding required while developers and engineers learn the ins and outs of the API, this proves quite valuable.
Presently, VoiceIt markets to potential customers mainly through social media and its website. This May, they will be sponsors of the SIGNAL communications conference in San Francisco, as they have been for the past several years. Grover states that this investment really pays off because so many key industry stakeholders and hot prospects are in attendance at the annual event for developers.
An IDC report last year predicted that worldwide spending on cybersecurity will exceed $100 billion by 2020.
This is a robust market and VoiceIt feels poised to take advantage. Grover says that he expects his company to reach profitability by the third or fourth quarter of 2017, and his lofty goal is to capture 5 percent of the market within three to five years.