Nuance targets enterprise IT with new voiceprint recognition technology

Nuance Communications(s nuan) will put voice recognition in just about anything — smartphones, apps, cars, even TVs. Now it’s bringing speech interpretation to the enterprise IT department in the form of biometric identification.

Nuance aims to automate what is an increasing headache for IT managers: resetting passwords on corporate computers or software. Anyone who has every worked for a big company is familiar with the situation – too many failed login attempts or letting a password expire suddenly locks you out of your laptop or email. The next step is a call to the IT help desk to get your account privileges reinstated and a temporary password issued.

Nuance proposes to automate that identification process with a new service called FastReset, which allows an employee to authenticate their voice against a biometric print on file. The software can either be embedded directly into a Windows PC and accessed through the computer’s login screen or implemented externally, requiring an employee to call an automated system.

While Nuance is most famous for providing the core natural language understanding technology behind Apple’s Siri(s aapl), it’s been branching out into security as of late. Instead of trying to interpret words and meaning from the tremendous variety of human speech, it’s using the unique characteristics of each individual’s speech as a kind of vocal fingerprint. Nuance is already supporting similar technology in the consumer mobile market, using voice ID as a means of unlocking handsets.