Online security is an arms race and, with the humble password no longer a guarantee of safety, new techniques (and combinations thereof) are always welcome. Which makes it an opportune time for Switzerland’s KeyLemon to raise $1.5 million in Series A funding.
You may already know KeyLemon from its facial-recognition laptop login tool, which has been out for years (CEO Gilles Florey calls it KeyLemon’s “cash cow”), but the company’s melding of facial recognition with voice recognition has many other potential applications.
According to Florey, the face-voice combo is a great way to authenticate a student’s identity in e-learning situations, for example. “You may have students taking exams, but you’re not sure if it’s the right student taking the right exam,” he suggested. KeyLemon already counts Utah’s AmeriTech college as a customer.
“The other use case is, for instance, when you do payments,” Florey added, noting that PayPal(s ebay) is carrying out experiments (not with KeyLemon, I gather) around using facial recognition for payment verification. “It’s an additional security layer.”
KeyLemon does have competitors, of course, such as VeriLook, but Florey maintained that none manage both facial and voice recognition techniques together in the same way. KeyLemon is also available for embedded systems and as a cloud offering, for online verification purposes.
PC makers Fujitsu and Toshiba already use KeyLemon’s products in their PCs, while Swisscom Mobile uses them online – Swisscom Ventures was an investor in the round, as was the investment wing of pharmaceutical group Debiopharm. KeyLemon is also venturing into the automotive industry, with the idea there being to verify the driver’s identity.