Analog Devices and B-Secur collaborate on biometric authentication technologies for vehicles
Analog Devices announced a collaboration with B-Secur Ltd. to develop a complete biometric authentication solution for use in automobiles. The companies say that the combination of ADI’s signal conditioning technology and B-Secur’s electrocardiogram (ECG) biometric algorithm software will enable automobiles to uniquely authenticate and identify drivers and passengers. The technology is designed to detect driver readiness and wellness by monitoring the driver’s vital signs for any irregularities. In addition, the ECG identification capability can be used to access features such as vehicle entry, immobilizer deactivation, infotainment personalization, and online payments for applications such as ridesharing usage and personalized insurance payments.
“B-Secur’s ECG biometric technology can not only quickly and securely verify identity, but also turn the data into meaningful insights on driver/passenger wellness, including stress and drowsiness,” said Ben Carter, Chief Commercial Officer, B-Secur. “We are delighted to collaborate with Analog Devices to help make the world a safer place with ECG biometrics, securing human and technology interaction at its heart.”
The system could be a valuable tool for determining identity because each person’s cardiac rhythm is completely unique. The uniqueness arises from factors including the shape and size of the heart and its orientation and position in the body. Unlike first-generation external biometrics such as fingerprints, ECG offers inherently more security as an internal metric and is much more difficult to harvest or fraudulently recreate, say the companies.
The ECG biometrics are packaged into algorithms that can be integrated into many devices and products for fast and secure health and wellness data insights. For the automotive application, B-Secur and ADI have integrated the technology into the vehicle steering wheel. The ECG signal is collected from the driver via prototype electrodes on the steering wheel. The signal is then captured via an ECG analog front end (AFE). A high-performance AFE is recommended for ECG analysis due to the small signal amplitude at the hands. Typical voltages seen are around 0.5 to 2 mV. The AFE amplifies the signal and filters out noise to isolate relevant information, at which point the signal is digitized and passed to B-Secur’s ECG biometric algorithms.
Vital health insights are collected, including drowsiness, heart rate, stress, and cardiac insights. With these insights, the in-car environment can make intelligent, data-based suggestions to enhance safety. These could include suggestions to take a rest break before the driver becomes fatigued, recommendations to improve the environment via music or temperature changes, or alerts sent to the driver to seek help if dangerous cardiac patterns are detected.
Another use of the ECG biometric technology is to personalize the in-car experience by triggering user-based settings, creating a tailored dashboard for an individualized in-vehicle experience. The experience could begin by unlocking the vehicle with a smartphone or wearable device instead of a key. Once in, the vehicle is started using biometric sensors located on the steering wheel. These sensors load the user’s profile into the vehicle, adjusting the environment to their preference and connecting their devices. Seamless payment connectivity can be enabled by authenticating and identifying the user, allowing the vehicle itself to be a payment device to speed payments through fueling stations, drive throughs, and toll gates.