Identification of users in online or web services
Nowadays, the identification of users in online or web services is linked to a previous user assignment and password. Using Internet services, people can communicate and relate without the obligation to prove their identity, using pseudonyms, false identities or impersonating another person. With or without the user’s consent, any information can trigger identity theft since the keys can be shared, stolen or lost.
Virtual campuses and e-learning platforms have exponentially increased their number of students/users in recent years. One of the biggest problems of the entity offering courses is the uncertainty of not knowing who is taking the path on the other side of the computer screen. Thus certifying the title that the student will receive. At Smiley Owl Tech S.L (hereinafter Smowltech), we detected that this problem is critical in online teaching.
Smowltech was founded in 2012 to address this gap, and we offer a continuous online user authentication service using a monomodal biometric system based solely on facial recognition. The system was marketed under the name SMOWL, and today we are a leading player in the online student authentication market in the eLearning world, an international and steadily growing market that is still untapped in this regard.
However, the current state of the art in facial recognition does not allow for reliable recognition when photo capture is transparent to the user (a passive user interaction system to avoid disrupting their activities during the session) and in uncontrolled environments where lighting, user’s pose, appearance (beard, hairstyle…), accessories (glasses, hat…), partial occlusions, gestures, and expressions vary. It is not the same as posing in front of a facial recognizer for access to a device (e.g., a mobile phone) or a physical space (like a room) – where the user stands still, looks straight into the camera, without accessories (glasses, hat), always with the same expression, good lighting, and no obstructions – as it is to maintain the same face during a lengthy online session (e.g., online teaching).
Furthermore, the market emphasizes the need to capture evidence not only of what is happening on the terminal screen but also within the same session. Therefore, the MULTIBIO system must be complemented with a screenshot capture system to preserve evidence of the activities during that session.
The main goal of the project is, therefore, to create the first commercial prototype of MULTIBIO, a completely new product/service, independent of SMOWL and more comprehensive, which can be competitively marketed to position the entity as a leader on the international stage.
This new MULTIBIO service will be an automatic, passive (the user does not actively participate, such as posing in front of a camera), and continuous authentication service for online services that require a higher level of user identification security. This authentication will be performed through automatic facial and voice recognition, on a massive scale, effectively, and in uncontrolled environments (varied poses, lighting, appearance, accessories, partial obstructions, gestures/expressions, ambient noise, mixed voices, etc.) using images captured through webcams and audio from terminal microphones (often low-resolution images and low-quality audio) through which the users to be verified access the internet.
Automatically authenticate by facial and voice biometrics.
Capture from the terminal devices:
- Random images through the Webcam
- The audio that captures the microphone
- Screenshots or screenshots. All this during the entire session duration (continued) and passive attitude of the user (no need to pose or read predefined paragraphs).
ERDF/Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities – State Research Agency/ Project (RTC-2016-5711-7).
Project duration: 03/15/2016 – 03/31/2019
This project has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the 2014/2020 period to improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Within the Export Initiation Program framework of ICEX, Smiley Owl Tech SL has been supported by ICEX and the co-financing of the European ERDF fund. This support aims to contribute to its international development and its environment.
European Regional Development Fund.
A way to make Europe.
The company Smiley Owl Tech SL has been a beneficiary of the European Regional Development Fund, whose objective is to improve the competitiveness of SMEs. Thanks to that, it has launched an International Digital Marketing Plan to improve its online positioning in foreign markets in 2021. For this, it has had the support of the XPANDE DIGITAL Program of the Gipuzkoa Chamber of Commerce.