Keyware Technologies and Bull CP8, a unit of Groupe Bull today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding joint cooperation on the development, promotion and distribution of biometric authentication and smart card technology. The joint development will encompass implementation of personal authentication technology by Keyware Technologies’ LBV, Layered Biometric Verification in Bull smart cards. Keyware Technologies, the pioneer of layered biometric verification applications, and Bull CP8, the world-leader in CPU-based smart cards, with a 60% market share, will initially deliver Smart Card solutions integrating voice verification. At a later stage these will be extended with facial, finger print and other personal characteristics. The MOU encompasses the intention of combined promotion and marketing by both Bull CP8 and Keyware Technologies in all major world markets.
! The developments will be achieved under PC/SC Workgroup Specifications. The PC/SC Workgroup was formed in 1996 by Microsoft, Bull CP8, Hewlett-Packard, Schlumberger and Siemens Nixdorf, to address critical technical issues related to the integration of smart card technology with the PC. The PC/SC Workgroup recently presented the specifications of the PS/SC standard.
Francis Declercq, President and CEO of Keyware Technologies states: “The application of layered biometric verification in Smart Cards will provide enhanced security to both users and service providers. We are delighted that Bull CP8 has selected our unique technology.” The SDK of VoiceGuardian, the voice verification application for software developers, systems integrators and OEMs wishing to develop smart card applications based on LBV, will be released this month. The rapid growth of three key markets – electronic commerce, corporate Intranets and physical access – is driving the demand for numerous smart card applications protected by biometrics. Keyware Technologies and Bull aim to provide an unprecedented platform for exciting new applications based on biometrics.
According to Eric Pradier, Bull CP8 Vice President, “Smart Card Technology provides a secure platform for consumer payments and gives scope for service differentiation. Thousands of organisations have already started implementing their own smart card applications aimed at new markets. Smart card-based applications are starting to take off in a big way now all over the world. In particular, Bull CP8 is a major supplier to large projects on a national and international scale in areas such as Electronic Purse, Health Cards, EMV bank cards, etc. This market trend presents a great opportunity for software developers, VARs, Masters VARs, integrators, ISVs and dealers. Bull and Keyware Technologies intend to prepare the best platform for Biometric Applications based on the new specification of the PC/SC Consortium. In the meantime, Bull CP8 will reinforce the Smart Advantage Program towards its indirect channels.”
By the end of the century, well over 1 billion smart cards will be produced annually. Microprocessor-based cards will represent in terms of value, nearly 80% of the total card business by the beginning of the next century. Industry analysts believe that the market for PC-based smart card applications will experience a boom during the next few years. Recent surveys from Dataquest show that sales of such smart card applications, including personal identification, electronic purse, authentication, Internet and Intranet security, community and personal entertainment applications, will grow 20-fold by the year 2000.
Bull CP8, a unit of Groupe Bull, Louveciennes, France, is the world leader in secure smart-card solutions. Bull CP8’s history in smart cards goes back to their inception in 1979, when in collaboration with Motorola, Michel Ugon of Bull CP8 produced the world’s first microprocessor card. Since then, Bull has gone on to leverage this technology advantage through the deployment of world-beating products. Bull CP8 is the world leader in smart card operating systems, with over 60% of all chip cards sold based on Bull CP8 technology. More than 140 million Bull CP8 microprocessor cards are in use worldwide. Bull CP8 develops and offers a range of products, including contact and contactless smart cards, secure card operating systems (including the only smart card to receive the ITSEC’s “E3 strong” security classification), turnkey payment cards and electronic purse systems, WAN and LAN security systems, automated teller machines (ATMs), electronic cash dispensers, statement printers, POS terminals and software. Services include full technical and applications consulting, training and customer service and support. Bull CP8 supplies the most successful electronic purse card in the world, with more than 10 million cards being distributed across Europe and beyond.
Keyware Technologies has offices in Brussels and Woburn, Massachusetts, USA. The company is the pioneer in LBV, Layered Biometric Verification, technology solutions. Keyware Technologies specialises in applied biometrics – the science of verifying an individual’s identity by means of personal characteristics, for example voice, face and fingerprints. These unique and inimitable biometric features are stored and matched against samples of spoken passwords, prints and facial snapshots. This ensures the highest possible security levels. Keyware Technologies is the first company to offer layered biometric verification. The company caters for multiple markets, including network, data, telephony, Internet/ Intranet and physical access.