This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Mar-20-08 Can you please provide our readers with a brief background of the company? WCC is a global leader in search and match technology with a market leading platform for true score-level, multimodal biometric fusion known as ELISE ID. For the past eleven years, WCC has developed and deployed its search and match technology in governments and global enterprises with the help of large systems integrators. ELISE, is your vendor-neutral platform for multi-modal fusion identity matching. Can you please describe what makes your product - ELISE ID - special? WCC brings a unique approach to identification with its ability to integrate and fuse not only biometrics but also biographic and contextual data. On top of that, we support latest developments in biometrics, where template extraction algorithms not only create a template out of an image, but also are able to extract features like gender, ethnicity, age etc. So we genuinely bring together all information about a person, both explicitly supplied and implicitly deduced, creating a holistic person profile. To keep pace with biometric innovation, ELISE ID offers a platform for the integration of multiple biometric algorithms from multiple vendors. This vendor-neutral approach is important for customers to prevent lock-in to a single vendor and to allow identification systems to evolve as biometric technology evolves. ELISE uses "beyond-Boolean" scoring techniques to provide accurate and transparent results. Because ELISE ID uses similarity scoring for all criteria in a search, it is able to not only rank results, but also provide transparency to explain the reason behind the results. This can be extremely useful for interactive querying. Unlike Boolean systems where missing data is typically read as "false", ELISE ID elegantly handles missing data, allowing the integration of disparate, possibly federated, databases. By applying similarity scoring ("fuzzy logic") to each criterion (biometric, biographic, multimedia, text, barcode etc) and using a linear exhaustive search before fusing scores to obtain results, it leaves no stone unturned and returns true score level fusion – the method of choice according to industry best practices. Eleven years of deployment, testing, and tuning, have resulted a very robust, reliable system that can scale to handle searching and matching over billions of records very quickly. We believe the combination of these features makes ELISE ID truly unique in the identity market place. What vertical markets are you concentrating on and where are you seeing the greatest growth?
Historically we have solely focused on job- and candidate matching. A market where we have licensed our technology to most of the world’s largest staffing firms, the largest departments of labor and many job boards. This market is matching the best candidate with a job and vice versa. It is all about person profiling. The step into the identification market, where we find people in huge databases on the basis of their biographic and/or biometric features is therefore is relative small step. We also added native support for biometrics, implemented most fusion algorithms and techniques. In both markets, we focus on large scale implementations, both with commercial enterprises or government entities. Geographically we have a strong focus on Europe and North America and some focus on APAC. Are there partnerships or alliances, like the one just recently announced with Retica that are proving to be important for the growth of the company? Biometric vendors are very important to us. We try to create a community where ELISE ID is the bonding factor, where the strength of each vendor/algorithm is optimally presented and utilized. This directly benefits the customers and indirectly the whole industry. You just recently opened an office in Virginia. What prompted this move? In the US we have identified many opportunities for which the ELISE ID technology is ideally suited. Some are public tenders and some are classified projects. We want to be very closely involved with the systems integrators for these projects, which is why we decided to open an office in Reston, Virginia. By the way, we are recruiting pre-sales, sales and partner managers! What new trends are you seeing in the biometrics industry and how are those trends affecting your business? Probably the most important trend that we see is the one I just mentioned: the move toward multimodal fusion. Of course, this dovetails nicely into both our current and planned capabilities. In addition, we are seeing a move toward SOA. Software evolves, but data is data. The ability to flexibly bring new software capabilities into play around core government and enterprise data assets is key. Of course ELISE ID plays well in this new services oriented world. Finally, we see a trend toward ensuring the security of identity data. This is an early trend, and the approaches to this challenge are varied. We see federation of searches across disparate, separately-owned databases as one approach in which ELISE is ideally suited to play a part. We also see another approach through the encryption of data. While ELISE ID already has capabilities in this area, we will be augmenting those with both our own efforts and by leveraging technologies from our partners. What are the drivers that you are seeing in this market? While it’s hard to predict growth accurately in this market, it’s possible to identify the drivers for growth and to see different strengths for these drivers in different geographies. One of the main
drivers, of course, is the increased interaction between all parts of the world based on internet technology. This will be a driver everywhere, but particularly in locations where the internet has become a central part of the communications infrastructure for business and financial transactions. Another driver is the threat of terrorism and the need to keep transportation safe and flowing as freely as possible. While this may drive the industry more quickly in North America and Europe, it will certainly have its affect on other parts of the world as well. What would you say are the challenges still facing our industry? Though there are of course lots of challenges in the industry, like the political acceptability of biometrics or even technological issues like interoperability, I’d like to highlight a less visible challenge: the maturity of the biometrics industry. I think for many years, biometrics technologies have evolved so quickly that there was a reluctance on the part of customers to "jump in" too early. While this is still a bit of a challenge, the good news is that it is being overcome. Both governments and enterprises are seeing the return on investment as acceptably short, and deployments are proving their effectiveness. So expect this challenge to be eliminated as the market gathers momentum and success breeds success. In terms of new product development, what can we expect to see from WCC in the future? Earlier, I mentioned that the security of data was a trend that we will be further addressing. As an industry, our ability to address data security will go a long way toward resolving some of the political issues that currently inhibit growth. In addition, you will see increased depth and breadth in our partnerships. While there is a tendency to see multi-biometrics as just finger, face, and iris, there are additional technologies coming to market, like vein recognition, that offer some real advantages in certain market segments and geographies. Special partnerships are being developed around privacy and specialized biometric data encryption. We develop such partnerships both with technology vendors, like Genkey, and with application/solution vendors, like AR Technology, the spin off from the NBSP. Another area we are working on is the augmentation of our already considerable abilities in matching unstructured text. This will further extend our ability to deal with biographic and contextual data, particularly in the law enforcement and border control areas. Also feature extraction from biographic and biometric properties will be one of our upcoming innovative features. We’re very excited to be part of the Accenture-lead consortium that won BMS, the European Union’s Biometric Matching System. While this system is still in the design phase, we’re pleased to be a part of this project. And not to forget a recent win, a very large project at Dutch immigration, also with Accenture. We’re also excited to work with innovative companies like GenKey, that have deployed their biometric encryption technology in India in government effort to counter organized crime.
Another exciting announcement we made this past year was our collaboration with the National Biometric Security Project on their Anonymous Recognition spin off. This service, which uses ELISE ID as its multimodal biometric core, will address security and privacy concerns by providing a truly anonymous way to recognize individuals and provide a very strong authentication service.
If you would like to learn more about biometric algorithms, please visit findBIOMETRICS.com.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?