NexID Receives Grants to Fund Further Development, Commercialization of Biometric 'Liveness Detection'

Company awarded funding that acknowledges its highly specialized expertise

Apr 30, 2014, 08:00 ET from NexID

POTSDAM, N.Y., April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- NexID Biometrics LLC, whose "liveness detection" technology boosts protection in applications with critical security-authentication needs, today announced it has received a series of funding grants totaling $325,000, including a highly competitive award given to emerging companies in central New York state.

NexID, the first company to offer liveness detection software for fingerprint-sensors on mobile devices, said the grants will fund further research, development and commercialization of additional modes of authentication that go beyond its deep expertise in detecting and mitigating attempts to spoof fingerprint scanners used for authenticating entry to secure locations and systems.

NexID will participate with Clarkson University here and West Virginia University in the joint research into biometric security technology sponsored by the National Science Foundation and gain the right to license technology that results from that research. NexID is a venture "spinout" from both institutions, with several of the company's founders serving on their faculty.

To expand the NSF-funded work at Clarkson and WVU, NexID has received a matching grant of $100,000 from Seaway Private Equity Corporation (SPEC) to develop a commercial liveness-detection application for security systems that scan people's faces and the irises in human eyes.  SPEC provides early stage equity capital funding for companies in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., with significant growth potential.

NexID also received a $150,000 Grant for Growth from the Syracuse-based CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO), which will be augmented by another matching grant from SPEC in the amount of $75,000.  The CenterState CEO grant to NexID was one of only two organizations awarded from among scores of companies that applied for funding.

"We expect this funding to extend and accelerate our operations through the two to three years it may take before NexID begins to realize royalty revenue from the licensing of our technology in these new areas," said Dr. Stephanie Schuckers, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clarkson University and CEO of NexID.

Privately held, NexID has operated organically since 2007 by licensing the use of its software to makers of traditional fingerprint-scanning systems to authenticate users at international border crossings and to gain access to laptops, systems and secure locations.  NexID's research into spoofing techniques and liveness detection software raises the effectiveness of fingerprint-scanning systems to over 95 percent.

The introduction of fingerprint scanning in popular smartphones, such as Apple's iPhone 5S with TouchID and Samsung's Galaxy S® 5, has caused the market for scanner-equipped mobile devices – and the need to safeguard them from spoofing -- to explode.  Meanwhile, heightened concerns for security around the world are driving global demand for additional modes of biometric authentication.

"We're proud of the renowned expertise in biometrics and cyber security that Dr. Schuckers and NexID bring to Clarkson," said University President Anthony Collins, Ph. D.  "It's an honor for our institution to be associated so closely with their leadership in this highly specialized area.

"Further, as a member of the Seaway Private Equity Corporation's Board of Directors, I'm pleased to see that NexID, truly a global center of excellence in biometrics technology here in the northern New York region, is receiving matching funds to further leverage this opportunity for growth," Collins said.

About NexID Biometrics
NexID Biometrics is a leading software and technology supplier to the biometric-authentication industry. The company develops and licenses liveness detection software that enables fingerprint-scanning technologies to more accurately, and with greater confidence, authenticate scanned images by mitigating spoof-related risks. The company also provides testing and analysis of fingerprint scanning devices to identify existing vulnerabilities to known spoofing strategies. The company's founders represent some of the world's leading authorities on biometric spoof mitigation and liveness detection.

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