This start-up can identify you by your voice in a matter of seconds

Celia Chen:

“Your money or your life!” may not be the smartest thing for balaclava-clad bank robbers to say any more

A start-up in China has figured out how to identify the unique characteristics of each person’s voice and cross-match it with existing “voice databases” to identify someone purely by what they say. SpeakIn, based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, is currently working with police departments on the mainland. Its database of “voices” comes from places including phone banking to IT help desk queries.

“A voiceprint is personal and is another example of biological ID,” Yi Pengyu, chief operating officer of SpeakIn, told the South China Morning Post. “The technology can be primarily applied to security systems as it can recognise and track criminals by seeking a match from a database of their voices. A bank robber can certainly hide his face by wearing balaclavas but he always has to speak when he asks for money.”