New biometric technology achieves certainty and security

When it comes to biometrics, some methods are more secure than others. The fingerprint, for example, is 10x more secure than facial recognition and the iris is 10x more secure than the fingerprint. Then comes the vein: 10x more secure than the iris, or 1000x more secure than the face. With multi-view vein technology, that number is doubled.

Since 2016, CEO Lambert Sonna and the team at Global ID have been working towards this goal: bringing certainty to identity management. It has involved researching, developing, testing and patenting the Multiview finger vein biometric scanner.

The product, which combines biometric data and cryptography, brings certainty and security while protecting the privacy of individuals. Banking, education, healthcare, travel, commerce, Airport, Army, NGOs – with no segment barriers, the list goes on and on. It speaks to the vast opportunity ahead for the product which will go to market early in 2023.

From Cameroon to Switzerland

The development of the technology has taken place in Switzerland, a country famed for its precision engineering, meticulous planning and flawless delivery. Since leaving Cameroon in the mid-90’s, Lambert has been steeped in this culture. At home, he had a reputation as a gifted student in the areas of mathematics and science, and in Switzerland he went on to gain master’s degrees in Software Engineering (from EPFL) and Business Information Systems (from the University of Lausanne). In 2008, he completed a Ph.D in Information Systems Security at the University of Lausanne.

Academic life in Lausanne has opened a series of doors for Prof. Sonna, in the form of funding from the Swiss government and collaborations with local specialist biometric and cryptography labs and institutions, including the IDIAP Research Institute (artificial intelligence), technology company CSEM (miniaturisation), and Locatis (industrialisation).

“Global ID has been born from a consortium of labs and institutions. After six years of collaboration, from R&D through production, we are ready to go to market at the beginning of 2023.”

Lambert SONNA, PhD

Most recently, Global ID was chosen to be part of RUAG’s Innovation Accelerator Program. The Swiss security technology company is the provider for the Swiss Army and aims to help roll out innovations more quickly and to secure critical technologies in the long term. This kind of recognition is yet another positive marker as the company prepares to go to market following years of meticulous planning.

It also explains why Prof. Sonna does not getting carried away when discussing the future for Global ID. After years in the making, he is not anticipating overnight success. With a number of pilot projects already underway in Africa and Malaysia, he is entirely realistic and practical about what a small start-up with a new product can achieve.

Finding the right partners

For now, that means finding the right partners that will help integrate the product into different markets. The pilot programmes that have been launched follow this model – operationalising the technology in hospitals across four African countries with a clear objective: to ensure that patients and hospital staff are who they claim to be. Such a simple solution can make a huge difference for people who have faced barriers to accessing everything from basic healthcare and public services to bank accounts and personal documents.

In this context, he sees Africa as a land of opportunity for Global ID. The technology can solve historic authentication issues that impact academic certificates and land titles, as well as more modern problems, like losing your blockchain key. However, integrating the technology will take time. Like the collaborative approach required during the research and development phase, he knows that scaling will take time, meticulous planning and continued hard work with trusted partners.

You can read more about Lambert Sonna here and connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Startup Global ID