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Baidu-I2R Research Centre brings voice verification to smartphones

T.C. Seow | Nov. 30, 2012
New Lenovo smartphone incorporates speaker recognition technology to secure user authorisation.

Looking for a convenient way to secure your new smartphone? Perhaps voice-based authentication might the way forward, if the latest invention from Singapore-based Baidu-I2R Research Centre finds widespread adoption in mobile devices.

Using your voice as a unique identification to unlock your smartphone is now possible with the new technology. It will be embedded in Lenovo's smartphone—the Lenovo A586—which will be available from November 30 this year in China through major telecommunications providers and online shops.

This innovative Speaker Verification technology was pioneered by the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and enhanced by the Baidu-I2R Research Centre (BIRC). I2R is part of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). BIRC is a joint laboratory between A*STAR's I2R and Chinese language Internet search provider, Baidu, Inc.

The adoption of the Speaker Verification technology in the Lenovo A586 smartphone marks the institute's success in translating results from research collaborations with corporations in Singapore to industry applications.

The new Lenovo smartphone is the first in the industry that incorporates this Speaker Verification technology into its operating system. An authorised user can unlock the smartphone simply by speaking a passphrase, without the need to use PINs, passwords or finger swipe patterns.

BIRC, Baidu's first overseas joint R&D facility, officially opened in Singapore in July this year.

Dr. Li Haizhou, Co-Director of BIRC said: "We are delighted that our months of hard work and efforts are bearing fruits with the launch of the Lenovo A586 that incorporates our Speaker Verification technology. This is a strong endorsement of user-inspired research and cutting-edge speech and language technology in I2R and BIRC. We look forward to more innovative products from the Baidu and I2R partnership."


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