ECG-based biometric authentication startup secures GBP 3.5M

July 25, 2017 // By Julien Happich
Irish startup B-Secur Ltd announced it has raised GBP 3.5M from Accelerated Digital Ventures (GBP 1.5M), the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund (GBP 750K) and private investors to accelerate its growth and push its patented biometric technology forward.

Founded in 2002, the Belfast-based company has developed a suite of solutions in electrocardiogram (ECG) sensing as well as biometric algorithms so as to use an individual’s unique heartbeat pattern to quickly and securely perform authentication.

One of the company's claims is that since ECG is an internal biometric, it is difficult to hack or spoof while providing liveness detection at the same time.

It has created a portfolio of heartbeat algorithms which it is licensing into a number of end-user applications. The algorithms can not only perform user authentication, they can also detect a number of wellbeing metrics which B-Secur says could let an application (such as a car-lock or a secure-entry system) know whether the authenticated users are tired, stressed or even under the influence of drinks or drugs.

Exchanging emails with B-Secur's COO Simon Rea, eeNews Europe learned that pattern differences are fairly minute across the different states of a given person, however, Rea highlighted that the areas of the signal B-Secur focuses on for authentication are able to remove or even ignore the variations that occur in different states, reducing false negatives.

"As long as our algorithms pick up a strong signal they can work across a number of different use-cases and devices" explained the COO, noting that ECG signals can be captured using a number of different conductive materials (metals, fabrics, inks, etc.) and also from a number of different locations on the body (wrist, fingers, chest, etc.).