Sensory, a speech and biometrics recognition provider, announced a modification to its TrulySecure platform that recognizes users wearing face masks. TrulySecure is the company’s face and voice biometric fusion platform has previously been able to authenticate device users via facial recognition, and was previously unable to verify individuals wearing protective face coverings.

SEE: COVID-19: A guide and checklist for restarting your business (TechRepublic Premium)

The coronavirus pandemic have made cloth and disposable face masks a part of the new normal. The CDC urges individuals to wear cloth face coverings when they leave their homes as a way to slow the spread of the virus. Because people can be asymptomatic, the masks prevent an individual from dispelling particles from their mouth and infecting others.

As universities and businesses begin reopening their doors across the US, masks become even more critical. Many retailers have taken advantage of the public’s need for masks, with popular clothing lines such as Lucky Brand, Los Angeles Apparel, and Old Navy jumping on board.

While wearing masks in public has become commonplace, technology has been slower to adapt. One big problem many smartphone users face—so to speak—is effectively using face recognition technology to open their device.

Apple iPhone’s Face ID system, for example, requires a user’s eyes, nose, and mouth to be visible in order to unlock. The latest iOS 13.5 update, however, does include a modification for unlocking your phone. Instead of waiting for Face ID to fail multiple times before inputting your access code, users only have to fail Face ID once, reported CNET.

While the update does expedite the process, it doesn’t completely ease the frustration. Sensory’s TrulySecure platform, however, has adapted to the new normal.

How the platform works

The updated TrulySecure system uses biometric fusion and multiple enrollments to recognize users wearing masks, as well as detect coughs and sneezes. Not only would the tech help consumers, but it also assists device and app developers to create secure products, according to a press release.

Biometric fusion merges face and voice into one SDK, allowing developers to leverage the tech in real-world settings such as wearing cloth face coverings or being in noisy environments.

TrulySecure also supports alternate appearances via multiple enrolments. Users can enroll for facial recognition as they normally would, and then create another enrollment with a face mask secured. Most software solutions block enrollment when a face mask is on, but the Sensory technology doesn’t, as stated in the release.

“In unprecedented times like these, device manufacturers and app developers are being challenged to find new ways to keep people safe and secure,” said Todd Mozer, CEO at Sensory, in the release.

“TrulySecure does just that, allowing apps and devices to recognize and authenticate users in all conditions, even when wearing masks, thus eliminating the need for people to touch their face or remove their masks when in public,” Mozer said. “But we’re taking things a step further by updating the Sound ID component of TrulySecure to recognize certain noises that can be indicative of users being sick or around people who are sick.”

Sound ID can be used in a multitude of ways, whether business owners want to track the health of employees, cities want to generate health data statistics for a population, or if individuals want to track their own health.

The system can even alert users when their cough or sneeze counts have crossed a certain threshold, hopefully making people more aware of sickness early on, according to the release.

TrulySecure can be added to any mobile, desktop application, or device by app developers or OEMs. The tech has shipped in more than three billion products from leading consumer electronics manufacturers including AT&T, Hasbro, Huawei, Google, Amazon, Samsung, LG, Mattel, Motorola, Plantronics, GoPro, Sony, Tencent, Garmin, LG, Microsoft, Lenovo, and more.

For more, check out New dashboard simulates how masks and hand washing can stop the spread of COVID-19 on TechRepublic.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto