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Aadhaar Gets Face Authentication, Will Be Launched by July 1: UIDAI

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The Aadhaar authentication has been carried out with biometrics like fingerprints and iris scans, apart from OTP based authentication, and now, it’s getting a new way of using biometrics – face authentication. In a circular dated January 15, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) sent out information about the implementation of face authentication, and UIDAI CEO Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey also tweeted about it. The reasoning for this is explained as making the Aadhaar more accessible for people who can’t, for any reason, use fingerprints or iris authentication. “Some residents face difficulty in successfully using biometric authentication using one of the modalities,” the circular reads. “While residents can use either fingerprint or iris authentication when both devices are available, many AUAs [Authentication User Agencies] have not yet deployed both types of devices for their use.”

In many places, the Aadhaar authentication is being carried out with fingerprint readers, which has caused problems in a number of cases, for example with the elderly and manual labourers finding their fingerprints not properly readable. To get around this, the UIDAI says it can use the photo captured at the time of enrolment for identity verification. “While Aadhaar Authentication API had the technical provision for sending photo of the face, this option is currently not enabled within CIDR [Central Identities Database Repository],” the circular states. “Since face photo is already available in UIDAI database, there is no need to capture any new reference data at UIDAI CIDR.” This means that the data already captured serves the purpose, and the checks are also going to pose no problem, the UIDAI circular states, because “Camera is now pervasively available on laptops and mobiles making the face capture easily feasible for AUAs without needing any additional hardware.” According to the circular, Face Authentication as an additional modality to be used in fusion mode will be available by July 1.

“Face authentication with liveness detection can be used as an additional factor to increase security,” it adds. In other words, face recognition is not being considered secure enough by itself – “Face Authentication shall be allowed ONLY in fusion mode, along with one more authentication factor. This means Face Authentication must be combined with either fingerprint, or iris, or OTP to be able to successfully authenticate an Aadhaar number holder.”

 

The circular doesn’t talk about whether the UIDAI is developing the photo authentication technology in-house or sourcing it from anywhere. It states: “UIDAI will provide Software Development Kits (SDKs) / Registered Device (RD) services in various operating systems which will have the ability to capture face image, check liveness, and create digital signed and encrypted authentication input as required.”

The UIDAI will start sharing these kids, and holding workshops and training sessions, starting with the sharing of “necessary details” from March 1 – and as mentioned above, the actual deployment is supposed to start by July 1.
Some experts are already expressing concerns with the decision to use face recognition, saying it has been circumvented through fairly simple tricks including just using a photograph of the person.

“Although adding an extra layer of security for Aadhar card holders seems to be a good initiative, adding facial recognition might not do much good as not only it isn’t too difficult to replicate as compared to other biometrics,” says Ankush Johar, Director, Infosec Ventures, a company that provides infrastructure security solutions for commercial and government clients. “But also the major problem lies in the source of the images used as the authentication mechanism. The photographs captured nearly half a decade back with an extremely low resolution camera stands hardly any chance given that hackers were able to bypass even the 3D face model recognition developed by one of the biggest tech pioneers.”

A tender by the Madhya Pradesh government shows that Aadhaar photos were taken using webcams of “2-megapixels or better”, or tablets of “5-megapixels or better”. These low resolution images, which would also be very outdated by now, make for a poor choice, adds Johar.


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Bose Frames AR Audio Sunglasses Launched in India, Priced at Rs. 21,900

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Over a year after originally showcasing its audio AR sunglasses, Bose is bringing them to the Indian market. The company on Thursday announced that the sunglasses, which are simply known as Bose Frames, will go on sale beginning next week in the country alongside Bose Frames Lens Collection. The Bose Frames combine three functionalities into one device – premium sunglasses, wireless headphones, and audio AR features. The Bose Frames are the company’s first product to be based on the company’s AR platform.

The Bose Frames carry a price tag of Rs. 21,900 and will be offered in two universal styles – the larger Alto and the smaller Rondo. The Bose Frames Lens Collection of non-polarised and polarised lenses will retail at Rs. 1,990 and Rs. 2,990, respectively. The sales open June 20 via select resellers and Bose stores in the country.

The Bose Frames are essentially a pair of sunglasses that pack a tiny Bose audio system in the temples. This audio system effectively turns them into a wireless pair of headphones. The Bose Frames also include a microphone and multi-function button on the right temple for power and pairing, Siri and Google Assistant, calls and commands, or to pause and skip songs.

 

“With a proprietary open-ear design, they [Bose Frames] take micro-acoustics, voice control, and personal audio to an entirely new level, so users can stream music and information, take and make calls, and access virtual assistants from — while keeping playlists, entertainment, and conversations private,” Bose said in a statement.

Like many wearable devices, the Bose Frames act as a companion device to your smartphone and need the same for processing the information and connecting to the Web.

As we mentioned earlier, the Bose Frames will be released in two designs – Alto and Rondo. Alto is square and angled, whereas Rondo is round and smaller. Both can block up to 99 percent of UVA/UVB rays and weigh just 45 grams. The lenses can be easily popped out and replaced.

Apart from the audio capabilities, the Frames are also compatible with Bose’s AR platform. The Bose Frames don’t include any visual AR capabilities, but they can provide audio AR input to enhance your experience.

“[Bose Frames] knows where you are and what you’re facing using a 9-axis head motion sensor and the GPS from your iOS or Android device — and automatically adds a layer of audio through Bose AR apps, connecting that place and time to endless possibilities for travel, learning, entertainment, gaming, and more,” Bose explained.

Bose AR apps can be downloaded using Bose Connect app and are only available for iOS right now. Android apps are being developed, according to the company’s website.

The company claims that onboard battery can last up to 3.5 hours for playback and up to 12 hours on standby. It can be fully recharged in less than two hours.

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Novel device can quickly detect strokes

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Scientists have developed a device that can monitor blood flow and help quickly diagnose and treat strokes.

A stroke, one of the leading causes of death worldwide, occurs due to poor blood flow to the brain — a condition known as cerebral ischemia.

Its diagnosis must be done within the first few hours for treatment to be effective, researchers said.

 

The hybrid device, developed by researchers at the China Academy of Engineering Physics and Army Medical University in China, relies on a combination of to light measuring techniques which could diagnose cerebral ischemia non-invasively and faster than the techniques used currently.

“We can measure blood volume, blood oxygenation and blood flow using suitable near-infrared techniques,” said Liguo Zhu, from China Academy of Engineering Physics.

Zhu said that “near-infrared light penetrates one to three centimetres and allows researchers to probe under the skin.”

The working of the instrument relies on the combination of the near-infrared diffuse optical spectroscopy, which analyses the light scattered from the tissues to calculate the amount of oxygen and blood within an area, and the diffuse correlation spectroscopy, which analyses fluctuation in the tissue-scattered lights to measure blood flow.

“Both techniques share the same detectors, which decreases the number of detectors compared to other instruments,” said Zhu.

“The team’s device can record a comprehensive profile of a body part’s hemodynamics, or blood circulation. Devices should measure as many ‘hemodynamic parameters’ as necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis, as ‘the hemodynamics of stroke is complex’,” said Hua Feng, from Army Medical University.

Another advantage of the device is that it is cheap and compact, which would make more accessible to the people, and hence, help treatment, diagnosis and chances of stroke, researchers said.

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Parineeti ‘still learning’ to play badminton

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Actress Parineeti Chopra has not started shooting for ‘Saina’ yet and says she is still learning how to play badminton.

Parineeti on Thursday said that the shooting for the biopic will commence in October.

“Hi everyone, we have not started the shoot of ‘Saina’ yet. I am still learning how to play Badminton! We will start in October once I get better at it! Four months to go,” she tweeted.

 

Parineeti had replaced actress Shraddha Kapoor in the Saina Nehwal biopic, which is being directed by Amole Gupte.

She will next be seen in ‘Jabariya Jodi’ along with actor Sidharth Malhotra. The film is scheduled for release on August 2. Directed by Prashant Singh, ‘Jabariya Jodi’ is based on ‘Pakadwa Vivah’ (forced marriage), which was once rampant in Bihar.

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