Google now lets some users verify purchases using voice alone. It’s just the beginning. Welcome to the future of biometric ID and verification.
Face recognition is having a moment.
Apple mainstreamed face unlocking for smartphones with its Face ID. Clearview AI freaked everyone out about the implications of a system that can let you upload a photo and find out anything about anyone in seconds. And several companies in the United States and China have developed face-recognition systems that can ID faces even when most of those faces are covered by a face mask. Everyone is talking about face recognition.
On face value, it appears that face recognition will serve as the dominant biometric system over the next 20 years. But let me voice an alternative prediction: Voice ID will become extremely important over the next decade.
Google is slowly rolling out a new Google Assistant feature called Voice Match, which enables the identification of users to authenticate purchases by the sound of their voice.
You can find Voice Match on Android phones and in the Google Assistant app on iOS. The feature is both limited in availability and designated as a pilot project, not a universally available feature. The feature works only for Google Play purchases and restaurant orders.
Voice Match was introduced in 2017 as a new feature in the Pixel 2 smartphone and Google Home smart speakers. Back then, Voice Match enabled Google Assistant to tell who was speaking in order to choose the right calendar, email and media services. Last month Google upgraded Voice Match to become more accurate.