BiowatchID: Disrupting the Authentication Market




It is yet another day in Sarah's life. It is a busy Monday morning when Sarah goes through her routine. She is getting ready for work. She dresses up. Walks out. Unlocks her car by flicking her hand in the air. Her (unique) driver profile is loading whilst approaching the vehicle, the mirrors and seats are adjusting themselves and her favourite playlist is being loaded. Is Sarah is a rock-star? On her way she picks up her coffee and pays with a simple gesture (no wallet, no card, no PIN code, no phone to lose time on). On reaching her workplace as she catches up with Jacob, her car locks automatically as they glide past the security access system (no face, no fingerprint to show and share). Sarah reaches her desk so she could hand over the financial report to Jacob. Her computer has already logged her on and so has her mailbox (no username/password to remember or two- factor authentication steps). Sarah feels relieved from the inconvenience of having too many passwords, cards and keys that are often not secure and hamper productivity. Just imagine! What it would be to not have ID cards, passports, loyalty cards, mobility cards, hotel cards, passwords and PIN codes etc yet have hyper personalization in a wide range of environments such as homes, hotel rooms, cars, stores, websites, billboards, etc.

Cut to 2019, The Switzerland-based BiowatchID has envisaged to 'Free Your Mind and Pockets From Passwords, PINs, Cards and Keys' by introducing LeBracelet a light, high-tech, elegant Swiss made wrist band; soon to be launched on Kickstarter; that is ready for multi use cases such as payment, online login, car keys, and physical access control. "And when I mean your wearable I mean YOUR wearable. A wearable that is not only branded at your taste but a wearable that is working on your wrist and on your wrist only", says Matthias Vanoni, CEO and Co-Founder of BiowatchID.

Biowatch's LeBracelet is a light, high-tech, elegant Swiss made wrist band; that is ready for multi use cases such as payment, online login, car keys, and physical access control

The idea is 'Genius'

The Biowatch concept was born after co-founder Joe Rice patented vein recognition as a new biometric authentication solution, back in 1984. He envisioned the use of a watch that would recognise its users unique wrist vein pattern to grant access to stored credentials. A biometric watch that would be one’s ID. "This little miracle is where we come from and we gave it a name: wrist vein pattern recognition", says Matthias. The drawing of veins is unique to a person and this is what LeBracelet is looking at. It further monitors the presence of the wrist and automatically locks when detecting an opening. "A simple concept protected by patents that we want to license to brands so a maximum of wrists can welcome our solution in a near future", says Matthias.

Unlike activation by a lost/hacked/transferred PIN code and contrary to voice, faces or fingerprints that can easily be found on the internet or glass, wrist vein biometrics are resilient to attacks due to the hidden nature of the vein pattern and the difficulty to reproduce liveness guaranteeing activation by only the legitimate user. "LeBracelet is actually a Swiss knife for our digital era and a secure vault where your most private secret will be stored. Potentially a life saving product when it comes to access your medical records or bring your lost child home", carries on Matthias, "a single device to prove our identity or legitimacy to access services, devices and premises".

Matthias recognises himself as someone who has always been passionate about biometric authentication. During his time as a PhD student at IDIAP, he had a revelation while reading about Joe Rice’s patent. It took him just one day to learn more about Joe and another day to contact him and convince him to join him on the Biowatch adventure. Nearly 30 years after the patent on vein recognition, the duo founded BiowatchID. For Matthias, it was the time to transition from being an 'intellectual' to being an 'executive officer'. However, getting a handle on the magnitude of this innovation was no small feat. The entrepreneur scored a victory when acquaintances who first supported him to reach his vision, later on, facing bankruptcy, pointed their fingers at him "with no respect for the honest and passionate work done so far, regardless of success. I learnt about humankind and human kindness. I learnt about how important it is to communicate to entertain kindness", recalls Matthias. Nevertheless, he carried on with the idea that could someday play an important role in the fintech space. "Fintech companies risk their reputation with cybersecurity, with a weak point being the end user authentication. We help at that level and are proud to participate somehow by helping end users in managing the keys to their financial assets ", says Matthias.

Since founding in 2015, Matthias has successfully patented the solution to image the wrist vein pattern from a wearable device and had developed technology that acts as a wallet, a crypto wallet and a digital vault for its users. "We are raising 10 million dollars to build a password and PIN free world while preserving privacy. Big Brother or (yet little) Biowatch. It's up to you to choose the society you want your children to live in", says Matthias. He has decided to deliver a "better UX at every level but at no cost for our planet, meaning with outstanding energy efficiency" and likes to adorn himself as "slightly arrogant when it comes to challenge the status quo with face and fingerprint recognition, because we have better to offer than big brother to society".

Matthias Vanoni, CEO and Co-Founder, BiowatchID

Charging Forward

The tech company is powered by a highly proficient team that has successfully transitioned through challenges of hardware, firmware, software, proof of concept to a minimum viable product. The company now plans to find a product market fit and a scalable business model in the coming months, with the help of significant Series A funding.

BiowatchID with its focus on user experience and sustainability plans to continue growing its team and increase diversity of its solutions. “I will do what I need to do to have an impact on the daily lives of millions", concludes Matthias. Wonder, what it would be like to be Sarah? One can only hope he does.

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