McAfee Debuts Voice and Facial Recognition Feature

McAfee is readying the release of LiveSafe service, an unlimited cross-device security service that uses facial and voice biometrics to safeguard consumer digital information.

Using biometrics technology from Nuance and other vendors, LiveSafe lets users connect to an Internet-based dashboard to centrally manage security on all of their PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets. Additionally, McAfee LiveSafe service includes a cloud-based type of safety deposit box, called McAfee Personal Locker, that uses facial and voice recognition to authenticate user identity. The solution allows users to manage their passwords and automatically log into all their online accounts from any of their devices.

"Certainly there's a lot of technicalities with biometric authentication," says Stacey Conner, director of global retail marketing, McAfee. "I think that from a general consumer's point of view, that term [biometrics] might seem a little scary and futuristic. But if you think about it, it's actually the easiest way and the most secure way to protect your identity and secure your documents. One of the key things is that we're taking what I think used to be a fairly complicated technology and we're bringing it to the consumer in an incredibly easy-to-use feature."

"I'm pretty excited about it," says Dan Miller, founder and senior analyst at Opus Research. "It's really a first-of-its-kind combination of personal information management and identity verification resources. It reflects the fact that the folks at McAfee understand how living the mobile life and being constantly online exposes people to constant security threats."

McAfee LiveSafe service includes McAfee Anti-Theft, which uses Intel anti-theft technology and is designed to protect consumer personal information and keep PCs secure if they are lost or stolen. (McAfee is a subsidiary of Intel). McAfee LiveSafe service also uses an application from Intel Identity Protection Technology (IPT), a tamper-resistant hardware authentication mechanism. Combining Intel IPT with facial and voice recognition, McAfee LiveSafe is available in the fourth-generation Intel Core processor-based Ultrabook, which also features McAfee Security Advisor service, providing immediate answers to user security questions.

"This release is a great example of the Intel and McAfee partnership," Conner says. "We have taken some of the best technologies and have combined [them] and I think it's a best-of-breed solution. This is coming at a time when there's a lot of downward pressure on the rest of the security market to bring something new to market. We didn't want to scare the users, and as feature rich as this product is, it's really easy to interact with."

"Both banks and telephone companies have tried to convince folks to upload important documents for protection," Miller says. "It makes sense to do it with a security-oriented technology provider, especially when they have gone the distance of adding biometric authentication which, by definition, is the only authentication factor that is something you are."

Beginning in July, McAfee LiveSafe service will be available through select retailers for $19.99 for a 12-month subscription when purchased with a new PC or tablet, and $79.99 for a 12-month subscription for consumers' existing PCs and tablets. McAfee LiveSafe will come pre-installed on Ultrabook devices and Dell PCs starting on June 9.

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