Delta ID – Tech Startup of the month June 17

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Delta ID at a glance:

Genre: Technology
Active since: 2015
Founders: Mr Salil Prabhakar
Headquarter: California

Delta ID – This startup for this month, mainly because we are dealing with too many cyber security news everyday since a month. WannaCry Ransomware, Judy malware and most recent was the failed iris scanning security technology of a renowned brand to name a few!

We are almost on our target – iris technology. Delta ID has a feather on its cap – ActiveIRIS which is the world’s first iris recognition technology. Mr Salil Prabhakar is the founder of the company which is headquartered in California.

More about Delta ID: Inception, function and more…

Founded in 2011 at California, USA, by biometrics experts, Delta ID is singularly focused on making the iris in our eyes a unique and secret password protect key, that no individual will ever have to remember. The company’s patented biometric technology, ActiveIRIS is the world’s first iris recognition technology that can be easily integrated into mass market mobile and PC devices, and is extremely easy for consumers to use.

With ActiveIRIS, all users have to do is to just look to unlock their mobile devices, log into various websites, make an online or mobile payment or do an Aadhaar authentication or eKYC. For consumers, the natural and foolproof eye-based identification technology is incredibly fast, easy to use while being safe and secure if compared to other identification mediums existing in the space such as passwords, passcodes, face recognition and finger-print recognition, which depends on several external factors. Whereas for Original Equipment Manufacturers, it is simple, easy to integrate and economically viable.

Delta ID, in collaboration with Fujitsu, brought the world’s first iris recognition capable smartphone to market in May 2015, followed by multiple smartphones from another global OEM in later half of 2015. In May 2016, Delta ID, in collaboration with Samsung, launched the Galaxy Tab Iris, India’s first iris integrated mobile device certified for use with Aadhaar. Certified by STQC, the mobile device integratesDelta ID ActiveIRIS® software.

With Biometrics going mainstream, Delta ID continues to work with global and Indian mobile and PC OEMs to bring its ActiveIRIS® technology to more mobile and PC devices. The company has raised investment from private investors, including Intel Capital and Samsung Ventures.

Delta ID stands out for…

In case of iris, the uniqueness comes from the pattern of the iris, which is essentially a muscle controlling the size of the pupil. The differences between iris, face or fingerprint stem from the respective biology, and how easy or difficult it is for computer algorithms and scanners to scan these body parts to securely and reliably establish the identity of
an individual.

What’s up next?

Delta ID has been singularly focused on iris scanning, and particularly the integration of iris scanning in consumer grade mobile phones. Delta ID plans to continually improve and enhance the core technology, and also define solution architectures to do it more securely across multiple platforms.

Achievements and progress:

Delta ID’s software components for Aadhaar, along with 3 other critical hardware components have already received STQC certification. This makes the process of receiving STQC certification for mobile devices faster and simpler. They engage with the mobile device manufacturers through the entire process of technology design, integration to STQC testing and certification.


Believe the journey happened, because it was fated to happen like this. Like anyone else from the biometric community, I have always believed iris is a better biometric when it comes to both, security and reliability.


Exhibit: Hello Mr. Prabhakar, an ace academician to the founder of Delta ID, give us an insight of the journey towards innovation of iris technology.
Salil: I believe the journey happened, because it was fated to happen like this. Like anyone else from the biometric

Mr. Sahil Prabhakar, Founder of Delta ID

Mr. Sahil Prabhakar Founder, Delta ID

community, I have always believed iris is a better biometric when it comes to both, security and reliability. The iris is a protected internal organ, totally covered by the cornea. It does not change with age. Hence, works better for people across occupations and age groups. At Delta ID, our primary innovation was to bring this secure and stable biometric modality to consumer mobile devices, which require much better user experience across all kinds of challenging conditions of use, all within the constraints of the size and cost structures acceptable to the mobile industry.

Exhibit: Keeping in mind the recent cyber-crime WannaCryRansomware, how would you like to secure web and technology for the generation ahead?
Salil: Factually and by statistics, in future, biometric technologies will increasingly replace passwords and passcodes, in securing access to all important applications and services we consume on the web and/or mobile devices. This will address one major vulnerability and target of hacks we have seen in recent times. In the US, most major banking and other applications are already using biometrics. Of course, this puts the onus of keeping the web secure on biometric technology being deployed, and that’s where, I believe, iris will prove to be more secure biometric modality compared to other modalities.

Exhibit: Since Delta ID introduced the first iris recognition capable smartphone to market in May 2015, how do you see the trend going ahead?
Salil: We have now launched our iris technology in 7-8 devices from various OEMs including Samsung and other global OEMs. With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 with iris scanner, we believe this technology is already mainstream in smartphones and tablets. In India, our iris technology along with other hardware components has received certification from STQC. This now enables any smartphone manufacturer to integrate these components and get certified by STQC expeditiously. Some of our customers have taken advantage of this, and we expect them to launch various smartphones and other devices for India market shortly.

Exhibit: How do you foresee the same in 5 years since now?
Salil: In 5 years from now, we will see many more devices, both in India and abroad, using this technology extensively from unlocking the devices to accessing websites, and making payments.

Exhibit: What unique feature does Delta ID provide and how is the same different from its contemporaries?
Salil: In one word: the performance! At Delta ID, our main focus and our competitive advantage is the usability of our iris recognition technology. As confirmed by our customers, our iris recognition technology outperforms competition when it comes to using mobile devices in all sorts of challenging lighting conditions such as, outside in the Sun, while wearing glasses, while walking (which causes significant motion blur). The fact that almost all of the commercially available smartphones and tablets include our iris technology is a testimony to that.

Exhibit: Apart from iris scanner, what else do you feel should be incubated in smartphone technology to further secure it?
Salil: Security is a very broad area. Vulnerabilities have to be addressed within smartphones and beyond, at multiple points. Iris scanners are addressing one, though a significant point, which is when user accesses the application or service. But beyond just access, a lot has to be secured, including the iris scanner itself. As they say, any security is only as strong as the weakest link.

Exhibit: A renowned brand has failed to iris scan proof its flagship recently. Are you aware of it? Any comments?
Salil: We have certainly read various news reports on alleged hacks of iris scanners. This is actually not the first attempt at attacking iris scanning technology either. At Delta ID, our most recent innovations have focused on countering such attacks, and new product offerings will allow our customers to further secure their smartphones and tablets.

Exhibit: The future of technology lies where and in what?
Salil: I assume this question pertains to biometric technology. I believe, starting with mobile phones, biometric technologies are now widely accepted as mainstream component of any secure computing system. Biometric is no more a niche technology used at airports or by governments. We are going to see the use of this technology across multiple verticals and use cases. One vertical we already see significant interest is autos. Auto manufacturers are already working on iris scanners that can provide a touchless, seamless way to authenticate the driver, and not just for secure ignition, but also for other use cases such as in-car payments (at petrol pumps or drive-through coffee
shops), for driver-specific insurance and more.

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