While everyone and their mother is building a smart voice assistant (Facebook’s Aloha and Salesforce’s Einstein Voice, to name a few newcomers), Pindrop is building the software they’ll all need to protect our vocal identities.
The company just raised a $90m Series D ($212m to date) to develop voice “fingerprinting” tech that analyzes “1,400 acoustic attributes” to verify a call or a voice command.
Why does this matter?
It’s not just to keep kids from ordering 10 lbs of gummy worms on their parents’ Alexas… it’s to stop hackers from ordering 10 lbs of gummy worms on our Alexas.
Pindrop claims that the rate of voice fraud grew 350% from 2013 to 2017. As we use phones and voice assistants to do more and more complex tasks — from opening a credit card to disabling a home security system — hackers have all the more opportunity to infiltrate our private info.
Pindrop currently works with call centers in eight of the top 10 US banks to identify phone scams using unique audio characteristics, and signifiers like type of device, carrier, and location to identify repeat callers — and repeat scammers.
The best part?
Not having to rattle off your mother’s maiden name, high school mascot, and Social Security number.
Ultimately, this kind of tech could allow us to use our voices in lieu of passwords or fingerprints — and that puts Pindrop in a pretty sweet position.