Crystal Key Technology

Authenticating personal identity in mobile transactions

Crystal Key is a TSB SBRI funded m-commerce project to develop a non-clonable (i.e. non-forgeable) and unique physical optical 'personal identification tag' for mobile commerce personal authentication, that the consumer carries with them on their key-ring, etc. When verifying personal identity during making an m-commerce transaction, the mobile phone application asks the consumer to hold the Crystal Key up to the phone camera which automatically takes a photograph of it and compares the image of the random crystal array/pattern with that stored on a payment verification database for that consumer. If there is not a match between the two images, then the transaction will be denied.

Also, Crystal Key can be used as an added layer of security in enterprises, especially where BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is presenting additional challenges to data security in organisations.

How does it work?
1. User starts Crystal Key™ software and places phone to Crystal Key™ device to take image.

2. Crystal Key image is automatically uploaded to server in the cloud.

3. Server identifies and analyses image features and checks validity against a database.

4. Authentication is approved or denied.

M-commerce is becoming the driving force behind commerce and retailing. This is providing opportunities to fraudsters looking to exploit loopholes in the security and authentication of transactions. It is essential that transaction systems are able to verify the veracity of the purchaser.

Crystal Key meets these needs by providing a non-clonable hardware token (tag) that is unique to each individual consumer and which can be read using any smartphone camera. It will work for people of limited 'IT ability' levels, dexterity and sightedness, and people from different cultures, since this simple 'automatic photography' step does not involve reading, typing, speaking, remembering, credit card, PIN, etc.

Crystal Key is based on Crystal Chip® - AlphaFox's patented anti-counterfeiting tag system comprising tags, tag reader technology and advanced software. Additional IP was filed by collaborators at the University of Bristol and this is now licensed to AlphaFox.

AlphaFox is now seeking further technology and commercial partners to exploit Crystal Key. Please contact us to discuss how we could work together.

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