Background Information

Much like the uniqueness of fingerprints, voice can also be used as a form of security for identifying an individual.


Voice is able to be used because of each individuals tone, pitch, and atonality of words. The voice is unique because of the individual shape of the vocal cavities and the way the individual moves their mouth when they speak [1]

Matching Techniques

The wave patterns in the voice and the measurement of physiological characteristics, such as the nasal passages and vocal chords, as well as the frequency, cadence and duration of the vocal pattern are all included in considering a voiceprint. [2]

The voiceprint is a biometric voice identifier not a recording or a sound file; so an imposter could not record one’s words and replay them into the system and get access granted. A voiceprint allows the user to gain access to information or give authorization without being physically present; this way the user can give authorization by way of a simple phone call.


A couple major advantages of Voice biometrics are:

  • Security
  • Accuracy
  • Convenience
  • Shortened Verification/ Speeds
  • Protects Privacy

All of these reasons demonstrate voice biometrics as an easy, quick, and safe method for identifying individuals [3]


Voiceprints are not a perfected technology; as in every technology based system, there are still glitches still to be worked out. A way has been configured for unauthorized users to hack the system by simply obtaining a recording of the authorized person's password (this is usually by way of phone). To counteract this fraudulent activity, many systems have randomly chosen passwords or general voiceprints instead of prints for specific words to decrease possibility of access.

Business Applications

Many companies have freed up a lot of space on their hard drives by the implementation of voice printing; due to the fact that voice printing eliminates the need for passwords. Companies such as VoiceVault have created special filters and algorithms to eliminate background noise as well as to aid in detecting and rejecting any attempt to use voice recordings [4]. Another good example of this “special filter” is automated voicemail systems. Many companies have utilized voiceprints to help them in dealing with their many customers by allowing the voiceprint to acknowledge and understand what the customer is saying and transfer them to the right department accordingly.

1. How Stuff Works : "How Biometrics Works: Voiceprints". How Stuff Works. 4/3/08 <http://science.howstuffworks.com/biometrics3.htm>
2. Diaphonics:"Faqs". Diaphonics Sound Security. 4/3/08 <http://www.diaphonics.com/faq.php#one>
3. Wikipedia:"Speech Recognition". Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia. 4/3/08 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_recognition>
4. Voice Vault:"How Voice Vault Works". Vioce Vault. 4/3/08 <http://www.voicevault.com/works.aspx>
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