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Leveraging the power of two-factor authentication with blockchain-based certification.

Date: April 27, 2020

In partnership with GOVTECH (a Singaporean government agency), a student-team at GIX has created a two-factor authentication device that compares identification documents to user biometrics using blockchain-based OpenCert certification. GOVTECH connected with GIX students to explore the use of the software in a hardware/software embedded system.  This ensures both the authenticity and completeness of the document, and that the user is who they are claiming to be.

“The most exciting revelation we had about this project is the variety of use scenarios our device can have, from educational to healthcare to transportation,” said team member Kelsey Guo. “We are excited to continue to test and iterate and are striving to achieve a marketable product that can be used in a commercial setting by the end of the quarter.” 

By leveraging the power of Microsoft Azure cloud-based facial recognition technology, the hardware quickly compares the user against their blockchain-stored credentials. “We are currently exploring different use scenarios and are planning to make a decision soon. Then, we will be modifying our working prototype to that specific user group, and conduct user research,” said Kelsey. “We will also be conducting usability testing with our target audience, and we are hoping to achieve a product that is fully functional, delightful, and marketable.”

The team has spent approximately ten weeks from initial concept to current working prototype. Initial user-testing will take place in the Steve Ballmer Building, a restricted space due to the current COVID-19 situation. Kelsey added, “We want to set up our prototype at the front door and verify everyone who goes into the building. This use case is now extremely relevant given Governor Inslee’s ‘stay at home’ order and we are hoping that our project can help the GIX community in some way.”

The team worked closely with GOVTECH and representatives from the Singapore government to develop the project. “We really appreciate the help that Raymond Yeh and his GOVTECH team provided throughout the project. It was great to be able to always have someone provide technical feedback and assistance whenever we needed it,” said Kelsey. “One of the biggest takeaways we have is that having clear goals and deadlines is essential for a project’s success. Those deadlines really pushed us to make progress throughout the quarter and rapidly prototype based on each week’s goal.”