The first Android Developers Challenge was the birthplace for some of the most popular applications in the Market. One of the finalist that caught my eye was BioWallet. It was a biometric security app that protected your information with iris and handwriting recognition.
I had been eagerly waiting for this innovative software to be released when I received the following note today. It appears the developers are having difficulty bringing their original idea to the Android platform and are in search of more funding. They are currently entered in the BBVA Open Talent contest and have asked for our help in reaching the next round of competition.
We know many of you have been eagerly waiting to see BioWallet in the Android Market, but we are still facing some serious development issues that are making the BioWallet release quite difficult. Iris recognition with a mobile device is a complex task and the Android platform is not making things easier because it is not well suited for this kind of application. Right now, our main handicaps are (without getting too technical):
- Dalvik (Android Virtual Machine) imposes a memory limit for applications that is too low (16 MB) for many of the image processing operations we have to perform in order to recognize an iris.
- Dalvik is an interpreted virtual machine and that causes a poor performance for CPU-intensive operations like iris recognition.
- The only Android phone in the market so far (HTC Dream / T-Mobile G1) doesn’t have an outstanding camera. The resolution is enough (3.1 Mpx) but the auto-focus feature doesn’t work well with short distances, it lacks a macro mode and the picture quality with low lighting is quite poor.
We are working hard to solve these problems, but BioWallet is not our main job and we can only develop it in our “free” time (nights, weekends, holidays…). In addition, we have to balance it with other personal and professional projects, so please bear with us.
These days we are trying to get some funding from the Spanish bank BBVA to keep the development active. You can help us just clicking the button “Votar” (Vote) in the BBVA OpenTalent section in our web page or theOpenTalent site (Spanish).
Last but not least, we really want to thank you for your support. Seriously, that means a lot for us and gives us a reason to push ourselves hard and get BioWallet ready soon.
If you would like to show your support and help this Android developer, please visit the official BioWallet or BBVA sites and place your Votar (vote). BioWallet also has a poll on their site asking what other biometric methods you would like to use for security. Videos are also available if you would like to see a demonstration of the application.
[Thanks to Roy for the tip.]